Lunch is the most fun you can have at a meal. Whereas for breakfast and dinner you actually have to cook stuff to be creative, at lunch you don't. Have to cook that is. It took me a long time to realize this fact. I know you're scratching your head trying to understand where I'm coming from. So to quote Desi Arnaz, "Let me splain."
When I was my daughter's age, I was not very adventurous with my sandwiches at lunch. I rarely deviated from either ham and cheese or bologna and cheese. The cheese had to be American and the condiments had to be either mayo or mustard, and the bread had to be white.
It wasn't until I got to be much older (like in my mid-to-late twenties) to appreciate using other kinds of meats and cheeses.
Just ham you say? How 'bout we tack on some roast beef or some chicken or some genoa salami.
Bologna? How 'bout some liverwurst or pepperoni? Or even corned beef?
White? How 'bout rye, or wheat, or pumpernickel? How 'bout a miami onion roll?
Mustard? How 'bout spicy mustard or whole grain mustard?
Mayo? Well, we couldn't really deviate much from mayo.
Other condiments? Sure. Relishes and other stuff like that.
What about veggies?
Ahhhhhh veggies...I had a serious hate/hate/semi-love relationship with veggies while growing up. Corn was the only cooked veggie that I ate on a consistent basis. Onions came much, much later. It took me a very long time to even think of putting veggies on my sandwiches and even now, I do not use the traditional veggies when I make a sandwich.
To give you a good idea on how my tastes and creativity have evolved throughout the decades, I want to describe to you what goes into and how I create a typical sandwich for myself.
For starters, I usually use only one type of meat and one type of cheese when I make a sandwich (calories). For today's lesson, we'll go with oven roasted turkey breast and sliced colby-jack cheese. From the side refrigerator door, we'll pull out mayo and minced garlic; from my personal pantry, a bottle of crushed red pepper; from the bread drawer, a small flour tortilla.
So after setting up our work area (paper towel on counter), we lay out our tortilla. My personal preference is to lay out the cheese first, followed by exactly three slices of meat. No more and no less. Then we take three forkfuls of minced garlic and spread it around the meat. A slathering of mayo on the other half of the tortilla and a generous sprinkling of crushed red pepper all over the meat. By the time this bad boy is ready to eat some twelve hours later (lunch at work), the flavors have blended so much that my taste buds go on overload.
I often make bizarre sandwiches like this, so that my lunch at work isn't so predictable (which if you're a diabetic, becomes increasingly predictable).
To give you another bizarre sandwich concoction that I created for lunch this past week, I had rotisserie chicken and spreadable cheese on white, with whole grain mustard and peppercilli relish. The possibilities are unlimited in what you can use to create a sandwich that takes into consideration all of the strange foods that you've come to like and appreciate as an adult.
So my friends, if you're a sandwich eater, what kind of creativity burst forth from your imagination to your plate at lunch time?