The Daddy Snack

 Paper towel sandwiches. There’s something I hadn’t thought about for a whole lot of years. The subject came up Thanksgiving evening as we all lolled after dinner, feeling the tired as the tryptophan kicked in. We were musing about past Thanksgivings and ways to use the leftover food when a memory of Daddy popped out of my mouth. “Paper Towel sandwiches,” I giggled, “That’s what Daddy used to do.” 

I felt five pairs of eyes swing in my direction, all staring with a single look of confusion; perhaps also thinking I might cut back on the wine.

“What are you talking about? That sounds just awful.” I suppose the image of paper towels as a filling for a sandwich or a substitute for bread was rolling in their heads; not the exact idea I had intended to convey. I’d regressed for a moment, forgetting where I was. My family would have known the minute I spoke that phrase, my post Daddy friends would need an explanation.

Daddy was as famous for his sandwiches as the way he chose to eat them and the way they were prepared. His process was distinctive, unwavering and, as I close my eyes to remember, sheer pleasure to recall.

Well after dinner was over, dishes cleared and counter wiped, Daddy would wander into the kitchen. If the lights were dimmed, he wouldn’t raise them. You’d hear the rip of one sheet of paper towel leave the roll. Then the distinctive sound of the refrigerator opening and closing. After that, nothing for several minutes as he worked his magic, he was a quiet man, My Daddy. But then you’d look up and there he’d be…..holding it…that concoction of leftovers stuffed between 2 slices of bread (or a roll if there were any).

The concoction he put together using his fingers (a utensil only if mayo or mustard were required) was easily 3 inches thick and always had one bite missing by the time he reappeared; the bite taken the minute his preparation was complete; a giant bite worthy of a large man who always dug heartily into his food. And wrapped around all of this sandwich magnificence was always a single square of paper towel with its ends and sides carefully cupped up ward: the better to catch any stray crumb or morsel of food that might have the temerity to dare to escape.  The Paper Towel sandwich was in the room and Daddy always finished it with a sigh.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Stuart Schwartz said,

    Grandpa was also a fan of candy orange slices. I always think of him whenever I buy some, of course using the change that’s constantly jingling in my pockets….


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