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.
Don’t cheat on me with cornbread, Don’t cheat on me with beans And don’t cheat on me with bacon, cooked up with collard greens Don’t cheat on me with biscuits with jelly sweet and blue Keep it in that place where you know you will be true Keep it in your pantry — Lyle Lovett, Keep It In Your Pantry Lyrics