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Sandwiches: Food for Thought

by Tracy Trewhella

Food. We think about it. Talk about it. Plan our days and hours around it.

Meals make or break a holiday celebration, a birthday, or a date. We eat to feel good, and we eat because we feel bad. We eat things we shouldn’t; we eat healthy; we fast and we splurge.

We plan where to eat, what to eat and who to eat with. We read about food, we watch TV shows about food, we think about food, we make it, and we buy it. We bring food to a friend who’s sick, or a family stricken by a death.

Food is life. It can be used to be social, and it can be used to be anti-social. Suffice it to say, food is so much more than a life-sustaining necessity. Whether in abundance or in shortage, food is the center of all life.

One thing I never thought about until I owned Serendipity, a café in Marstons Mills Village, was what happens to food when it leaves a restaurant. It dawned on me one day that our food often leaves “home” for exciting destinations.

Tracy takes another sandwich order
Tracy takes another sandwich order

Our sandwiches have celebrated a new baby’s homecoming, and served as a farewell lunch for a cargo pilot on his way to Saudi Arabia. We’ve provided lunch for a family returning from the hospital with devastating news of a cancerous brain tumor, and celebrated that same family’s good fortune on returning from successful surgery with a positive outlook for recovery.

A tuna, Swiss and tomato wrap gave a cyclist the energy to ride up Mt. Washington, and a chocolate muffin was the reward at the top. A groom stopped by on his big day, tux and all, to have a cinnamon roll before his wedding. A student, who’d landscaped for the summer, came in for two egg sandwiches on his way back to college. He was excited to be returning to school, but sad that he’ll be missing his favorite breakfast.

Four breakfast Paninis celebrated the arrival of best friends for a most anticipated wedding the following day. Another day, a dad with his son who was turning 18 came in for breakfast with three of the son’s friends prior to their sky diving adventure.

A different son taking his father skydiving for dad’s fiftieth birthday came for lunch prior to their jump. Two sets of siblings came in later that day, also heading over to the airport to go skydiving. Paninis were the sky diving food du jour!

Nine blueberry muffins and three chocolate muffins regularly leave Serendipity on a Sunday to board a Monday morning flight to Florida, where they’re shared in an office as a most anticipated treat. Sandwiches have also been purchased to travel on flights to California and Tennessee, a trip to a Boston Red Sox game, and trips to New Hampshire.

Serendipity sandwiches often welcome visitors to the Cape who stop for lunch on their way to their beach houses. Others usher visitors across the bridge on their long journeys home after vacation. Once a week, a sandwich leaves to go for a sail. Out on open water, the sailor anchors, reheats his Panini, and enjoys a good book and lunch.

Sandwich platters have helped celebrate preschoolers graduating, a 13-year-old’s milestone into teenage life, a bank’s business lunch with attorneys, and a christening. Some sandwiches stay right in the store and bring relief to a bad day, like the new mom who comes in when she’s feeling low, and has a sandwich and someone to hold the baby while she eats.

Some go to the beach, some ride on to the next job, others have been eaten on a trip to haul horses. Most recently four sandwiches were carefully chosen and packed into a cooler, and taken to Philadelphia to provide a nutritious lunch on the Livestrong ride, feeding four dedicated cyclists somewhere along their journey.

Whether or not I know where our sandwiches go, I know each one is more than just a quick bite to eat. Thought and effort goes into each choice; in return, great care and effort goes into making each sandwich.

Regardless of whether it’s for a celebration, a lunch, a dinner, a picnic, or a pre-skydiving meal, each sandwich is as important as the other to the eater. Food is important for all kinds of people on all kinds of levels and in all kinds of ways.

After all, it is the center of all life.

Tracy Trewhella is a writer and co-owner of Serendipity.

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