Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Childhood Sandwich (p.36)

Once again, I find myself feeling a certain kinship with Roast Beef (the character, not the food, though I enjoy the food, as well). His Childhood Sandwich is not entirely different from my own, though I dare say that the memories he attaches to his childhood are much less pleasant than mine. Like I said when I introduced him, he's from circumstances. I'm really not.

At it's heart, this is a bologna and cheese sandwich. Which was once a favorite of mine, and still brings up a wave of nostalgia any time I prepare one for myself. My personal childhood sandwich was bologna, cheese, and butter/margarine. This recipe calls for two slices of bologna, one slice of cheese (two if you've been good or "got an A"- neither of which particularly applied to me, so I stuck with one), mustard, and lettuce. Obviously the big differences were the leaves and the condiment. As the book points out, Roast Beef's primal sense must have kicked in and told him that the perfect elements for a sandwich include a meat, a cheese, a vegetable, and a dressing. I guess my childhood self (or, more likely, my parents' parenting selves) just didn't see the need for the vegetable. It never bothered me before, and it certainly won't now.

This recipe had a few options: toasted or non-toasted bread (I went with non, I have to refrigerate my lunch for half a day before I eat it, and refrigeration takes some of the magic out of toast), one slice of cheese or two (see above), whether or not to eat a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips afterward (the recipe description says this isn't really necessary if you're a grown up- I tend to agree. Not because it wouldn't be good, but I have a half marathon this weekend, you know). It also instructs you to cut it diagonally down the middle, so you can see the layering. Mission Accomplished:
That's the office where I eat my lunch. Please try to refrain from stalking me there. Anyway, I don't usually cut my sandwiches for lunch, it's too much hassle for a presentation that only I will see. But I have to admit, this was damn attractive. The interplay of colors and lines was more aesthetically pleasing than a childhood sandwich has a right to be. Maybe I'll have to do this more often. The recipe also instructed to use brand names, as that kind of thing is important to a child (which is true). I didn't disappoint. Oscar Mayer™ bologna, Kraft™ cheese, and Sara Lee™ bread made for one corporate sandwich.

And how was the taste, you ask? That's right, I know what you're thinking. The sandwich was a more refined take on a fond memory of the past. The lettuce gave the sandwich a real heft that made it feel more like something I'd get at a restaurant (you know, one of those cheap deli counter type places) than something I made as a child. I personally wouldn't have put mustard on a bologna and cheese, it just seems inherently, basically wrong to a person who is accustomed to the salty sweetness of butter/margarine (whichever one the health experts claimed was better for you in any given week). But, I was happily surprised to find that the tang of the mustard complemented the meat without overpowering too much (maybe just a little), though I didn't necessarily taste much of the cheese.

I have a lot of ingredients left over (you can't buy single serving bologna- I dare you to try), so I'll be making this sandwich for lunch for the rest of this week (and maybe some of next). I think I'll switch back to butter (or possibly mayo), though, for old times' sake. Now if only Planters still made Cheez Balls.



p.s.- You may have noticed I opted for the "bologna" spelling over the "baloney" spelling. That's because I'm a grown up. Also, it's how Oscar Meyer™ spells it (though I probably would have bet you it was the other way around).

No comments:

Post a Comment