Shameless Self Promotion Number 100,000

Tis the Season for Sandwiches

So, this is ran yesterday on the Chesapeake Fine Food Group blog. Full disclosure: CFFG is and has been my client for many, many years. The catalog is gorgeous and the food is topnotch. Honest.

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National Sandwich Day may fall on November 3, but sandwiches are surely most honored on the days following Thanksgiving, when everyone’s  fridge is loaded with amazing seasonal fixings, particularly if you think to cook – or buy – enough for leftovers.
Note to self: make plenty.

Should you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner mid-day, by bedtime you’ll be in need of a tide-me-over to breakfast. My favorite under these circumstances has always been the antidote to the feast – simply Roasted Turkey Turekyor Herbed Turkey Breast on thin-sliced sandwich bread. Still have a bit of Thanksgiving ambition in you? Add a swipe of Blue Cheese-Chive Butter and a leaf of crispy lettuce.  That should do for a sandwichy nightcap.cts35

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, reprise the groaning board with a customized gobbler – the Turkey/Stuffing /Cranberry Relish triple threat. I like a little warm gravy on the side for dipping – the American dip, so to speak, which ought to be a classic.

cbc_pic_3Day three, the Saturday following Thanksgiving, and you are, undoubtedly a little tired of turkey. Let’s hope Macaroni and Cheese was one of your Thanksgiving sides. Hey, how about a grilled macaroni and cheese sandwich? It’s a thing, you know, and for good reason. Two nice slices of bread, both buttered on one side, a thick slab of mac-and-cheese in the middle, and grill away. A little bit of bacon or if you’ve got it, would not gild the lily.

And finally, to top off the weekend, turkey or ham Biscuitsbcs24_1 are in order for Sunday brunch or lunch. That and a long afternoon nap should segue you comfortably into the post-holiday weekdays. Week days that will, if you are lucky, be punctuated by a few more turkey sandwich lunches!


Photos by Dean Alexander and styling by me!


The Cheese Touch

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I suspect that some of the earliest sandwiches were cheese sandwiches. Cheese endures at room temperature – or warmer – through a picnic, through the morning until lunchtime, on a buffet, at the beach. There is a cheese to happily pair with any sandwich fixing.

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Lucky Peach has just printed this story about American cheese, an arena that has become more and more exciting in  recent history. As much as the word “artisan” has become a word to mock, one must rejoice in artisanal American cheeses. Period.

An alpine-style Upland cheese from the state of Wisconsin would be make a beautiful grilled cheese and turkey on say, Friday, November 27 this year.

A Short History of American Cheesemaking

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A Heated Debate

Red letter day last week. A postcard from Flannel! Nice stamp too. I was just at the post office the other day and these produce stamps were not available. Too bad. I love ’em. Had to settle for “The Winter Holiday” stamps.

Postcard from Dennis 1

The image renewed my curiosity about hotdogs. Are they or are they not sandwiches? And who is the decider?

Hotdogs do seem the perfect pre-Thanksgiving food. American symbolically, preparation-free essentially, no kin to turkey thankfully, and, should you buy a pack of six dogs and a pack of eight buns you can use the two extra buns in the stuffing.

Bookending Thanksgiving with sandwiches appeals to my orderly self. Hotdog Wednesday/Turkey Sandwich Friday. Amen.

Postcard from Dennis

From Jeb Lund of the Guardian:

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a sandwich is “two or more slices of bread with a filling such as meat or cheese placed between them, or a partly split long or round roll containing a filling.” Thus, bun-plus-Dodger Dog equals … Voila!

From Ted Berg:

A hot dog is a sandwich. Why this is still up for debate is baffling.

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From Morgan Shanahan:

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And from Adam Weinstein at Gawker:

Jeb Lund, the friend of Gawker also known as Mobute, has posted an Independence Day-related meditation on the sandwichness of hot dogs at that most American of publications, The Guardian. Lund arrives at the right conclusion for the wrong reasons. Here is why hot dogs are sandwiches.

“It’s a question widely posed – and how we approach it speaks to who we are, as individuals and as a nation,” Lund asserts, and in this he is correct. “Neither the hot dog nor the sandwich were invented by America, yet we feel a passionate possessiveness over both.”

Hot dogs and sandwiches are consummately American, and for a vital unspoken reason. A brief Foucault-style review of their purported origins, and their adoption by the U.S. of A., illuminates why they are essentially the same thing: Hot dogs and sandwiches are tools of social control. Read on here.

My take is this: If you have to ask the question then the evidence is strong enough to rule a hotdog a sandwich. A ruling sandwich, frankly.

And the Beat Goes On

Is there life after Thanksgiving? Yes there is! Yes there is!

CBS Sunday Morning will be happy to assist your assimilation back into daily life. One cannot eat a Cuban sandwich too often.

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After your house guests have fatigued of turkey next week, you need another culinary trick up your sleeve. Tune in to CBS News Sunday Morning at 9 a.m. Sunday to get the inside scoop on how to make the perfect Tampa-style Cuban sandwich.Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 10.27.07 AM

 Correspondent Susan Spencer stopped into the 110-year-old Columbia in Ybor City recently to get a tutorial from fifth-generation owner Andrea Gonzmart Williams and her dad, Richard Gonzmart.

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Thank you, Kathleen Walston Pagan, for the tip. Tampa’s got the goods when it comes to a Cubano.


Mr. Zevon 4

Dear Mr. Zevon,
I have not been the correspondent I had hoped to be, not yet. Each day has had its share of awe-inspiring moments whether or not I took the time to share them with you. For today, the opportunity to work. And to enjoy the fruits of that labor – a large piece of pumpkin pie that came home with me. While we are talking about pumpkin pie, I want to send thanks to the inventor of such a thing. Now there is a good (the only good) use of pumpkin pie spice!
Midnight Snack

Toast Poast Number 1926

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“Make electric helpers do all your tiresome, beauty-consuming tasks.”

— Ad for General Electric appliances, 1920s

Because, yeah, I have other things to do, like a big, fat nothing, like looking at the sky, like cutting herbs and smelling the shears, like sitting in the sun.

What hath toast wrought?

Could I get some help over here? My beauty is at threat of being consumed.

Me! Me! Me!

  1. Bring my tiara.
  2. Turn my bread into buttered toast.
  3. Tell me something funny.
  4. Look deep into my eyes and lie to me about myself.
  5. Read to me from Billy Collins.

The Dead
Billy Collins

The dead are always looking down on us,
they say,
while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich,
they are looking down through the glass-bottom boats,
of heaven as they row themselves slowly through eternity.
They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,
And when we lie down in a field or on a couch,
Drugged perhaps by the hum of a warm afternoon,
They think we are looking back at them,
which makes them lift their oars and fall silent and wait,
like parents,
for us to close our eyes

In other, more prosaic words, “enjoy every sandwich”.

Not Pie, Silly, PPIE

Get thee to San Francisco before the new year!Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 9.43.32 AMPanama-Pacific International Exposition

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About the Centennial of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition

February 20, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), the World’s Fair celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal and showcasing San Francisco—its recovery from the ashes of the 1906 earthquake and fire and its world trade potential. Throughout 2015, the PPIE100, a citywide consortium of cultural, civic, and historical organizations, will conduct centennial programs to commemorate the PPIE’s historical significance and to reflect on its legacy.

Thank you, Joan Lebow, for the correspondence and the vicarious pleasure of your visit to SF.