If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve probably seen a lot of food pictures, and if you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably developed a lot of sympathy for Graham. Me too. Poor Graham. I’m a tyrant.. and my control freak nature comes out in full force in the kitchen. I loathe to let Graham take the reins at mealtime. He’s GREAT in the kitchen. I love it when he cooks salmon for dinner or shakshuka for brunch.. but I always have to look away. It’s better that the health nut in me not see just exactly how much oil and butter saturates the pan.
For the longest time though, the big rule in the kitchen was that Graham was not allowed to make sandwiches for me. It seems ridiculous to be so rigid about something so culinarily banal as a sandwich, but I swear there’s an art involved in the layering as well as some practicality! You want each layer to complement the ones above and below it as well as hit your tastebuds at the right time.
It’s not just in our own kitchen.. I’m a harsh critic of sandwiches whenever we go out. And burgers! Which really are just heartier sandwiches.. I will deconstruct and reconstruct a burger if possible to get the right layers together, softly whining, “Why are they doing this wrong?”. After a year of living together and playing sandwich dictator, Graham, rather exasperated, asked me what the rules were for creating a sandwich that would pass the Stacy test. I went to town with a diagram on our kitchen whiteboard which remained there until the whiteboard and us went our separate ways – us to Mount Airy, the whiteboard to the sidewalk in Graduate Hospital on trash night.
I was planning on posting my favorite egg salad sandwich recipe today, but the camera on my phone decided to be uncooperative, so I’m posting a revised sandwich chart instead..
This is for your run-of-the-mill deli sandwich. There’s variations when it comes to burgers, grilled cheese, veggie sandwiches, etc, but a lot of the basic principles still apply. I should add that these are guidelines for sandwiches I eat.. it’s all a matter of personal preference. Starting with the bottom layer and working up to the top:
- Bread is dry. Bread always needs a “wet” ingredient to compliment it.
- Mayo should always be next to cheese.
- A thin layer of mustard (if you’re using it) goes between cheese and whatever deli meat you use. Think about cheese, crackers, and charcuterie.. they always come with mustard because it goes with all 3. Note: Different rules apply to bologna sandwiches.
- Pickles and tomato always stay under the lettuce. It’s visually appealing to place them on top, but think about all that pickle and tomato juice mushing up the bread.
- Always place lettuce on top to safeguard against all the juices that could destroy the bread.
- Mayo or dressing always goes between the bread and the lettuce because.. see rule no. 1 and also because it creates a “mini-salad” with the veggies below it.
- If you’re using salt/pepper.. you add that in the layers of tomato/pickles because the liquid will ensure the spices adhere.
- Once you’ve read through all the chart and additional rules and realize that your wife’s controlling nature over sandwiches remind you of another crazy Korean dictator and that it’s just too much work to make lunch, hand all ingredients over to her, put sharp objects back, and back away slowly.
- Play PS4 while waiting for lunch to be made.
Stacy (Supreme Dear Leader)