Today, following doctors orders, I ate an egg salad sandwich for lunch. Just eggs, onion, mayonnaise and white bread. It was utterly delicious and I recommend you have one yourself tomorrow, no matter what your doctor dictates.
Egg and onion sandwiches were a highlight of my childhood and are forever associated with Sunday school picnics and all other church events. Sunday school catering in our Presbyterian enclave of South Belfast was distinguished by its stinginess. Ladies who all seemed to be called Mrs. Hamilton set up a production line in the church hall. Sliced pan would be laid out in long lines and the first Mrs. Hamilton would crack open a vat of Blueband marg and start buttering. This was a very particular process. Mrs Hamilton (1) would slap the marg on the first slice and then scrape it off again, applying the residue to the second slice and then repeating the process. One knifeful of marg could thus be stretched over at least six slices. A second Mrs Hamilton would then follow behind, spooning the egg mixture (hard boiled eggs, finely chopped onions, Heinz salad cream, and some salt, maybe a little white pepper) on to the bread. Mrs Hamilton the third would then assemble the sandwiches, cutting them into triangles or squares, ready to serve to the men of the congregation. The sandwiches would be washed down with the weakest Orange squash you could ever imagine. The cordial was the least orange thing ever to be paraded up and down in our church hall.
Church egg and onion sandwiches were served with the crusts on–anything else would have been wasteful–but the ones made at home had the crusts cut off before they were wrapped in tinfoil or packed in a tupperware to be taken to school or on an outing. Eating the crusts with their smattering of egg and onion was better than the sandwich itself. Yum.