I've eaten my fill of table scrap sammies, chicken leg (with the conspicuous protruding bone) sandwiches. Meatloaf, banana, potato chip, all play in the mayo-white bread pool.
My dad used to tell of splitting a biscuit and wedging in a big slice of onion before wrapping the parcel up for a long day of working in the field as a kid. He looked absolutely euphoric when he told that story. He may have been only remembering a childhood long past - but I think he was remembering the sandwich.
But, to make a really good Southern sandwich, you just have to ask yourself one question...
What kind of vegetables do I have lying around?
To begin with, you need some really - and I mean really good, soft and squitchy white bread. Colonial was the best - but that doesn't exist anymore. That means I needed to make my own. Everyone already knows I'm a royal horror making bread, so when in doubt - go to the source... the premier word on baking (as far as I'm concerned) Marion Cunningham.
The culinary community lost a true gem this past Wednesday when Marion Cunningham passed away. What Julia Child did for French food in the American home, Marion did for good food. After gaining recognition for her revision of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Marion went on to author numerous other books, lending to each her no-nonsense, practical approach to cooking. She was the gentle voice of reason in a world of rowdy and abrasive talents. She will be sorely missed.
I chose to make her Basic American White Bread from her "The Breakfast Book"
Basic American White Bread
Makes 2 Medium loaves
1/2 Cup Warm Water
2 Packages Dry Yeast
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Cups Warm Water
1/2 Cup Dry Milk (I've substituted 1/2 Cup of powdered Non-Dairy Creamer for this)
2 Tablespoons Shortening
2 Teaspoons Salt
5 Cups AP Flour (approximately)
- Put the 1/2 cup of warm water in a large mixing bowl; sprinkle with the yeast and sugar, stir, and let dissolve for 5 minutes
- Add the 2 cups of warm water, dry milk, shortening, salt and 2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture
- Using an electric mixer, beat the dough until it is smooth
- Add only enough additional flour to make a manageable dough
- At this point, turn out the dough and knead with you hands on a lightly floured board for about 2 minutes, or use a hook for about 15 seconds
- Let the dough rest for 10 minutes
- Resume kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic
- Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled in bulk
- Punch down and divide the dough in half
- Shape the dough and place in two greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3" loaf pans
- Loosely cover and let rise to the top of the pans
- Preheat the oven to 350
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the loaves have shrunk away from the sides of the pan a trifle
- Remove and cool on racks
Thick slices of fully ripened tomatoes with the peel removed
Fresh cracked black pepper
Spread generous amounts of a good tart mayonnaise on both slices
Drained and blotted sliced of canned (yes, yes... canned
Copious amounts of mayo slathered on the bread
Green Bean with
Fresh Garden Onions
Cooked and chilled Southern Style "stirred" green beans
a healthy amount of mayonnaise
A couple of young onions
Be sure to get a couple of shellies in the mix
and the ladies tea favorite... (with a little Plate Fodder kick)
Southern Vegetable Tea Sandwiches
Makes 24 Tea Sandwiches
2 Carrots - Finely Grated
1 Cucumber - Finely Grated
1 Bell Pepper - Finely Grated
1 Celery Stalk - Finely Grated
1/2 Cup Radishes - Finely Grated
1 Small Onion - Finely Grated
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Cucumber - Thinly Sliced
24 Slices White Bread
2" Biscuit Cutter
- After grating all vegetables, Place in the strainer and squeeze out all the liquid you can.
- Place in the bowl and Mix with cream cheese
- Add seasonings and enough mayonnaise to spread.
- Cut the bread with the biscuit cutter to make 24 disks
- Spread about 1 Tablespoon of vegetable mixture on 1/2 of the disks, top with cucumber slices and the remaining disk.