His favorite things.
Most of the things in his book, I already knew and could easily interpret from his highly detailed drawings.
What food item is rectangular, red all over and lined with green ruffles?
Big Red gum on a bed of lettuce?
Moldy strawberry jello?
I was completely stumped.
“It’s a reuben sandwich, Momma,” he explained.
“A reuben sandwich?” I replied, still not sure I had heard him right. I can’t even remember the last time I made a reuben sandwich. 2009 maybe? Or was it 1999? Was he even born yet? And what about fried fish? Ribeye steak? Bobcat spaghetti?
“Yeah,” he replied giving me the look I know to be truly, genuinely honest… and pitiful.
Poor kid. All his life I have been feeding him every sandwich under the sun and yet I had only served him his favorite sandwich – favorite food – maybe once in his life.
What kind of mother am I?
So for his birthday…and the second time in his 8 years of life…. I made him a reuben sandwich.
Then I flipped them over.
And layered on the toppings.
Shaved corned beef that I had purchased at the deli counter.
Sauerkraut which I rinsed and drained per my grandmother’s instructions… so it wouldn’t be too salty. I can’t even tell you whether or not this is a fact because I didn’t want to chance ruining a single sandwich.
A dollop of bottled Thousand Island Dressing, spread evenly over the sauerkraut. Not too much now!
Topped with another slice of swiss cheese and your other slice of bread, which is already buttered on the outside.
Transfer your sandwich to the griddle.
And grill until the cheeses are melted and the rye bread is golden brown.
Then serve it to your 8-year-old for his birthday.
Here’s the short version:
Thousand Island Dressing
1. Take a slice of rye bread and butter one side, then turn it over, butter side down.
2. On the non-buttered side, layer swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut, dressing and swiss cheese. Top with another slice of rye bread, buttered on the outside.
3. Grill both sides of the sandwich until golden brown.