3 November is always a memorable day for me. My Mom was born 3 Nov 1908 in Salt Lake City Utah of goodly parents whose entire ancestry came from the British Isles–England, (hopefully Ireland), Scotland, and Wales. She married my Dad, whose entire ancestry was also from the British Isles, mostly from Wales, (hopefully from Ireland too). So all of my background is from the British Isles.
And my Mom’s favorite lunch was a sandwich with appropriate condiments and sides. You see, she shared birthdays with Lord John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), who according to folklore, could not leave his various pursuits to attend a sit-down-lunch. He asked his cook to put some meat between bread slices so he could eat-on-the-run. How often do you take your lunch with you on-the-run?
Let me share a cooked version of mother’s best-loved sandwich—
1 loaf French bread, sliced lengthwise
1 pound sliced and cooked or 1 can sliced mushrooms
4 oz grated cheese (she preferred cheddar and mozzarella mixed), reserve 1/2 cup
1 large tomato sliced in thin slices
1 large sweet white onion, finely chopped
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
Sliced meat of your choice (my Mom preferred corned beef.)
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup, mixed with 1 cup milk or chicken stock
Mix 1 tablespoon cracked pepper with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
Slice the French bread in half, spread lightly with unsalted butter, and place the bread, open-face, in a large baking pan. Layer the other ingredients evenly over the bread alternately with the pepper-salt mixture. Pour the soup mixture evenly over the sandwich and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. (If you want a soft sandwich, cover with tinfoil during the baking time. For a crispy sandwich, bake uncovered. Accompany with a vegetable tray and dip or a side salad.
This version of a traditional sandwich was easier for my mother to chew and I came to prefer it too. Try it. Celebrate November 3rd with us. Make this delicious cooked sandwich–a family tradition in my family. Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle
PS But…what does this have to do with your ancestry and background? Find a recipe used by your own family, celebrate with that food, and then share it with those you love during his holiday season.