The Q&A Hole: What's Your Favorite Sandwich to Make For Yourself?
With Hank Cathey, Amanda Cohen, Grady Hendrix, David Lasky, and more
By Wayne Alan Brenner, 11:55AM, Mon. Jan. 28
Mmmm … sandwiches.
Below: The latest of our weekly Q&A Hole series, in the eight responses of which the prevalence of 1) peanut butter and 2) mayonnaise – not to mention 3) both of them together – already begins to assert itself …
Shannon McCormick of Gnap! Theater Projects: Peanut butter with Sriracha, candied ginger, and bean sprouts. I like the vaguely Southeast Asian feel, which you don't normally get in a sandwich aside from bahn mi. The spicy and sweet together is really good. Plus, easy!
Hank Cathey of Fusebox Festival: Fried egg sandwich with Neese's hot sausage and chow-chow. Two things make this sandwich special. The first is the Neese's sausage, which I can only get in my home state of North Carolina. It's a whole-pig breakfast sausage, so it's not just snouts and tails, and it's very finely ground. The second thing is my grandfather's chow-chow, which is a spicy relish made from green tomatoes, peppers, onions, and other stuff from his garden. He died a couple of years ago, so the supply is dwindling. As the jar empties, I make these sandwiches less and less often.
Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy: if I come home late and drunk there’s only one solution to eating something before I go to bed: peanut butter on toasted bread with sharp cheddar cheese melted on top. It’s the only time I eat peanut butter, but I keep a jar of it in the cabinet as a “break glass in case of drinking” emergency supply for this necessary sandwich.
David Lasky, graphic novelist: Vegetarian sliced "turkey" and provolone, with sliced tomatoes and Miracle Whip on organic bread from the Tall Grass Bakery in Seattle. (I mention the bakery because the bread makes such a difference! I also love Dave's Killer Bread from Oregon.) Turkey (even fake turkey) and cheese is a classic sandwich. Miracle Whip keeps things sweet and gives your mouth some lubricant. The tomato is indispensable for creating tangy flavor and simply making the whole thing mouth-watering. Optional: Grey Poupon (depending on the flavor of bread) for zing, lettuce for crunch and roughage quotient.
Karen Jane DeWitt of Scissortail Savories & Sweets: The KJD: The wholesomeness of two whole-wheat bread slices, the familiarity of creamy peanut butter, the salty sass of dill pickle chips and American cheese, the spicy Southern drawl of Louisiana hot sauce, and the satisfying sweetness of peach preserves. It's a metaphor!!
Grady Hendrix, writer: For me, there’s one sandwich to rule them all and I haven’t made it in more than 20 years. Between the ages of 11 and 17, a day did not go by when I didn’t eat a peanut-butter-mayo-Cheese-Whiz sandwich. Sometimes with baloney, sometimes with fried Spam, sometimes with mustard, but always a slice of bread spread with peanut butter, the other slice covered in Cheese Whiz, and then mayonnaise slathered over both.
Laurel Barickman of RecSpec: I would say that my favorite sandwich I make for myself is pretty boring, but delicious: Tomato, avocado, sprouts, turkey (sometimes ham, too). Some mayo, a tiny bit of mustard. Cracked pepper. On whole-wheat bread. It's about the perfect sandwich, I think. It's the perfect blend of the creamy-ness of the avocado with the freshness of the sprouts and tomato, and the pepper is an absolute necessity – I always put it on the side with the mayo so it makes the mayo all peppery and awesome. Oh, and the bread must be toasted. Always.
Jennifer Blair, actress: Well, my very favorite sandwich has to be me, myself, and a gentleman of my choosing nestled between several layers of Egyptian cotton. That said, if I am not so lucky (or simply feeling less adventurous) I will go with a classic Croque Madame, or maybe a toasted BLT modified with a fried egg (always an egg; egg, like love, is the timeless tie that binds). When left to my own devices, I often go that bacon-egg sandwich route simply because it is delicious and doesn't require a lot of dishes, but let's be frank: In the absence of sex, bacon isn't a bad Option B.