Have I mentioned that my son is in high school now? Probably. I tend to mention this fact a lot because it is still so weird to me.
Parents say it all the time, but “don’t blink.” If you do, you will open your eyes and find that a surly 14-year-old has absconded your sweet, adorable child. This 14-year-old will not want you to tuck him in at night or even stay up with him while he watches inappropriate TV. He will find your very existence annoying — until he needs a ride, money, Nikes, or food.
Sometimes he is still sweet. He even throws an unexpected “I love you mom” my way every now and then. And he is more and more appreciative of the food I buy and cook all the time (I’ve been telling myself that this would happen for over a decade and am incredibly relieved that I was right). Still, on the first day of school, when I handed him a sandwich, he looked at me as if I’d asked if he was going to wear a Murray Wiggle T-shirt to school (like he did in pre-K, sorry Bud). Apparently there was a chance that bringing a sack lunch would be social suicide, and he was not willing to risk it. I stuck it in the fridge, and he devoured it after school.
Apparently sandwiches are not that embarrassing after all: On day 2 he said, “Can you make me the exact same sandwich as yesterday’s? It was the best.” Now, any mom of a teenager would know that this was both a request and a challenge. It also made my heart swell. Of course I would make it again, and I thought I’d share it with you, too. Because I have to admit, it’s a damn delicious sandwich and obviously very easy to make. (Little-known fact about me: I ate nothing but turkey sandwiches during the entirety of both my pregnancies. I consider myself a connoisseur; this one is crunchy, satisfying, sturdy, and a little bit spicy.)
High Schooler–Approved Turkey Sandwich
2 slices whole wheat bread
(Our favorite is Rudi’s Honey Sweet Whole Wheat)
2 slices pepper jack cheese
(I buy organic cheese just to avoid growth hormones, try Simple Truth)
3-4 slices roasted turkey breast
(Get a natural brand that’s nitrate free, such as Applegate)
1/2 small cucumber
3 lettuce leaves
Mustard (I like spicy yellow, such as 365 Jalapeño Mustard)
Ground black pepper
Cut the cucumber into thin, vertical slices. Pile the cheese, turkey, cucumbers, and lettuce on one piece of bread. Spread the mustard on the other piece of bread. Grind some pepper over the whole thing, and slice in half.