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Column: Just So You’ll Know


By Paul Richardson

When it comes to lunch, I’m just a sandwich kind of guy. Some people are not. I once knew a man who had to have a three course hot meal for lunch every day regardless of the circumstances. I asked him once what he had for supper and he replied “a coke and a pack of crackers.” So I guess his desire for a decent noon time meal was justified. And I have known others who did not take lunch at all, not even a cheap snack.

But just give me two pieces of bread coated with a good sloppy helping of Mayo and most anything else in between, and I am happy. I love a pineapple sandwich, or a ham and cheese. I’ll even fight for a fried bologna, or a plain old fried egg.

Of course, a real treat is a left over meat loaf sandwich, or a cold pork chop. It really doesn’t matter. My Grand Mother said that during the Great Depression, her family ate onion sandwiches.

A real treat was usually a left over biscuit with syrup in the middle, topped with a slice of fresh onion. (Their biscuits were large back then.)

I’ve never tried an onion sandwich so I can’t say for sure if they are good or not. But all other choices considered, I guess my all time favorite is a tomato.

On a scale of one to ten, a tomato sandwich starts out at a number five of all time greats. Don’t worry about adding bacon and lettuce, just a thick slice of tomato will do. It’s hard to improve on that, but it is possible, and not with bacon and lettuce.

Start by toasting the bread ever so slightly, not brown and hard, but just crispy, and you’ve instantly got a six.

Now add enough Mayonnaise to make it really sloppy and you’ve got a seven. If it is a large tomato, that’s even better. A tomato large enough to cover the entire piece of bread with one juicy slice and hang over the sides makes the sandwich an eight. (No annoying little slices to drop out when you bite in.)

Now, add a pinch of salt and a thick solid layer of black pepper. A lot of pepper is required. I like mine to resemble skid marks in the highway left by a log truck. With the appropriate amount of black pepper, that plain old tomato sandwich now becomes a nine.

You’d think it was hard to improve on something that good, but I’m not finished yet. If all else is prepared to perfection as I have outlined, that should be good enough for anyone. But when you first bite into that juicy, sloppy, spicy, delicious, toasty  tomato sandwich and juice oozes out the bottom and runs down your arms and drips off your elbows, now you’ve got a ten!

You can e-mail me at zipcode36862@yahoo.com