Wednesday, July 28, 2010

108. Open-faced Vegetable Sandwich, Fast Food

If the first kind of fast food was something running away as a hunter chased it, sandwiches had to be next kind. The ease with which one can be consumed without causing a mess is part of the delight of eating a sandwich...unless it is a BLT which always seems to fall apart with the first bite.

My dad made wonderful sandwiches on weekends, but during the week, my mother made them for us. She rarely actually ate sandwiches, as a rule, and when she made them for us, they were uninspired.

By 5th or 6th grade, I was the one in charge of making our school lunches. These lunches were bagged up the night before and refrigerated. My mother dictated what went into the bags and the lunch usually consisting of a sandwich with one piece of lunchmeat between two slices of buttered bread, a piece of fruit and two cookies. A paper napkin was wrapped around the cookies. We bought our milk from the school. I did not think too much about variety or presentation until the day my older brother came home and mentioned that one of his friend's sandwiches were always cut on the diagonal...well...after were mine!

That casual remark also caused me to pay more attention to what went into the lunches...thereafter, I added cut up celery or carrots sticks...put more meat into the sandwiches and sometimes cheese; I asked my mother to buy better bread or rolls and more tasty cookies. Sometimes I added candy or chips...things that were not in our home very often. Olives and pickles were included as were pepperocini and other tasty things I found in the refrigerator.

I must admit, what we wrapped our food in had a lot to do with what we could actually take to school. At first, we had waxed paper, then plastic wrap. I seem to remember that plastic bags finally turned up  and were sold on a roll. It was one wonderful day when Baggies came into being...although today, environmentalists find fault with their existence.

My children were served truly artful lunches. Until they were in high school, they were sent off to school with special reusable bags and boxes which included cold packs; plastic containers held salads, tasty leftovers, or multi-layered sandwiches. I made homemade rolls or breads; fruit and vegetables were sometimes sent with dip or sauces and I was happy to include chips and crackers and juice boxes. Since I was also a compulsive baker, the lunches usually included homemade cookies, cake or pie. Even so, I know my kids eventually got sick of bagged food.

To this day, sandwiches remind me of all of those bygone school days. I don't mind an occasional sandwich, but it has to be layered, seasoned and totally great! If it is open-faced, it makes it even better, because it is definitely something that would probably not have been put in a paper bag.

I love the fresh vegetable taste and the mild cheese flavor of today's recipe with the brown mustard only. My husband loved the addition of mayonnaise. This meal was so easy to make, it was almost laughable and yet, it tasted like something totally complicated.

Diane's Open-Faced Vegetable Sandwich

Ingredient amounts are for 1 serving, (1 split English muffin), and are to be divided between both halves.

1 English muffin, split 

1-2 tsp brown mustard
1-2 tsp Hellmann's mayonnaise (optional)
1 T Broccoli, chopped
1 T Cauliflower, chopped
1/4 Banana pepper, chopped
1/2 T sweet onion, chopped
2 black olives, sliced
Monterey and jack cheese blend, shredded

Spread mustard on cut side of muffins, add mayo (optional). Top each with selection of vegetables and pile on as much cheese as will sit on top. Broil for 2 1/2 minutes, 4-6 inches from the heat (watch carefully), or until the cheese melts and browns slightly. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Kitty wrote: loved the little muffin sandwiches open faced with cheese.