Whether it is packing lunches for your school-age
children or planning a tailgate party for fall football games, September
often means preparing foods that can travel in a paper bag, lunch box,
cooler or picnic hamper.
A big flap several years ago saw schools eliminating
peanut butter from school menus as parents of children with allergies
insisted on banning the all-time children’s favorite. U.S. Director of
Public Health Robert Earl said at the height of the debate that, “Banning
food eliminates numerous food choices and can limit balanced nutrition for
He added, “It also goes against the central message
in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans — eat a wide variety of foods in
It took me a while, as the nest emptied, to stop buying
peanut butter by the vat! That was THE favorite in our lunch boxes for
years. We’d have been in a bind if peanut butter had been banned.
Sandwiches, of course, are the mainstay of most lunch
boxes. Likewise, a gussied-up sandwich can be the star of your next tailgate
party. And some of those parties are often a greater attraction than the
We suggest some sandwiches that are perfect for
tailgaiting. A Garden Muffalatta with
Swiss Cheese is based on the famous New Orleans specialty, “Muffuletta,”
created in 1906 by the Central Grocery in the French Quarter. The
“muffalatta” that we made is good for tailgating because you can wrap
the entire round in plastic wrap and then slice it in pie-shaped wedges just
Of course, you can design your own “muffalatta”
using whatever cheeses and sandwich meats you choose. We used a sourdough
bread round. Likewise, with the Hero
Sandwich featured here, use meats and cheeses of your choice, but those
suggested are very good. Both of these sandwiches can be heated or served
For your tailgate, take sliced cheese squares, apple
and pear slices (sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent darkening) and
crackers. Assemble snacks, as pictured, at the tailgate party.
Muffalatta with Swiss Cheese
Directions: For slaw, combine all ingredients. For sandwich,
slice French bread loaf lengthwise. Sprinkle bread with Italian dressing.
Spread slaw over bottom bread half. Top in layers with salami, Provolone
cheese, tomato slices, Cheddar cheese, pepper rings, Swiss cheese and
pepperoni. Wrap in foil, if heating, and bake in preheated 350 degree oven
for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese begins to melt. Or, if serving cold,
slice into 4 sandwiches. Serves 4.