I wasn't much of a food adventurist in my younger years. I liked what I liked and if there was a food my mother didn't make or bring home from the grocery store, I pretty much had never heard of it (i.e. bagels and cream cheese). But one day in high school, I was so hungry that I tried something new.
In high school, there were many mornings where I (quite literally) rolled out of bed, grabbed my backpack, put on my shoes, and ran out the door as my best friend's mom beeped for me out front. No time for breakfast, no time to make my lunch. I'd wear my pajamas all day (though they were really more like sweats and a baggy t-shirt) and also go all day without eating. Sometimes by afternoon study hall, I'd mooch 50 cents off of one of my friends and get some Suzy-Q's out of the vending machine. After school, I'd go to three hours of volleyball practice, wearing my pajamas (which were really more like sweats and a baggy t-shirt) and wonder why I was the only one who did this. Why doesn't everyone go to practice in their pj's? How do these people find the time?
On this particular day, my friend Elly and I were waiting for a ride home from practice when she started to finish her sandwich leftover from lunch. I looked at its white-bread-and-beige goodness and wondered what it was. White-bread-and-beige was my favorite food group so I wasn't afraid of her sandwich. Actually, I was the opposite of afraid. As my stomach growled violently I asked her, "Can I try a piece of that?" She said of course, she was done with it anyway. I bit into its beige-y goodness and swallowed one whole enormous, delectable bite. "What is this?!" I begged. "I have to know!" With a slightly concerned look on her face she told me it was turkey and mayo. Then she asked if I wanted her to bring me another one tomorrow. "Yes!" I said. "Thank you!" And so Elly generously brought me turkey sandwiches, almost every day, through volleyball season. When my mother found about it, she was embarrassed and slightly appalled by my ignorance and said, "Uh, we can make turkey sandwiches at our house, too, you know."
And that was the beginning of lifelong love of turkey sandwiches. Of course, we've changed a bit over the years, turkey sandwiches and me. We've grown up a little since white bread. So when the lady at the deli counter told me she had just eaten a delicious sandwich with the smoked turkey I was buying that day, I eagerly asked her what made it so delicious. She told me it was the provolone, lettuce, cucumber, red onion, avocado, and pesto mayonnaise they put on it. I thanked her for that little tidbit and went home to make one exactly the way she explained. And she was absolutely right, it was delicious. In fact, it was almost as good as Elly's.