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{31/05/2012}   Sandwich fillings

I don’t particularly like sandwiches and I hate butter in sandwiches so if I’m going to have sandwiches they are made at home with fillings as exciting as I can possibly concoct.  I thought today that I’d share my sandwich thoughts.

Nowadays, “the soggy” is less of an issue, though they most certainly can still be found.  Likewise, “the dry crust”, whereby the filling is only smeared in the centre and you are almost forced to leave the dry, sorry crust.  “The butter clod” is probably my least favourite as I can’t abide the taste of cold butter and this is a sandwich with more butter than filling; it’s like adding salt or MSG to excite things a bit and con you into thinking you have a sandwich.  These days, you’re more likely to come across “the packaged ponce”, a sandwich of luxury proportions, possibly with a fancy bread, maybe even organic, and with ingredients too good to be shoved into a poncy sandwich encased in packaging worthy of being classed as art.  And then there’s the price.  I have no figures to hand but I have seen a £5 label before, which has provoked a rant outburst rather than closer inspection.  I may be wrong (maybe it was a pack of four sandwiches with gold dust bread?) but I wouldn’t be surprised.

My view of sandwiches may have been slightly marred by the occasional “the paste” whereby sandwich spread was wiped across a piece of chemical contaminated “bread” and presented as lunch.  I am now sidetracked by visions of limp white bread sandwiches with meagre fillings.  It surprises me to think that my mum packed me off with such sandwich horrors but I suppose they made appearances in my childhood lunch boxes otherwise I wouldn’t fear “the paste”.  However, my mum used to make what is arguably the best sandwich filling in the world and one which, though I rarely make, always makes me feel good; I think it can be classified as high as “the food envy”, although to try it is what creates the envy rather than the knowledge of what it is.  Trust me, this is a treat far beyond expectations.

For a double round, or a greedy “the excess”: one large tomato, one large egg, a load of grated cheddar, maybe a bit of salt and pepper.  Boil the egg and the tomato until the former is hard boiled and the latter’s skin looks set to come off.  Being aware that a hot tomato is hotter than you’d expect a hot tomato to be, remove the skin and the tough centre.  Drop in a bowl.  De-shell the egg and drop into the tomato bowl.  Chop the egg and the tomato together, then add the cheese.  There will be melting, obviously.  Then either dollop it warm onto, ideally, a piece of thick crusty white bread and consume immediately or let it cool for a bit before converting it into sandwich filling.  It all kind of sticks together when it cools … yummety yum.

As for other sandwiches, tinned tuna with one third salad cream and two thirds mayonnaise, some black olives and lemon zest with black pepper is another “the food envy”.  I am also rather partial to egg mayonnaise with either cress or cucumber.  Perhaps the most innovative sandwich I have had out was from Gruel in Dublin.  They have a daily roast dinner menu and the next day they do a leftovers sandwich which is a veritable feast.  Genius.  There are not many (I can’t think of any except that place – assuming it’s still there, it was about six years ago that I went there on an almost daily basis, except that they were often sold out!) places that readily advertise leftovers, usually you get a meal that just so happens to be, say, yesterday’s leftovers.  Leftovers sandwiches are underrated.

Oddly, writing about food I usually want to eat whatever it is I’ve been writing about, now I am left not wanting sandwiches.  But by lunchtime I will be shoveling down today’s egg mayo roll and being thankful not to have “the soggy” or “the butter clod”.

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