The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 26, 2012

Mike Pound: ’Tis the season for turkey sandwiches — without cranberries

It’s funny the things you remember.

Not “ha-ha” funny, but funny in an “I wonder why that is” sort of way.

Whenever I think about turkey sandwiches, I am taken back to a time when I was probably about 4 years old. We were living in Germany and had taken a trip to Austria. I don’t remember much about the trip to Austria because, as I mentioned, I was only about 4 years old. But I do remember a meal I had at the inn where we were staying. The meal I had was a hot turkey sandwich.

I had never heard of such a thing.

The sandwich consisted of a slice of roasted turkey sitting on top of a thick piece of bread and covered with a light brown turkey gravy. Next to the sandwich was a pile of mashed potatoes.

Granted, I was only 4 years old, but that hot turkey sandwich was the most amazing thing I had ever eaten.

I didn’t start off thinking about hot turkey sandwiches on Wednesday. I started off thinking about cheeseburgers. I was sitting in the small lobby of the service center where I had taken my car to get the oil changed.

By the way, I’m sort of obsessive about getting the oil changed in my car. I didn’t used to be that way. Many, many years ago, I purchased my first new car. This new car was probably the least expensive new car a person could buy. Because I didn’t have much money, I skipped a lot of extras. You know, like air conditioning, a radio, tires — that sort of thing.

I was sort of a preoccupied young man, which is a nice way of saying that I was a moron back then, and I sort of forgot to have the oil changed in my car for like forever. The new car was fine for a couple of years, and then one day — to use a technical automotive expression — it stopped running.

It cost me a lot of money to get that car fixed and to keep it working. After that, I had to have the oil changed every other day. Even so, the car was never the same.

Anyway, on Wednesday, while I was waiting for the guys to finish changing the oil in my car, I started thinking about cheeseburgers and the fact that it had been a while since I had written a cheeseburger column.

“I should write one today,” I said, causing the woman sitting next to me to move to another seat farther away from me.

But then, I remembered that Wednesday was the day after Christmas and that there was leftover turkey sitting in my refrigerator. Clearly, the cheeseburger column was going to have to wait.

On the way home from the oil change place, I starting thinking about the leftover turkey in the refrigerator, which led me to thinking about that hot turkey sandwich I had in Austria all those years ago.

I love hot turkey sandwiches, but I don’t always have them when I’m eating leftover turkey. To me, a hot turkey sandwich is a formal leftover turkey dinner. Oh sure, sometimes I will reheat some gravy, mashed potatoes and dressing, and fix myself a formal leftover turkey dinner.

But, sometimes I’ll take some rye bread, some stone-ground mustard, some Swiss cheese and some leftover turkey and make myself a quick, yet delicious, sandwich, which is exactly what I did when I got home Wednesday afternoon.

While I made my sandwich, our German shepherd, Shilo, watched me intently. I don’t think Shilo thinks about not having thumbs very often, but if she does, I’m pretty sure it’s when she watches me make a sandwich.

My wife also likes leftover turkey sandwiches, but she insists on putting cranberries on her turkey sandwich.

The very thought makes my skin crawl.

Of course, this likely will be the last time we have turkey for a while — at least the last time we will have roasted turkey. Sure, we’ll buy deli-style sliced turkey, but that’s not quite the same.

I’ve never understood why most of us have turkey only two times a year. I mean, we all agree that we love roasted turkey. It’s really not that hard to make, and after we roast a turkey we always have great leftovers, but most of us have roasted turkey only twice a year.

Oh well, as the nuns used to say when I was in school: “It’s a mystery.”

So, I made sure to savor the leftover turkey sandwich that I had Wednesday afternoon.

And I also wondered what kind of moron remembers a hot turkey sandwich but can’t remember a thing about Austria.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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