When I was in elementary, I always had a well-packed lunchbox to bring to school. It was a hefty sandwich, 2 slices of white bread filled with a homemade spread mom made. It could be a chunky chicken salad spread with crisp cucumber slices lining the bread. It was paired with chilled dayap (lime) juice sweetened with honey in a tall Tupperware tumbler. My dad relished making the juice for us everyday. A fresh fruit filled the space between the sandwich and juice. All these were encased in a lunch box made of tin with the latest pop media fad emblazoned on the case. I liked Barbie or Cinderella then.

I always went to school with a packed lunch. My parents took care that my school lunches were healthy and made from the produce in the backyard. I had the best lunchbox because nearly everything was made at home.
These thoughts came rushing back when I was mixing the mayonnaise into the finely chopped chunks of cooked chicken and celery. The pure white shiny mayo gleamed brightly and slowly encased the pieces of cooked chicken. The aroma from the freshly chopped crunchy celery was inviting as I stirred it all together.

As I pondered, I spread the chicken salad between the heavy slices of country bread and inserted thick slices of sweet, vine-ripened Jersey tomatoes. Wonderful moments of childhood lunchboxes came back as I put together both slabs of bread with the chicken spread and tomatoes in between.
It takes minimal planning ahead, but making homemade lunches for school or work are the best always. Whenever I brought packed lunches to the office as an adult, heads turned when co-workers caught a whiff of my food as I opened my insulated tote. That smells so good!” were words I heard all the time as colleagues peered into my ‘baon’ (packed lunch). Thank goodness my parents trained me how to appreciate homemade goodness. I finally understood why.

How to make Chicken Salad Sandwich Spread
white onion – 1/2 cup, chopped (about half of an onion)
fresh tomatoes – 1-2 large pieces, sliced, for lining sandwich
fresh cucumbers – 6 to 8 slices, for lining sandwiches
Prepare chicken salad. In a large bowl, combine the boiled chicken chunks, celery, onion, sweet pickle relish Mix in the mayonnaise. Season with salt and black pepper powder. Blend well. Cover and refrigerate till ready to use.

How to assemble a chicken salad sandwich : spread about two tablespoons per sandwich between two pieces of bread. Line the bread with fresh sliced tomatoes or cucumbers. Wrap sandwiches in plastic bags or foil. Keep refrigerated till ready to serve or pack in lunch box.
Welcome to my recipe blog. I am Betty Ann Besa-Quirino, author, journalist, food writer, artist. I transform traditional Filipino food and Asian cuisine to every day dishes in my American kitchen. Find hundreds of recipes and stories here. Come cook, eat and savor it all.

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