Swimming Lesson Sandwiches

This time of year, whenever I am in a gathering of women, I get transported back to the banks of the Magothy River in the 1970s. Why? Because there I realized that women do things differently when together but not really friend friends but friendly. Also, because that bit of summer tastes like a “revolutionary” sandwich of the day.

You see, a large group of us took swimming lessons in the Magothy river. While we learned crawl stroke, “Elementary backstroke” (a creation different from the backstroke the rest of the world learns), breast stroke, and to dive into the murky river–our mothers shared chatter and food.

One of the most coveted food items (on my part) and coo’d over foods the first summer of swimming lessons was a sandwich. A VEGETARIAN sandwich. (Well sort of, not sure if the Seven Seas Green Goddess dressing had anchovies or not)

Here are the ingredients:

Pocket Pita (known as Kangaroo bread or pocket bread in my area at the time)
cucumber slices
tomato slices (most likely tomatoes from Diehl’s produce stand or the garden)
chopped green onions
lettuce (either buttercrunch from the garden or iceberg)
sliced green peppers
Green Goddess dressing

All the veggies arrived sliced and then the moms would slice the pitas in half to make the pocket, fill, top with dressing and eat.

Yes, that is it. Now, this is the sandwich that I would beg for after lessons…but was for grown ups. I still got to sneak a bite or two from time to time.

Every once in a while, it makes me pause to pick up green goddess dressing (which my kids think tastes like ranch) or stop and stare at the Kangaroo bread. Sometimes I will sneak one into my summer, but it just doesn’t taste the same without a group of gossipping moms, the grit of sand, and the kiss of the sun and river water on my face.


  1. I love “salad in a pita,” as I call it, tho I don’t have such nice memories to associate with it. Or the sand. Thanks for the reminder. I think I’ll get some “kangaroo bread” today.

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