I Freaked Out the Lunch Lady?!?

All foodies have one: A Secret Shame.

Your deepest darkest secret.

The one item you crave despite yourself.

You know you do. Just admit it.


To my mind, fried liver belongs on the buffet table in hell. Same for lima beans and that jellied cranberry crap you get on Thanksgiving.

But I have friends who love them.

I love caviar but I spent an hour today talking with someone for whom the very idea of eating fish eggs was the equivalent of eating cat poop. Litterbox-crunchy cat poop at that.

Sushi is one of my favorites but I have friends who think the only good use for raw fish is as bait.

BUT the real truthtellers in the culinary world are sandwich fixings. We all have our inner Dagwoods just waiting to burst out.

Just like most of you, I grew up with old Dagwood and Blondie cartoons where Dagwood would throw in everything but the kitchen sink to make a sandwich two feet tall and practically ready to walk on its own.

Exotic sandwiches are still called “Dagwoods” in many corner to this day.

And I have seen my friends eat it all.

Roast beef and raspberry jelly? I could almost see this.

Salsa, corn chips, sausage patty and French onion dip on wheat? Hmmmm.

Capers and pickled herring on French toast with maple syrup? Yup.

Sliced kidney sausage and peanut butter on rye? There is something beyond wrong with this but I actually do have a friend who loves it.

Gorgonzola cheese, Nutella, Turkey breast and grape jelly on ciabatta bread? I seriously had trouble keeping down my lunch watching my friend, Bill, munching away on this gag-inducing dilemma. AND, he even made a second one!

Then, there is my own secret delicacy.

At my office, they have a lunch room with a sandwich bar for made to order sandwiches. There is the standard list of sandwiches and combos with chips for the faint of heart.

The lunch lady turns pale when I walk up.

“What are you having today, Honey? Turkey is the special.”, she asks hopefully as though I would order anything that conventional.

There is just something about yellow mustard that I love.  I don’t know why. I just do. It sparks my mouth to watering and my stomach to growling. That is why I combine it with less conventional items.

Tuna salad? Sure why not. It is supposed to be healthy for you at the same time that it makes a great base for a huge slathering of yellow mustard.

A thin slice of red onion is always required on any sandwich. Just ask Emeril.

“Turkey, eh? Sure. Pop some on, too” I say. We are trying to be health, after all.

Dill pickles? You betcha!

Black olives? Yeah, Baby, Yeah!

And supported on butter-grilled, Texas toast? Heavenly!

“Are you really going to eat that?” asks the ever helpful lunch lady.

“Of course. It is one of my favorites. You should try it.” I answered.

“You know, I think I will just to see.” she said. “It can’t be that bad.”

With trepidation, the sandwich bar denizen constructed a miniature version of my masterpiece.

Then, she took a bite. The expression on her face went from good to odd to bad to “Oh, my god!” and she took off running. The sounds of her coughing and puking followed me out.

It was delicious!



Mike’s “Dagwood” Sandwich


Red Onion

Black Olives

Dill pickles, thin sliced

Texas Toast, 2 slices from the center of the loaf

Butter, 2 Tbsp.

Sliced Turkey breast, 4 oz.

Yellow mustard (yeah, I know some of you may wimp and use Dijon)

Tuna, 7 oz. can, drained

Mayonnaise, 1/2 cup

Sweet pickle relish, 2 tsps.

Parmesan cheese, 2 tsps.

Garlic, to taste

Start by slicing the onion in two and putting one half aside. Chop the remaining 1/2 and place it in a mixing bowl.

To the bowl, add the tuna, mayonnaise, relish, garlic and Parmesan cheese and mix together. Set aside.

Next, liberally coat the Texas toast with butter and place in a hot pan to brown. Be careful not to burn as it will affect the taste and remove from heat.

Place one piece of Texas toast on a place and arrange the turkey on the bread.

Thinly slice the remaining onion and place a layer over the turkey.

Slice the black olives and place them over the onion.

Next, slather a thick layer of tuna over the olives. Make sure to use a good heavy helping.

And the crowning touch. Place a thick layer of yellow mustard over the tuna but not so much to obliterate the taste of the tuna salad.

Top with the last piece of Texas toast. Add the pickles if you want, slice and serve!


COPYRIGHT 2016 Micheal J. Hobbs



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