Thursday, April 30, 2009


As I prepared myself a tuna sandwich for lunch I started to think about how far the simple sandwich has come over the years.

As a child a sandwich was always a simple affair, perhaps egg or cold meats and maybe even a slice of tomato would be added, and of course, always made with white bread. Mother's Pride for anyone who kows what that is. It was always simple and there would be no doubt of there being anything in there which we wouldn't like. There would be no waste.

At this point I am reminded of my mum's famous salmon sandwich. Famous, not for it's culinary excellence but for it's apparent ability to cure all. Whenever there was a family crisis out would come the tin of red salmon from the back of the shelf. I never actually saw my mum buy it, but it was always there in time of need. A salmon sandwich and a cup of tea, mum's recipe for putting all ills to right. I'm sure it was just the fact that busying herself in the kitchen, putting the kettle on to boil, buttering the bread and making up the sandwiches which made her feel that she was doing something useful. Many people benefited from her kindness in the form of her tea and sandwiches, and all were grateful of her being there for them in their time of need.

Sadly, very suddenly, 3 years ago I lost my mum. A big loss for many people. As always, and still to this day, when faced with a crisis I always wonder what my mum would have done. This was no exception, and yes, over that awful time tins of salmon were opened, but better than that the sandwiches were eaten in memory of my mum. Today we still joke that a salmon sandwich and cup of tea is all that is needed in your darkest moments.

Today sandwiches are piled high with meats and pickles, cheeses and chutneys and it seems anything else that comes to hand. Most often they are way to big to enjoy and leave you with things running down your chin and up your arms. Often I am faced with something I have no idea of how I am supposed to eat it. Maybe this is peculiar to an American sandwich?

One thing I do enjoy is the diversity of a sandwich. Who doesn't love a cream cheese and smoked salmon on brown bread, a really good egg salad or even a delicious ham and cheese. Also I love a cream cheese and beetroot, yes I know that is a bit out there as is I my fondness for a toasted brie, sliced peach and prosciutto combination. Try it it's really good. Another favourite is a caramelised onion and Gruyere toasted sandwich. There are so many options and possibilities out there,the only thing preventing another delight is the limit of our imagination, or perhaps our unwillingness to try something new.

So go on look in your pantry and see what you can come up with. I'd love to hear about them. Maybe others reading this also have a family recipe which is a cure all I am sure I am not alone with this wonderful memory.

1 comment:

mmunford2000 said...

I love a good tuna melt. Tuna sandwich with cheese and then put in the oven until the bread is toased and cheese is melted. YUMMY!