January brings memories of the winter of 1969, when my family first moved back to Saratoga Springs from Huntington, Long Island. I used to go ice skating at the East Side Rec in the evenings after dinner with my friends and eventually started skating exclusively with my then boyfriend (and future ex-husband) Gene. We'd skate under the lights to blaring music coming from overhead speakers, and I especially remember "Crystal Blue Persuasion" playing as we skated round and round the rink. I was a cautious, inexperienced skater and he was a champion speed skater. He'd rush up behind me and push me in to the snowbanks and then offer me his scaber as a tether to pull me up after showing off, skating figure eights while I couldn't even get back on my feet! Nice guy! We had a lot of fun, though, in those days before computers and the internet, when kids actually did things outside!
I have many happy memories of Saratoga Springs during that time, and one is of an exceptional sandwich we used to get on Beekman Street, the Scudders Sandwich from the Scuderi family deli. Marino's (of great pizza fame) eventually took over the business and continues to make the Scudders sandwich (you have to ask for it), though they've moved from the Beekman Street location to West Circular Street. Every once in a while, I just have to have that sandwich again. Nothing else quite matches it.
The Scudders sandwich was made on a split loaf of Italian bread. Half a sandwich was plenty for two people, though I knew some hearty souls that could eat the whole thing. That means they could eat a whole loaf of Italian bread plus all the meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato within. Here is what I remember my Scudders sandwich was made of:
Italian Bread, split
paper-thin slices of tomato
very thin slices ham
cappicola (that delicious hot ham)
american cheese (the real stuff, not processed)
They'd slather both sides of the bread with a lot of mayo, layer the lettuce, tomato, meats and cheeses, and wrap the whole thing up. My mouth waters just thinking about it. It's not so figure friendly, but it just might be worth being the only thing you eat that day -- it's that good!
Photo credit: http://hostedmedia.reimanpub.com/TOH/Images/Photos/37/exps40066_TH1421350D17C.jpg