Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More Than A Sandwich

I made a sandwich for lunch today. Nothing to write home about, I know, but the process reminded me of the way my father would make sandwiches, and there's a story there.

Daddy loved food, and I mean loved it. He would get up very early in the morning to pack his construction worker lunch, and he would knock around in the kitchen like he was making a feast for a whole family. He'sdmake two sandwiches, pack some chips, some Archway cookies, an apple, a Mars Bar or a Twinkie or both, and a big thermos full of coffee. It was never a chore for him. It was always a delightful task.

On Sundays, we would often have a roast for lunch with the traditional sides, and we'd sit down at the table after church for the big meal of the day. Mama would pack away the leftovers, and later for dinner it was everyman for himself. Daddy would pull out sandwich fixin's from the fridge and lay them all out on the counter. There would be whole wheat bread, roast beef sliced thin, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard and corn relish.

He would build the sandwich of his dreams and talk and sing his way through it, remarking on how good this sandwich was going to be, especially with potato chips and an ice, cold glass of RC Cola drunk from an amber glass that matched the gold tones of that crazy sofa set in the living room. The tomatoes were best in the summer, but the corn relish was mighty fine all year long. We would all follow suit and take our plates to the TV room where we'd watch The Wonderful World of Disney—Old Yeller, Davy Crockett, Donald Duck—or 60 Minutes. And Daddy loved every bite.

Lately, I have been wondering if I spend too much time thinking about food. I'm not gluttonous about it, but I do think about planning and options and flavors that work together. Take this sandwich, for example. I started with a pork roast from yesterday. I let it sit in a brine of apple cider with maple syrup and brown sugar all day and then roasted it for dinner. Today, I sliced it thin, toasted some wheat bread, added a little mayo, a slice of Muenster and some lettuce. I cut the thing in two and put it on a plate with sweet potato chips and sat down with my lunch and some diet root beer.

Daddy would have been proud, so maybe I don't think about food too much. Maybe it's just in my blood to appreciate it as fine and dandy.

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