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January 14, 2011: Grilled Olive Sandwich

January 14, 2011

When I think back, I feel so sorry for my mom. Poor lady. Not only did she have to cook and try to please the individual tastes of a family of ten, but she had this brat of a son, who was to grow up to be an amateur  chef, who even in childhood had discriminating tastes. Not finicky, so much…I tried just about everything, including the horror of my dad’s favorite: pigs feet. Whoa! No wonder I’m a vegetarian today! Not to say mom couldn’t get some things spot on: I’ve only recently mastered her homemade pizza and vegetable soup, and her deviled eggs were quite good.

Her daily lunches needed work, ‘tho. I remember her foisting her “meatloaf sandwiches” on me. Yeah, a thick slab of cold, congealed, tasteless meat on white bread. Right. They got flung to the back of pantry…purposely…knowing full well that it was my sister Mary Lou’s job was to clean the pantry and that she absolutely hated mold (you’re beginning to see what a brat I really was!)

Two sandwiches  mom did right quite well were grilled cheese and…(bear with me, if you’ve never had one)…cream cheese and olive. These seems to be either regional (east coast) or from that period of time, because I never see them offered anywhere! I decided to blend both of mom’s best and make a grilled cream cheese and olive.

These sandwiches couldn’t be easier: take two slices of bread (I used a rye and pumpernickel blend) and put a layer of spreadable cream cheese on each. Next, on the cream cheese, put a few slices of stuffed manzanilla olives (really a common misspelling of “manzanillo” olives: the small, green spanish olives stuffed with pimento.) I added a sprinkling of white pepper and Herbs de Provence. Then, cook as a grilled cheese sandwich (on medium heat, melt a pat of butter, add sandwich, flip when cooked, serve hot.) Delicious, easy, and quick!

I’m sitting for the girls tomorrow and I am excited to see if they like this sandwich as well as I did when I was their age. It would be good to “pass the baton” with this unique American comfort food!

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