How Whip Up A True Duck Hunter's Lunch
After church recently, Linda and I wanted to stop by a local eatery for lunch.
Unfortunately, the new little restaurant had a waiting line backed out the door, so we decided to just go on home and make a sandwich. Linda suggested ham and cheese, but I declined.
I wanted something special but just couldn’t get a handle on what it would be. Then it dawned on me: sardines. I had several cans of sardines, viennas, and pork and beans in my duck hunting stash; and with those ingredients and a few condiments from the pantry, I could whip up a meal fit for a king.
Linda looked up from her lunch suspiciously as I came into the sunroom from my garage with an armload of cans. “What have you got there? What are you up to?” she asked.
“Don’t worry, Babe,” I said. “I’m gonna fix lunch like you’ve never seen before.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of. I’ve already got a sandwich, so don’t fix me anything.”
“When you see what I’m going to put together, you’ll wish you had thrown that sandwich away.”
“If it’s what you crazy guys eat in the woods, count me out. And don’t mess up the kitchen. The neighbors might drop by this afternoon.”
“Hey, great idea! Why don’t we call and invite them to lunch? I’ve got enough stuff here to feed a crowd.”
“No, it’s too late for that, plus I want to see what you’re doing before we ask anybody to come over.”
I went into the kitchen hoping Linda would continue to watch HGTV, her favorite channel, and leave me to put together my culinary masterpiece.
Let’s see, I thought, as I rummaged through the fridge. I need a large Vidalia onion. Hmm, this honey mustard looks good and maybe some horseradish and, hey, you can’t make anything without a little Texas Pete hot sauce.
Oh, yeah, some lettuce to make everything healthy. Too bad we don’t have any tomatoes. Bread? Rye would be good but we don’t have any, so how about this olive oil, sun-dried tomato stuff? That’ll work.
Now to assemble everything.
I piled all the things from the fridge along with my cans of sardines, viennas and pork and beans on the counter that was farthest from the sunroom, where Linda was still engrossed in her TV show. No sense in getting her involved yet, I thought.
I dumped a couple of cans of pork and beans into a fancy bowl, then I arranged the viennas in a circle on a platter with a great big dollop of horseradish in the center.
Now for the piece de resistance, I thought, a sardine sandwich to top all sardine sandwiches. I opened a can. Hmmm, smells a little high. Maybe I should turn on the stove vent fan? Well, better not. It might arouse Linda and I want to surprise her.
I dumped the sardines in a bowl and mashed them up with some Texas Pete, mustard and, for good measure, a little horseradish. Then I spread the concoction on a piece of olive oil bread and layered it with a big slice of onion and some lettuce. It looks great, I thought, as I arranged the plates and bowls in a festive pattern on the kitchen table. Now to get Linda.
“Good grief! What’s that smell?” she exclaimed as she came into the kitchen.
“Must be the sardines,” I replied. “They do have a not unpleasant pungent smell. Sort of reminds me of the woods.”
“Well, it reminds me of the time you tried to cook that sea duck. It took me two days to get the smell out of the house. Please take that stuff outside! It belongs in the woods. I told you we might have company.”
Later, while sitting on the swing in the arbor, I finished up the last of the pork and beans. Linda was right, I thought. This meal deserves to be eaten outside. Maybe I’ll just save her this half of my sardine sandwich.
Naw, I can always make her another one, I thought, munching away. You know, I bet the folks who are running the sardine festival in Aberdeen would love this recipe.
Contact Tom Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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