A good sandwich starts with a good cut of meat. Dana is the deli lady at my local grocery store who cuts all my meat. Until Dana, I had people who didn’t understand the word ‘thin.’ I’d order ham sliced thin and they’d slice it thick, giving me a ham steak. Since I order all my deli meats the same way you could say, “Sliced thin,” is my deli mantra. I don’t like when you order a pound of cheese and it’s cut so thick that one slice equals one pound. Dana understands this and slices all my meat thin, the way she would for her mother, she tells me. I’m grateful to her mom.

Once you get the meat for the sandwich you then get the bread. Will it be white, wheat, rye or a roll? If it’s a roll, will it be round, knotted, Kaiser, sub or sesame? Growing up it was always bologna and cheese on Wonder bread. It was understood bologna went on Wonder bread and only Wonder bread.

Once the bread is selected you must pick the toppings. Will it be lettuce, tomatoes or onion? If you choose onion then you must decide if it’ll be white onion, Vidalia onion or caramelized onion. If it’s caramelized onion allow yourself more sandwich prep time.

Next, you must choose a condiment – will the winner be ketchup, mayo (which can’t go on meat as it’s not kosher) or mustard? There are about 100 different kinds of mustard. There’s regular, spicy brown,Dijon, honey mustard (good for pretzel dipping) or grainy mustard. I love any and all mustards. I love the grainy, but don’t eat it in public as the seeds get caught between my teeth. I’d rather people ask what I ate for lunch rather than seeing what I ate.

This weekend I sank my teeth into a delicious thinly sliced ham sandwich thanks to Dana, my deli lady, who made it all possible.

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