I grew up in a middle-class Bengali family, in Pune. We were a family of 5. My parents, grandparents and of course me. Both my parents were working and I remember my grand mom or mummum as I called her, escorted me to the school bus and back, since I can remember. Obviously, I don’t remember much before that, but I’m known to have selective memory storage, so well!
I was a very picky eater and would drive people up the wall during each meal time. But the one thing I really loved was a white butter and sugar sandwich. Now, this white butter was fresh cream made from full fat buffalo milk (or shaur as we call it in Bengali), that was generously slathered on a slice of bread, sprinkled with sugar and topped with another slice of bread.
This was indeed my first memory of a sandwich. It was sweet, divine and filling. My grand mom would keep it ready for me almost every other day after I returned from school. It was the one thing I looked forward to when I got home (considering I was an irritatingly fussy eater). Soft slices of bread, with a sweet, creamy filling always brought a smile to my face.
Back then we didn’t know what chocolate sauce or Nutella or cream cheese or any of the new age sandwich fillings were. We made most of what was accessible. But now, we have various options, kids have been exposed to many more food items than we were as kids. So, adding a twist to the classics we grew up with is only moving ahead with times.
Here are a few versions of the stuffing that you and your kids could explore. Regardless of their age, the more you engage them with the process of making the food they eat, the more interested they would be in food, in general, today and forever!
- Take two slices of bread, toast them and add a generous layer of cream cheese to one side, sprinkle some castor sugar over the cream cheese. Add a layer of butter and cream cheese to the other slice and place it over the first. And we’re done.
- For another version, slather on some Nutella or homemade chocolate sauce to one slice of bread, slice a banana up, and place it on the slathered slice, sprinkle some cinnamon. Then slather the other slice with a layer of butter and again Nutella or chocolate sauce place it over the decorated side, and grill in an oven or a sandwich maker or simply on a buttered pan. If using a buttered pan press it down (make them use silicon or wooden spatulas), if using an oven remember to ask your young ones to put on oven mitts, and, if using a sandwich maker, keep a pair of tongs handy for your kids. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and dive in!
- I didn’t know what a PBJ was until I was 15, but then again that was back then. Today, kids know PBJ as well as they know an OMG (I still can’t fathom that). Anyway, a classic PBJ, 3 slices of bread, to one slice add peanut butter, to another add slice, add a layer of any jam of your choice. To the same slice, add another layer of peanut butter to the other side. Coat one side of the lonely remaining slice of bread with a layer of jam. Now press them together, with the double goodnessy slice in between, and butter up the top and bottom of the sandwich slices (that look like they have been left out). Grill them, toast them or pan toast them. And enjoy. You could also add a layer of cheese to either layer for an extra surprise.
The recipes given are easily achievable for kids above 5 years of age. You could totally supervise, but I would suggest, let your kids make these delectable sandwiches themselves. You could sure instruct them beforehand, or get them to read this post. For all you know they might just add to the suggestions and come up with their own versions. Be ready for your breakfast in bed served by the small wonders!