Saturday Night Lunch


From the book Heaven to Betsy written by Maude Hart Lovelace
illustration by Vera Neville

Sunday Night Lunch was an institution at the Ray house. They never called it supper; and they scorned folks who called it tea. The drink of the evening was coffee, which Mrs. Ray loved, and although Betsy and Margaret still took cocoa, their loyalty was to coffee for her sake.

The meal was prepared by Mr Ray. This was a custom of many years standing. No one else was allowed in the kitchen except in the role of admiring audience. He didn't object when Anna (the hired girl) or Mrs. Ray made a cake earlier in the day; he didn't mind the girls putting cloth on the dining room table. But in the kitchen on Sunday evenings he was supreme.

First he put the coffee on..... He got a wooden bread board, and a sharp knife which he always proceeded to sharpen further. He sliced the bread in sensibly thick slices and he never cut off the crusts. Mr. Ray's opinion of sandwiches without crusts matched Mrs. Ray's opinion of tea on Sunday nights. The butter had been put to soften, and now around the breadboard he ranged everything he could find in the ice box. Sometimes there was a cold roast beef, sometimes chicken, sometimes cheese. If nothing else was available he made his sandwiches of onions. He used slices of mild Bermuda onions, sprinkled with vinegar and dusted with pepper and salt. About the use of peeper and salt Mr Ray had very positive ideas. He used his condiments with the care and precision of a gourmet. Not too much! Not too little! And spread so evenly that each bite had the heavenly seasoning of the one before.

"I'm not," he used to say with sedate pride, "the sort of sandwich maker who puts salt and pepper all in one place with a shovel. No, siree!" And then he would add, for emphasis, "No siree, BOB!"

The onion sandwiches were most popular of all with the boys who flocked to the Ray house.

Mr. Ray didn't mind company for Sunday Night Lunch; in fact, he liked it. The larger the audience, the more skill and ingenuity he displayed in his sandwich combinations. Tall, black haired, big-nosed, benevolent, an apron tied around his widening middle, he perched on a stool in the pantry with assorted guests all around the house.

The guests were of all ages...... Old and young gathered in the dining room around the table beneath the hanging lamp. The big platter of sandwiches was placed in the center. A cake sat on one side, a dish of pickles on the other. There was a simmering pot of steaming coffee, of course; but the sandwiches were king of the meal.

I shared that part of the book with you to make an announcement-
LoW and family have officially instituted Sunday Night Lunch.
Except it will be on Saturday. (so it shall be called Saturday Night Lunch)
There will be no coffee.
My husband won't be the one in the kitchen, it will be me. My hired girl is allowed to come help. (oh yeah, I don't have one of those)
And I don't anticipate a crowd.
This past Saturday was our first Saturday Night Lunch. We started the first night with Elvis Presley Sandwiches. I wonder what Mr. Ray would think of that? Rae has already requested that we have PW's Veggie and Cheese Bagel Sandwich next week. Then I might have to try PW's Favorite Sandwich. But I am hoping to try a few other new recipes to make this Saturday Night Lunch more exciting.
So, I need you and your sandwich recipes.
Do you have any? Please share!


aniC said...
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aniC said...

So you are going to see how long you can stick with that, huh?

My favorite sandwich these days is a tuna melt. My husband makes a mean tuna melt!!
I also love a really good chicken salad sandwich!

Oh, and egg and cheese and bacon on a toasted bagel. Yummmy. I'm getting hungry just thinking about all of these!

dar said...

I would also suggest the chicken salad. I do enjoy a turkey with avacado too

Sister Black said...

just give me a pb&j and i'm good. i LIKE sandwiches...a lot.

I am Lorinda W- you can call me LoW said...

Ani- I think because it's instituted, I am going to do it. Calling it an institution just sounds more serious and I have no clue why. Thanks for the idears.

Dar- I do love avacado. Yum-o.

Ma- Me too. I don't know how pb&j's would go. We love them, but I am thinking if it's not hot, they won't realize that that's the last meal of the day.

Sandi said...

what a great idea. i think you should invite all of us!

All8 said...

My favorite hot sandwich is a Panini. Sliced olives, diced tomatoes (can be canned), pepperoni-diced, marinated artichoke hearts-cut smaller, and Parmesan cheese (not the powdered kind). Mix everything together. Spoon onto sliced crusty bread. Top with another slice and "grill" it on the George Foreman or on a waffle maker with the flat side of the cooking plates. Serve them hot, melty, and spicy. If I hadn't just eaten, I'd so go and make one right now. Of course, you could change the ingredients to whatever you like. I'm sure a bit of onion wouldn't be remiss.

All8 said...

Oh, I like the Cara Mia artichokes from Sam's Club. I've tried others that weren't as tasty.