Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from my younger brother. He lives in New York and runs operations for a brand of women’s shoes called Miz Mooz.
I can’t recall a time in my life when I didn’t love a good sandwich. As a toddler I had a fickle palate and to this day my cousin Cary reminds me how I would tote along a freshly made peanut butter sandwich to our local Chinese restaurant. When my family would chow down on Lo Mein and Kung Pao, I would sit quietly in the corner silently eating my pb without the j.
I know that a peanut butter sandwich without jelly may sound a little weird to some, but up until the age of 25 I had issues with fruit in any other form than its original. This meant that I didn’t eat my mom’s famous apple pies, and I definitely did not put jelly on my pb’s.
As I’ve aged, my taste buds have matured and I now eat almost anything put in front of me. From curry to cupcakes there is very little that I will not try, but I have always had a soft spot in my heart for a freshly made sandwich.
In High School, my “go to” changed from pb to turkey. Freshman and Sophomore year my mom would make a classic that included store brand smoked turkey, iceberg lettuce, roma tomatoes, and French’s mustard held together by two pieces of wheat toast. This got me by but I somehow knew that there was more out there.
When I got my driver’s license the brown bagging stopped and most afternoons my friends and I would visit Manhattan Bagel (now known as Ize’s) on Rockville Pike.
It was here that I discovered the delicacy that is known as chicken salad and where I realized that it could be a lot more complex than the base of mayo, celery and chicken suggests. There is a whole world of recipes out there but my favorites would have to include pine nuts, tarragon, and some sort of dried fruit (apricot, or cranberry).
I left the Maryland area after college, moving to Colorado to as my father says “retire for a year” and then to NYC. I’ve tried too many sandwiches to count but the best would have to be a homemade one on a relaxing Saturday afternoon.
There truthfully is nothing better than going grocery shopping and using fresh out of the bag ingredients to make lunch. I do my grocery shopping at the 14th St. Union Square Whole Foods where I have found both fantastic apricot chicken salad as well as a house smoked non-processed turkey. I find processed turkey to be kind of gross because the texture is always slimy.
I have yet to convince my girlfriend of this, but George Costanza may have been on to something – combining the perfect trifecta of TV, sex, and food (in my case, sandwiches) — may be the key to a lifetime of happiness.