I dropped off the grid yesterday with a nasty migraine. I think you guys would have been proud of me, though, because I managed to stumble into the kitchen and blindly sear a venison roast, then throw it in the oven with some taters, carrots, onions, red wine and beef broth before returning to my position on the couch.
Today is so much brighter, not only because I ate a good meal last night and woke up headache-free, but because I have a cold venison sandwich in the refrigerator for lunch today. Wheat bread, Duke’s mayonnaise and cold, roasted venison. Mmm, it’s one of my favorites.
This morning, as I made my sandwich, I thought that some folks may find it odd. But then again, I’ve always been a little bit odd when it comes to lunchbox sandwiches. I started with the standard peanut butter and jelly as a tiny tot, then worked my way up to bologna and mayonnaise, which I ate with nauseating regularity for several elementary school years.
I’m surprised it took me as long as it did to get tired of the bologna, but it happened (and I haven’t been too keen on eating a bologna sandwich, unless it’s fried and topped with yellow mustard, ever since). At that point, I entered a weird American cheese/lettuce/mayo phase. My mother said it was gross, but she made it for me anyway. And I loved the creamy cheese with the crunch of the lettuce.
That lasted for several years. Around high school, for some reason, I turned to yet another bizarre lunchbox sandwich: cream cheese on toast. That’s all it was – toast that my mother or I made the night before or early that morning, then slathered with cream cheese. Nothing more.
As you can imagine, by lunchtime, the bread was chewy (not soggy- an important distinction), but I tore off bites with happiness. My friends thought I was weird. I was (am?).
Lunchbox sandwiches come in so many flavors. There’s the standard deli meat (sliced in the deli or bought in packages), with or without cheese, with or without lettuce, with mayo or mustard, or both, or just a smidge of one or the other. Some of us even are particular about which side of the bread takes the mayo or mustard, about whether we salt and pepper our sandwich.
I’m particular about lunch meat – I basically won’t eat the packaged stuff at all. So to me, the best sandwiches are those made with homemade roasted turkey, chicken or beef. My mother had a meat slicer and would occasionally haul it out and slice up meat for sandwiches. The other day, I wistfully told my husband I wished I had a meat slicer in my kitchen. I’d roast beef and corned beef and poultry just for the purpose of making fresh, homemade deli sandwiches.
Or maybe I’d just slather toast with cream cheese. Who knows?
What was your favorite sandwich to take in your lunchbox as a kid, and what is your favorite now?