The Lunch Box

Always butter your bread.

I just ate a sandwich made like my Mother would have made it. She always buttered her bread, actually in Chicago she probably used the ever popular vegetable grease called margarine. It was marvelous as were all of her simple sack lunches I carried though grade school. The biggest treat of all was a couple of cold chicken legs with a sandwich of simple buttered bread. My grand dad grew grapes so we had the finest jelly for our PB&J’s and he had his crock of simmering sweet wine in the basement. We’d lap that up like naughty cats. We got our bread from the Jewel Tea, they carried bread from a local Chicago baker, The Bernie Brother’s. They must have been German because they made the best strudel and coffee cakes. Good Jewish ryes and egg breads, we eat a lot of rye in Chicago. A great joy of downtown Chicago was having a standing lunch at the bar of Berghoff’s. Sausages, sliced meats, a variety of ryes, good sauerkraut and grainy mustards all served from a little cart from the kitchen and washed down with tankards of Dortmunder Actien bier.

The best sandwich ever is either the Cubano, eaten on Calle Ocho or a Bistro Steak sandwich eaten anywhere. Split a crusty baguette and slather it with butter then pile up thin strips of cold, thinly sliced steak. Wash it down with a rich red wine.

The best school lunch ever was perpetrated by Matt Geggenhuber. His grandma tied a nice sausage on a string then submerged it into a thermos of hot broth. A lunch time Matt retreived the prize like he was fishing in the thermos. Viola, he devoured the precious thing while nibbling his buttered rye bread and sipping his hot broth.

Butter your bread, wear clean underwear, say your prayers, do your homework and keep your hands off your sisters. Oh Mom, there’s so much to remember.

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