Fionnuala made lasagne for dinner last night. She is an excellent cook so we were all looking forward to it; and rightly so, for it was delicious. What I was not prepared for were the outrageous scenes which followed later that evening. Scenes which scarred my soul and I’ll take to the grave. Scenes which no man should ever have to witness. The sight of his wife eating a lasagne sandwich.
I think it’s a Belfast thing. The ability to place any foodstuff between two slices of bread and eat them. As a country boy, I was oblivious to this post meal ritual where, whatever remained on an individual’s plate was carefully scooped between two slices of bread and devoured. Everything was fair game. Meat, potatoes, vegetables, even Irish stew! For the love of God. It was a horror show.
The contrast between the look of pleasure on the diner’s face and the look of utter disgust on mine, cannot be exaggerated. Don’t, get me wrong, I am a fan of the humble sandwich. I eat them most days for my lunch. Give me a BLT or chicken salad and I’m as happy as Larry, whoever Larry is. It’s when the contents of a Sunday dinner are presented to me that I struggle. As in struggle to retain the contents of my stomach.
We held a straw poll at chez Black last night as to everyone’s favourite and least favourite sandwich. Hannah’s preferences were sweet chilli chicken or turkey, ham, stuffing and cranberry sauce; the classic ‘Christmas’ sandwich. Her least favourite was the crisp sandwich which was odd, as Northern Irish people are big fans of such monstrous concoctions. By crisp I mean potato chip, my North American friends.
Adam’s favourite took me a while to write down – chicken, bacon, cheese, lettuce, sweetcorn and bbq sauce. What a mouthful, in more ways than one. The only item he could not tolerate in his ‘piece’ were gherkins. Rebecca had plainer tastes. A simple ham or cheese sandwich, but not ham and cheese, which turned her stomach. I’m still trying to figure that one out, but she likes what she likes.
Which left Fionnuala. Lasagne or cottage pie she plumped for, closely followed by Tayto cheese & onion crisps. Ye gods, were there no depths this woman would stoop to in her quest for the most disgusting snack of all time. Even the thought of them are making me queasy. Perversely she hates cheese & tomato, a particular favourite of mine. Truly, my wife and I have very diverse tastes. But, opposites attract, and somehow we work.
All this made me think of my late father, who delighted in the ultimate sandwich sacrilege. Raw onion and HP ‘brown’ sauce. Even now, I cringe in fear at the thought of him creating this culinary monstrosity. We are all different and, no more so, than when it comes to what we shovel into our mouths at meal times. A mouth watering feast for one, has another reaching for the vomit bags. Each to their own and viva la difference, isn’t that what they say?
What’s your favourite sandwich?
What horrors have you seen consumed by family, friends and work colleagues?