established

Establishing my food-critic cred: my slapped-together ten-minute lunch includes a tuna melt (tuna mixed with labneh and scallions, grilled between local-ish American cheese on English muffin bread), red potato salad (also in a dressing of labneh, olive oil, lemon, and scallion), green beans with butter-toasted almonds, and a dish of fresh pineapple spears. These are the joys of preparedness, chickadees.

Establishing my blogger cred: I changed back into pajamas to eat it.

Establishing my willingness to experiment within highly gendered expectations: am wearing new shoes with said pajamas and watching the “Sex and the City” pilot for the first time. For the latter, I credit Emily Nussbaum. For the former, I have no excuse.

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Dear Dad

Dear Dad, I was thinking about “Macbeth” again this week, and the cat i’ the adage. Whenever I read that, I think of talking to you.

Dear Dad, I got some new cartridges for those pens you gave me when I first went back to school. Thanks for thinking of me, and for knowing how useful it is to have brightly colored pens so classmates don’t walk off with them.

Dear Dad, it might be about time for me to have a BLT. I never have one without thinking of that midnight with you. I wish I could take you to the neighborhood restaurant where I sometimes get them. You’d hate the noise and love the fries, and you would have been as vexed as I was that they called themselves Hot Suppa but weren’t open for supper, and as weirdly relieved as I was when they fiiiiinally started serving during supper hours.

Dear Dad, not too long ago a community member asked for help decoding his late father’s document full of punchlines without the jokes. I was able to explain one of the jokes and to tell a little story about you and me, too.

Dear Dad, I’ve been in pain for a few weeks now — nothing serious, but unpleasant and even scary sometimes. The Fella has been unsurprisingly amazing and thoughtful during all that time. I wish you’d met him. You’d love and trust him with all your heart, just like I do. I think you’d love him for himself, not just because he loves and cares for your daughter so sweetly and unfailingly.

Dear Dad, I’ve spent a lot of years unwinding my complicated feelings about my childhood and the ways my parents coped with (or didn’t cope with) your own grief and heartache before I was born, and how that affected my own adult relationships and my own childless state, and I know that I might never come to the end of that skein.

But it gets easier and easier to reconcile that complex snarl of feelings with the simple love that I feel for you and Mom, and to say it over and over: Dear Dad, I love you. Dear Dad, I miss you.

splat

Places I managed to drop bits of avocado from this sandwich:

– onto the countertop
– onto the cutting board
– onto the other-than-intended sandwich half
– onto the the plate
– onto the napkin
– onto the floor
– onto the MacBook trackpad
– into my cleavage
– down the front of my hoodie
– onto my chin
– I don’t know; I never found that bit. Uh-oh.

updated to add: I stopped typing, hit post, and went back to the second half of my sandwich, only to find a bit of avocado on the sofa next to the plate. And no, that was not the missing piece from the list.

ac & je’s sandwich buffet

As the fifth Sandwich Party drew to a close on Monday night, AC & JE invited some friends over for a Big Sandwich Buffet, and we were lucky enough to be part of it.

Such deliciousness! Spicy chicken tenders, sauvely sauteed portabello mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, two kinds of cheese, pesto, butter, mustard, mayo, and lovely tender-chewy ciabatta to pile everything atop. AND! A bright, fresh salad with apples, almonds, and red onion, and a big casserole of luscious mac & cheese, tangy and tender and surprisingly light. (JE, I’m taking notes; I think of mac & cheese as heavy and creamy, but you may have opened my eyes to another way.)

the Ploobwich

The Bitwrathploob has sampled sandwiches around the world, but that doesn’t mean he turns up his battered red replacement nose at humble homemade fare.

During this weekend’s Sandwich Party, Ploobie and I enjoyed this easy, cozy meal: a hot sandwich of cheddar and tomato on beer bread, served with a brimming bowl of simple black bean soup. Continue reading

Sandwich Party #5

The Sandwich Party is underway! Friday night, The Fella and I kicked off the weekend with grilled cheddar cheese sandwiches stuffed with garlicky spinach, served with cream of tomato soup.

The sandwich looks a mite sloppy, but I assure you it was just sloppy enough: the gooey cheese held the glistening, gorgeous spinach inside the crispy bread, and the whole thing made a perfect foil for the mild, creamy soup.

Jagosaurus did some work ahead of schedule:

I made some (cucumber and honey goat cheese) sandwiches a couple of weeks ago in anticipation of this, but I might do more this weekend.

