I attended the Masters in person for the first time in 1996 with my good friend, Phil Alicea. It was his first time as well and we had a ball. I'll never forget that we were on the 10th tee on Sunday and saw the last group tee off. It was Greg Norman and Nick Faldo. At that time Norman had (if my memory serves me) a five- or six-shot lead with nine holes to play.
Traffic at the Masters is a challenge. We were near the clubhouse and made the fateful decision to not follow the back nine and start our drive back home. At that time, Phil lived in Pulaski, Tenn. As I dropped him off I came in to check the final leader board. We were shocked to see that Norman had totally folded, and Faldo had secured another green jacket. Yep, and we missed it. As they say, “it's never over till the fat lady sings.”
If you have attended other sporting events, one thing you will notice is that they really stick it to you on the pricing of food. Not at the Masters. The concession areas for the general public are meticulously clean, the model of efficiency, and the ladies selling you the food exhibit the genteel manners of southern kindness.
All the sandwich wrappers are green, the exact green of the tightly mowed rye grass. If you drop it, you will not spot the wrappers on television. As a backup, there are young men dressed in yellow swarming the grounds, picking up cigarettes, cigars, cups, wrappers, whatever shouldn't be on the ground. There is no doubt that during that week, Augusta National is the most highly cared for 500-acre plot of land in the world.
Back to food. I have attended 14 Masters tournaments, and something I always looked forward to was an egg salad sandwich and a cold Heineken beer. Cost? A total of $3.50. Don't believe me? I took a picture of the menu board. Also on the menu is the famous pimento cheese sandwich. From what I understand they have dropped the cold (and fried) chicken breast sandwich and replaced it with a grilled chicken wrap sandwich. Did Michelle Obama threaten to picket the tournament or something?
Leave our sandwiches alone! (News flash. The fried chicken sandwich is back on the menu for 2013!)
Anyway, in the spirit of the Masters, I thought I would try to recreate the egg salad sandwich and the pimento cheese sandwich in case you want to get the true feel of attending the Masters in person. Oh, and one important point. All sandwiches are served with fresh, store bought sliced white bread. It melts in your mouth. Next thing you know it will be whole wheat.
Blasphemy I tell you.
Masters Egg Salad Sandwich
6 hard boiled eggs – diced finely
¼ cup finely chopped sweet pickles
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
½ cup real mayonnaise
½ tsp onion salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp black pepper
salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients together. You can adjust the spices (and ingredients for that matter) to your liking. This recipe is pretty darn close to what you will have at the Masters. The key is that everything is finely chopped and spread on soft, white bread.
Masters Pimento Cheese Sandwich
(This recipe comes directly from the Augusta Chronicle newspaper.)
1 ½ lb. finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
½ cup horseradish sauce (looks like mayo)
½ cup real mayonnaise
1 Tbs mustard
1 7-ounce jar pimentos (drained and finely chopped)
1 healthy dash of your favorite hot sauce (my addition)
Mix together thoroughly and spread on simple, white spread. Both sandwiches should be consumed with your favorite Pilsner beer and consumed while watching the best golf tournament in the world.
Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes a column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQ-My-Way.com.