Thursday, 11 August 2011

Day 41: The Art of the Simple Sandwich

There is a legend in our family concerning my now brother-in-law, when he was but new on the scene.  Staying at the farm, he and my sister were getting under our mother's feet, and were booted out of the house to go for a walk.  A long walk.  Preferably lasting an entire day.  Mother kindly provided them with a packed lunch in which she had included "cheese and tomato rolls", and off they went.

An enjoyable morning's hike, and it was time for lunch.  Brother-in-Law unpacked the filled rolls, and took a bite.  Then, puzzled, he opened the roll and inspected its contents.  "But where," he asked in confusion, "is the cheese?"

As my sister patiently explained - to her beloved's increasing incredulity - when Mother had said, "cheese and tomato rolls", she had not meant, "cheese-and-tomato rolls", but "cheese rolls" and "tomato rolls".  Experienced frugalist that Mother is, she does not waste sandwich fillings by over-complicating the sandwich.  Besides, most especially when one is hiking, a simple cheese roll is the best food possible (I speak from happy experience here).  The only other ingredient needed is a thin spread of butter or marg.  And as for the plain tomato roll: there is no better food this side of paradise.

If you don't believe me, just try it.  Purchase for yourself a white morning roll, preferably of the Scottish variety ('safties', as they are also called up here).  Split it, and spread both halves thinly with butter or margarine.  (Americans would use mayonnaise: this is an Abomination.)  Slice a tomato and arrange the slices in a thick layer on the bottom half.  Crucially, you then need to sprinkle on some freshly ground black pepper and a very small pinch of salt.  Add the top half, and there you have it - the perfect and thoroughly frugal tomato roll!

I am not dignifying this suggestion with a recipe page of its own. It is merely a plea for simpler sandwiches all round.  If the flavour of the filling is good in itself, then it should be enjoyed in itself.   Mother, of course, was right.  :)

Total Daily Expendure: £0.55


Sharon said...

Tomatoes on Toast...a similarly lovely experience...wholemeal toast...allowed to cool a little bit, butter, thickly sliced toms, liberally salted and peppered. YUM! If you have some supermarket basic tomatoes and want to make them into something gorgeous - cut them in half, place in an oven tray cut side up, sprinkle with salt, a touch of sugar and some dried (or fresh) thyme. A little drizzle of olive oil helps things along. Preheat the oven as hot as it will go...if being really frugal make these after something where you've had the oven on anyway...then put them in and turn off the oven. Leave for about 8 hours or overnight. (This is taken from Nigella's Express book...called moonblush tomatoes...but she uses expensive vine toms to start with). Great in salads, on toast, baked potatoes, chopped and through pasta...just sooooo nice.

Sharon said...

I love reading this cheers me up everytime and it's always a surprise!!!

Socks all the way for me!

Fran said...

That's a great suggestion with the tomatoes, Sharon - I will definitely try that. And thanks for the encouragement too - I am glad you are being entertained!