Todays word that came to mind on wakening was ‘salami’.
With my conversion back to white bread from whole-meal, it brought back memories from way back. My mother making sandwiches for my three brothers and one sister going to school in Australia. It was part of the ‘New Country’ that schoolkids did not come home for lunch as schoolkids did and still do back in Holland. Instead they would stay at school and have a lunch made by mothers. Sometimes, but rarely by fathers. My dad never made a single sandwich but did excel in pancakes with golden syrup.
Of course in the heat of summers and in mid flight, the opening of hundreds of lunch boxes simultaneously, created a stench that over the years impregnated the class rooms, the walls and indeed, the whole building. I can walk-by any school today and get an instant re-call of banana sandwiches, spaghetti sandwiches and the essence of any lunch box; Devon with tomato sauce. It is now thought that the Devon sandwich with tomato sauce started school bullying. In England the Devon was called luncheon meat or Spam.
My mother was at her wit’s end trying to find interesting filling for my brothers’ and sister’s sandwiches. Australia was very sunny and very spacious but as far as sandwich fillings, back in the fifties and sixties, it was a dark unforgiving place. I mean, I can still taste the tinned spaghetti with Tom. sauce sandwich. Is it of any wonder that failure followed so many that went to school?
Till the late eighties and at social adult gatherings, it was the pickled gherkin surrounded by Devon or in some rare cases ham, pierced by a toothpick’ that would brake the ice and get things rocketing and moving. Men with beer around the barbeque and the girls in the kitchen. If a man dared to move to the kitchen he was suspected of being a bit of a poofter.
It was left to the genius of Barry Humphries of the Edna Average fame to make this famous quote of someone quietly farting on entering the lift on the ground floor filling up with lawyers of Madigan and Madigan Ltd (solicitors and family lawyers) suffering all the way up to the 26th floor;… “Who opened their lunch box?”
It was some years after that Italian salami, prosciutto and non plastic cheese came to the shelves at David Jones delicatessen, soon followed by olives, real coffee and anchovies. I remember the advertisements on TV ’43 beans of coffee in every Nescafe instant coffee. In the late seventies coffee lounges opened up in Kings Cross and garlic made its entrance. It was a true revolution.
Look at me now.