Summer Fun Sandwiches

Make familiar sandwiches festive and playful for backyard picnics, camp lunches, or trips to the park or beach.

By Barbara Albright


Summer time is sandwich time. Kids can make their own, particularly if the fixins' are in the refrigerator ready and waiting to be inserted between two slices of bread.

Sandwiches don't have to be ho-hum! Use soft bread for kids' sandwiches and cut them with cookie cutters to make fun shapes. The soft bread is easy to press and cut.

Sandwich Bread
There are breads beyond soft-sliced bread. Kids love sandwiches made with pita and soft tortillas, hard rolls, hamburger and hot dog rolls, French bread, and bagels. Just about anything that makes the meal portable works well.

Sandwich Fillings
Favorite fillings include egg, tuna, chicken, or shrimp salad. Choose cheeses such as cream cheese, Cheddar, jack, mozzarella, provolone, Muenster, Gouda, American, or Swiss. Lunch meats cover the gamut from thin-sliced turkey and chicken breast to bologna, salami, and ham.

Sandwiches can be made with peanut butter, fruit spreads, jellies, jams, and honey.

Kids love sandwiches made with peanut butter and bananas, bananas and cream cheese, peanut butter and apples, and cream cheese and jelly.

Torn, chopped, or sliced lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers add flavor, crunch, and interest to sandwiches.

For added moisture, don't forget butter, mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup.

If the kids will be making their own sandwiches, it's a good idea to leave the butter on the countertop for 30 minutes or so beforehand to soften it. Don't leave the mayonnaise or any salad made with it on the countertop!

Sandwich Fun
You and the kids can dress up sandwiches with pimento smiles, black olive eyes, and bean sprout hair. These are sure to be gobbled up faster than one-two-three!

Make peanut butter-and-jelly pinwheels with fresh soft bread. Trim the crusts, spread thin layers of peanut butter and jelly on a slice, and then roll up the bread, jelly-roll style. This really works if the bread is soft. Cut the rolls into disks with a serrated knife.

A Sandwich Story
Finally, kids love the story of how the sandwich was "invented." While farmers and laborers probably had been carrying meals of cheese or meat between layers of bread for generations, it was not until John Montague, England's fourth Earl of Sandwich, asked for a sandwich that the idea caught on.

This was in the 1700's when the earl was so occupied at the card table that he requested his meal be brought to him. How? he was asked. "Put the meat between two slices of bread," he might have said, "so that I don't have to use a knife and fork and relinquish my winning hand!"

And so the sandwich became fashionable. And got a name.

Make yours as fashionable, as delicious, and as creative as you can.