November 23, 2001
The Ten O'Clock Sandwich
of all, it has to be eaten at night, in bed, with the TV on ...
preferably in your pajamas, preferably while you're still feeling
slightly overstuffed from Thanksgiving dinner. (Although not SO
overstuffed that eating The Ten O'Clock Sandwich is going to cause distress ... for anybody
in your bed.)
the sandwich for lunch the next day -- or for dinner the next night, or
the night after that, or the night after that -- doesn't count. It has
to be fresh, right out of the aluminum foil your hostess wrapped it in.
(Or, if your hostess was less than generous, right out of the
bottom of your purse.)
of all: absolutely no substitutions are permitted. No swapping out the
mayonnaise with Miracle Whip, for instance. Only white turkey meat can
be used. Canned cranberries are fine, but only whole berry cranberry
sauce: none of the jellied stuff. And no trendy Seven Grain
Stone-Milled Wheat and Nut Bread: only cheap, gluey supermarket white
recipe is breathtaking in its simplicity, and unyielding in its
slices of white bread
berry cranberry sauce
turkey stuffing (sans oysters, peanuts, blueberries, nutmeg,
hard-boiled eggs, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, Cap'n Crunch Peanut
Butter Cereal or any OTHER weird untraditional ridiculousness)
a thin layer of margarine on one slice of bread. Cover that with a thin
layer of mayonnaise, then with a not-so-thin layer of chunky cranberry
sauce. The combination of mayonnaise and cranberries on one side of
the sandwich is what gives it its buttery/velvety/melt-in-your-mouth
spread another thin layer of margarine on the second slice of bread,
then top the margarine with a big healthy dollop of leftover stuffing.
Salt and pepper liberally. Lay three or four slabs of leftover white
turkey meat on top of the stuffing, then salt and pepper liberally some
the fun part: figuring out how to slap the two sandwich halves together
without dropping *key ingredients* onto the floor/into the sink/down
the front of your nightgown. (Hint: the mayonnaise-and-cranberry half
is easier to pick up and smoosh onto the turkey-and-stuffing half than
the other way around.)
sandwich diagonally -- never in half!! -- and serve
on the good wedding china, along with a dill pickle and a can of
Hansen's Mandarin Lime Natural Soda. Bon appetit!
here's one more *rule,* especially if you are a newlywed and you have
recently gotten your spouse hooked on The Ten O'Clock Sandwich:
three of them at a time.
two sandwiches into the bedroom -- one for your spouse, one for you --
and then when he swallows his sandwich whole and begins to longingly
eyeball yours, fifteen seconds later, you can casually say "Oh
... there's another one in the kitchen."
me. It beats having to climb out of bed and go through the whole
process all over again.