The first time I tried it was at Apple’s Way, a cute little tea room in Lake Jackson locally famous for serving plates of assorted triangle-cut triple layer sandwiches full of salad mixes — chicken, tuna, ham, pimento-cheese and egg — mostly to women.
Being unsuitably impressed, I avoided egg salad with something akin to religious fervor for fifteen years. My mantra, when ordering my favorite assorted plate of sandwiches during frequent stops at the tearoom became — “Anything but egg salad, please.”
But somehow, in the twenty years of residing near Apple’s Way, I grew a change of heart. Perhaps it was living amongst friends who had roots in the deep South which caused me to give egg salad another taste — or maybe it was a certain Methodist preacher who shamelessly hinted for egg salad sandwiches to be brought to every church function that made me wonder if there was a certain charm about egg salad I had previously missed.
Whatever it was, and whenever and however it happened, I now confess to loving this simple stuffing. My redemption was so absolute that when my good friend Ann and this certain preacher-friend and I would gather for our weekly book study on Wednesdays at Noon, it was me bringing in the sheaves — carrying individually wrapped egg salad spread on fresh-baked white bread as repentance.
Five hundred miles away and who knows how many years, egg salad has found a permanent spot on my rotating lunch menu — though no longer limited to Wednesdays. And while there are many recipes for egg salad — I believe my father favored one including chopped olives — I like this one the best. Appropriately, it hails from a recipe I found in the pages of Southern Living, which I’ve adapted to my own taste.
Thank goodness our hearts do soften toward new ideas and tastes when we keep minds and mouths open. Care to confess your own food conversion story?
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Makes 4 sandwiches5 large hard-boiled eggs, grated 2 Tbsp. finely chopped celery 1 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish 1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise 1 Tbsp. sour cream 1 tsp. dried salad seasoning 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. sugar 1/4 tsp. pepper
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill for an hour or two to allow flavors to mix and mingle.
To serve, spread evenly on a slice of white sandwich bread — fold it like my father would — or make it a holy trinity sandwich, by topping it with another slice of bread and another layer of spread and another slice of bread, slicing that triple-decker sandwich into tea-room triangles.