Mama Hossa Polish Sandwich
My inspiration, hands-down-no-questions-asked, is my mom. Not only in cooking, but in life. She is the greatest example of a parent who gives up so much about themselves, in order to give their children a better life.
She and my dad moved to America from Poland in the late 70's. It wasn't easy; my father's visa application was denied 4 times prior; finally he got it, quickly married my mom and they moved here as soon as they could.
Poland was reeling from effects of the war; especially my mom and dad's little southern farm town, which was poor to begin with, and then was constantly attacked by either Germans or Russians (depending on who advanced in the war).
They went hungry at times, as they had to hand over chickens, pigs, flour, bread, to whichever invading army was at their doorstep. My dad still has scars on the inside of his mouth from chewing his cheeks because he was hungry. The Russian army even held my dad's family ransom once and sent my grandfather out to steal potatoes; they said if he didn't come back with any, they would kill my grandma, my dad and his sister.
They were scary times; my parents came to America, left their families, to give a better life to us, their children, and my mom strove every day, to give us what they could not have.... fresh and good food. Fresh meats and cheeses and most of all, vegetables. I cannot imagine not being able to go get a tomato, or have availability to whatever meat I want. They did not have that luxury; she taught me to respect and be humble towards my fortune of living in a place where fresh food is not an issue.
So this sandwich is trying to represent her... her love of farmer's cheese ("just a little on the bread to cover the holes", she says), polish ham, polish rye bread, egg ("for sustinance"), a fresh assortment of veggies, and always always topped off with dill and always served in the polish sandwich way.... open-faced. She made, and still makes us, these sandwiches, very often. Love ya, mama.
1 slicepolish rye bread
2 slicepolish ham
1 Tbspdiced red pepper
1egg, medium-soft boiled
·handful of chopped, fresh dill
·dash of salt and pepper
How to Make Mama Hossa Polish Sandwich
- Soft-boil, or medium-soft boil your egg. Set aside.
- Assemble sandwich: bread, cheese, ham, tomato, cucumber, egg, red pepper, dill and top with a dash of salt and pepper.
- Open-faced is the polish way... but cover it up with another slice if its too hard to handle (takes practice to enjoy it open-faced).