Soul Food for The Family

The Family visited the part of town where she grew up and was immediately full of memories. The old bakery was not baking any longer, it just sold biscuits and bread delivered to them. The corner laundry had shut down long ago. But there was the old sandwich man. His sandwiches are still the best in town. I found them good: a spicy chutney, and fully loaded with slices of onion, beet, potato, and cucumber, all wrapped up in newspaper over a clean white sheet of paper. Wonderful indeed. “Papa used to give me money to buy these,” she remembered. I said later that the old man now making the sandwiches may have been just a little older than her then. “The sandwiches are good anyway,” she said. I agreed.

Scraping the fridge for Saturday’s lunch

Saturday’s dinner was elaborate and there was not enough bandwidth in the kitchen to push through our usual lunch. Our lunch always includes a salad. For the rest we had to scrape the fridge for leftovers or semi-ready ingredients. The Family had the remains of a couple of leftover veggies, a bangra (mackerel) that she’d stashed in anticipation of the Saturday rush, millet rotis and dal. I had sandwiches on my mind. Old white bread and the last slices of a smoked ham were the base. Some scrounging gave me wasabi and mustard. Each of them would flavour one of the sandwiches. Over the layer of flavouring I crumbled the last of a goat cheese which was fresh when I bought it. The only edible leaves in the fridge were kale (I always forget the delicious ajwain leaves growing on our balcony at times like this). We’d picked up some wonderful pickled vegetables on our trip to Amritsar. Carrots and cauliflowers, winter veggies, sweet and spicy, pickled for just such a summer day. Some of it went over the kale. Then the slices of ham. My lunch was ready. The Family looked it over. “You’ve been very adventurous ever since you passed your cardiac check up,” she remarked acidly.