by Paula Deen
I blinked and summer is nearly over. Suddenly the stores are filled with kids back-to-school shopping. Seeing them always takes me back to when my boys were little. I remember trying to get them out the door on their first day of school. It was like pullin’ teeth. They’d drag their feet until I just about had to grab them by the scruff of their necks and throw ‘em out the door. I know it’s hard leavin’ summer behind. I’d enjoy sleeping in year-round myself, but duty calls.
And when school started, I took pride in makin’ my boys the best sack lunches known to man. They’d skip recess for a week before they’d ever trade their lunches away. Bobby’s favorite was my Pimento Cheese Sandwich. Imagine that—a little boy in a lunchroom surrounded by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, savoring every bite of his Momma’s pimento cheese. I’d try and keep things interesting for them by “thinking outside the lunchbox.” They must’ve loved it because they’d forget their coats and backpacks, but pigs would fly before they’d forget their lunch.
As you may know, I got my start with those sack lunches. Word would get back to me that the other kids (and even the teachers!) were eyeing my boys’ sandwiches. Many years later when the boys were out of high school, I got to thinking that I could make a business out of selling those sack lunches to folks in need of a little midday home cookin’. And the rest as they say, is Bag Lady history.
So in the spirit of the back-to-school season, I’m happy to share with y’all a few sandwich recipes that’ll knock your socks off. A sandwich doesn’t need to be the thing you eat ‘cause you’re too busy to make something good, y’all. With a few creative twists, your lunch can steal the show, turning heads in the school cafeteria or home lunch table like a Thanksgiving turkey.
I miss those sack-lunch days. I still make them for my grandbaby, Jack, when I can. He’s more like me when it comes to school. Even though he’s only in preschool, he can’t wait to get back to his little friends. To him, school means making crafts, taking fieldtrips and playing with the friends he missed over the summer. I was never much of a student, but boy was I a social butterfly! I practically ran to school every morning, in a hurry to gossip about who was dating, who had broken up, and which outfit us cheerleaders would be wearing to Friday night’s game. If it weren’t for all the clubs and dances, there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that I would’ve ever made it through!
And sometimes I have to wonder if it weren’t those tasty sack lunches that helped my boys get through their reluctant school days.