Redfox from The Hungry Tiger joined the Sandwich Party with a luscious-looking warm weather entry:

The version you see before you is a little duded up, with those sprigs of cilantro. Occasionally it might instead be topped with a very few slivers of thinly sliced red onion, or slices of tomato. But the basic scheme is:

* Slice of kalamata sourdough bread
* Butter
* Avocado
* A tiny sprinkle of salt
* A drizzle of this here chile oil

In the comments here, T.R. tells us about a sandwich with old friends!

Mmmm. Good! I had tuna steak sandwich w/ red onions, grated carrots and lemon sauce to top it off. I did not get to make it…Hobbit Cafe did where I was having lunch w/ old friends (-:

Erik went with:

a family favorite: The Beltch. My mother, the polite lady that she is, chooses to put the vowel after the L, making it a Bletch (as if that’s a polite sound!). As you might have guessed, it’s a variation on the famous BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato), but adding cheese (CH). For proper BELTCH construction, a fried egg should be added to achieve full letter representation, but circumstances did not allow for an egg in this production.

Carlarey has the breakfast of champions!

So here it is, nothing fancy. Just a plain old working class turkey, salami, pastrami sandwich with shredded habanero cheese and jalapenos. It was what my kid wanted for breakfast yesterday morning, and it sounded so good I made one for myself.

Macbebekin’s own Elli had a luscious-looking pita:

I had a chicken pita sandwich. I cheated* and bought it at a shop, but I did get to choose my ingredients which was easy: “All the veggies, please.”

*Elsa’s note: NOT CHEATING! Bought sandwiches welcome!

Just before the power went out, the Bitwrathploob and I enjoyed:

a hot sandwich of cheddar and tomato on beer bread, served with a brimming bowl of simple black bean soup.

J made a lamb ragu-wich capable of changing a mother’s mind:

I discovered one day that if I took some of the sourdough bread that we had, slathered it with butter and garlic powder, and fried it, it made a delicious garlic bread, which is the perfect place to put a bunch of warmed spaghetti sauce. It’s a lot like a sloppy Joe, actually, though I like the flavors of spaghetti sauce better. My mom thought this was a disgusting idea, until she finally gave it a try, and became an instant convert. She always said that sane people are willing to change their mind when they are given the proper evidence, which this sandwich clearly is.

Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Join the fifth Sandwich Party — you still have time! Around these parts, we had a few hours without power and a looooooong stretch with no wifi, so I’m giving myself (and you!) a little extra leeway to get those last posts and links in. I can’t wait to see what sandwich you make!

no substitutions

With Sandwich Party #5 coming up this weekend, The Fella and I were brainstorming a list of sandwich-centric scenes in movies and TV. I’ve been thinking about the diner scene from Five Easy Pieces. You know the one I mean: the scene in which Bobby Dupea (Jack Nicholson) wrangles with a waitress over a side order of wheat toast.

The scene is famous — or infamous — for good reasons, and complex ones at that. At its simplest level, the diner scene editorializes on the changing times: the iconoclast tries to indulge his modest tastes, only to be blocked by the traditionalist, an unyielding stickler mired in arbitrary rules. This scene helped to establish Jack Nicholson as a counter-culture hero, and why not? He’s just a good-looking rebel who plays by his own rules.

But there’s another level to this exchange, and I’d argue that it’s far more important than the inter-generational culture clash. Ultimately, the diner scene is about the confusion that comes with freedom, about the difficulty of discerning one’s own genuine desires.

Watch the scene carefully. Bobby seems to know exactly what he wants, and he seems to know how to get it, even from their ornery waitress. He keeps his voice calm and civil, he’s well in control of his temper, and he’s negotiated her to a point of decision: she’s about to choose whether to take his precisely phrased order or to deny it.

She’s peeved as she asks, “You want me to hold the chicken, huh?” But she hasn’t refused. Not yet. She’s noted down his many other requests: no potatoes, no mayo, no butter, no lettuce. She might, just might, jot down “no chicken” and curtly walk away to place the order. She’s balanced at the moment of decision.

Then he utters, still in his calm, civil voice, “I want you to hold it between your knees.”

Of course the waitress kicks them out. Of course Bobby explodes in a fit of anger. Because that is what he wanted all the time. He wanted a fight, and he carefully constructed one. No substitutions.

Because this is the center of Bobby’s character: he cannot be satisfied with what he has, and he will not be satisfied with anything he could receive. He doesn’t want what he has, he doesn’t want what you might offer freely, and he doesn’t want what he pursues.