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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Life at Ullenwood 4: the lunchtime sandwiches ...

The sandwiches for 100+ people take surprisingly little time to make if you set up a production line. One person armed with stacks of sliced brown bread, stacks of sliced white, and margarine spreads the margarine at great speed onto the bread before passing slices down the line to the 2 people on filling duty. They or a 4th person would then cut diagonally, wrap, stack and pack the sandwiches into the large plastic crates in which the bread was supplied, ready for transport up to site. The ration was two rounds plus a piece of fruit, usually oranges, apples or bananas, (presumably chosen for being self contained and easily portable fruits).

Sandwich fillings that I could initially recollect included:

Egg mayonnaise.  Cheese.  Peanut butter and marmalade.  Ham and tomato.  Cheese and tomato.  Banana.  Cheese and Branston pickle.  Ham.  Peanut butter and marmite.  Egg mayonnaise and tomato.  Ham and mustard.   Peanut butter and strawberry or raspberry jam (or jelly as our Americans called it).  Ham and cucumber.  Cheese and onion.  Egg mayonnaise and cucumber.  Strawberry or raspberry jam.  Ham and Branston pickle.  Banana and strawberry or raspberry jam. Rarer combinations included: Cheese and cucumber. Banana and peanut butter.  

I knew there were more but could not think of them and so I consulted Iain Ferris whose reply wittily read:

"Crickley Hill Man has obviously not benefitted from the increased brain and memory power brought about by the regular ingestion of Omega 3-containing oily fish, otherwise he would have remembered the sardine and chopped onion and tuna mayonnaise sandwiches." 

I'm grateful to Iain for jogging my memory: I've never been that fond of sardines or tuna in a sandwich, for some reason I can't quite recall, which may have resulted in a not-virtuous circle of self-fulfilling amnesia ...

That results in further choices: Tuna mayonnaise.  Sardine/Onion.  Tuna mayonnaise and tomato.  Sardine/Onion and cucumber. Tuna mayonnaise and cucumber. Sardine/Onion and tomato.  

So 26 combinations, at least, from 13 or so pretty basic ingredients (tuna, sardine, egg, mayonnaise, cheese, onion, tomato, peanut butter, jam, marmalade, ham, mustard and cucumber)...  

It was the Americans who asked that peanut butter and jelly and peanut butter and banana became part of the mix: this struck some of the natives as rather an odd combination which simply shows how backward and conservative we were with our sandwich fillings in Gloucestershire in the late 1970s. 

I became rather fond of the peanut butter and marmalade combination.  I did not then realise that I was being educated in a culinary tradition that was capable of producing the deep fried peanut butter & banana sandwich.   But then again Scotland, it is alleged, is the inventor of the deep fried Mars bar... here or here

P.S. I spell-checked this post before publication and am delighted to tell you that the Google Blogger dictionary queried "Branston" and suggested "Brownstone" or "Brainstorm" as possible alternatives!

Jim Irvine writes: "And both of you have forgotten my particular favourite - seldom seen though it was.  And that was the cold, leftover from breakfast bacon or sausage sandwich. Yum Yum!"

How could I have forgotten the sausages - I was very adept at splitting a sausage in two lengthways to make a sandwich!  

I've also just remembered that there was a phase where a big jar of Branston pickle was kept up on site and it acted as a serious wasp attractor: they absolutely loved it and were hard to fend off.

1 comment:

Jim said...

And both of you have forgotten my particular favourite - seldom seen though it was. And that was the cold, leftover from breakfast, bacon or sausage sandwich.

Yum Yum!