Toast Poast Number 50 Meters

Who needs a swimming pool?
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When one could haveScreen Shot 2015-05-18 at 9.27.23 PMInflatable Toast Mattress

At 1/217th of the cost?

Could you fancy now… A haiku on a pretzel…Slice of raw atop?

Shameless self promotion, shameless self indulgence, shameless self exposure of a shameless show of appetite. Pile it high, make it drip down my arm, bring on the onion, butter-griddled bread and sloppy creamed spinach. Oh yeah.
JeffMauro_HangerSteakSandwichWithBourbonCreamedSpinach_V

Pretzel roll dripping
With hanger steak and bourbon.
Spinach keeping safe sentry.

Photo by Renee Comet and styling by MOI! (I love it but think it coulda been drippier. Neatness bgone.)

Recipe – go on, click it! – here.

Still Gilly’s

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Gilly’s is not hard against the Williamsburg Bridge, nor is it boasting the triumvirate pedigrees of local, sustainable and organic, yet Gilly’s quietly carries the mantle of the the 9-letter A word. Need I e-utter it? Au, au, au…aaaw, don’t make me say it. Au-cough-cough-choke-thentic.

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Kit-KitKatrina and I were there recently, following a class in the outre skirts of DC, the far out hinterlands of Rock-not-a-ville. To find it, you have to follow several left-turn-on-green-arrow-onlys, seeming to circle closer and closer until ~Bingo!~ Gillys!

Why am I deluging you with hyphenated hyperbole for a near-hole-in-the-wall off yet-another Pike? Cause Gilly’s knows what they are doing sandwich-wise. Come for a mixed-six, stay for a sandwich.

They get the bread-to-filling ration just right, a rarity in my sandwich safari roamings. The bread is good, need I mention that? A sandwich can rate on second rate bread, but the players have to compensate. At Gilly’s all players carry their weight.

Lastly, while listing criteria, the interior landscape of a Gilly’s sandwich is flat. Hooray hurrah huzzah for that. No hump of meat in the middle, no condiment-free zone at the crusts. Bite for bite, each one’s equitable – bread, filling, condiment, border to border.

Gilly’s is not new, nor hip, nor screaming for an icon on the map, thank the if-there-is-a-God-he/she-must-eat-sandwiches, Lord.

Gilly's map

The Sandwich That Mothered Me

A Mother’s Day post, posted late. Figures right? Mothering feels like a game of catch-up, work-around, forgive-and-forget. Forgetting is key. So please forget that this is late. And now even later. At least I am finishing in 2015.

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When I was a kid in Appleton, Wisconsin my mother was busy. She put us outside in the morning, my dad whistled us in in the evening. On school days I walked home at lunch time and made myself something to eat. My parents and sisters were out, at school or work.

The lunch menu was not vast when I was cooking – grilled cheese of course, says my mom; fried egg sandwich, probably, says my mom (I would walk across broken tupperware for a fried egg sandwich then, now too, probably); tuna that I was supposed to make into a sandwich but never did, instead eating it straight from the can with the cat who I hoisted onto the counter; or a full fledged balanced meal which I adored and made often – peanut butter and banana on white bread from my dad’s bakery and a glass of blender egg nog, recipe courtesy of the Betty Crocker Boys and Girls Cookbook.

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The eggnog is committed to memory – 1 cup milk (from my dad’s dairy – seems impossibly wholesome and from a time gone by), 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanillla. And all you had to do was whirl it in the blender. A thicker, stickier, denser lunch one could not conjure. It was delicous.

Duke’s

Speaking of summer, let’s get on with it. Festival of the lights be here, be gone, longer days, bring it on! Tomato sandwiches, please. I did not have anywhere near enough of them last summer. Or the one before.

Jeff Saxman, a terrific Richmond photographer, generously added the Duke’s cookbook to my library. We have done quite a bit of work together for Duke’s and I dig it – the mayonnaise and the work with Jeff.

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You will find nice straightforward recipes on the Duke’s website – Lobster Rolls, like the one above, and Tomato Sandwiches among them. See, here you go.

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What’d I tellya? Easy peasy. In lieu of Grill Shakers, in case you don’t have it and don’t want to run out, salt and pepper are good. They are almost always good, such a pair.

You know this sandwich is dependent on the tomatoes, which are dependent on the season, no matter how many hydroponic farmers and overnight freight shippers might tellya, right? Wait it out till tomatoes are hot on the vine.

Then, get out the Duke’s and bread. That’ll do-ya. Here’s what’s in Dukes:Ingredients: Soybean oil, eggs, water, distilled and cider vinegar, salt, oleoresin paprika (it’s just paprika, not to worry) natural flavors, calcium disodium EDTA (not sure where I stand on this stuff) added to protect flavor.

As a Southern thing, Duke’s knows its way around a tomato sandwich, that much I know for sure. And I’m gonna look into that calcium disodium thing.

Duke's Cover

Duke’s Mayonnaise

Duke's Tomato Sandwich

Lebaneez Pleez

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I did some work for the Muncheez people and I liked them. Very much.  High, drunk, deranged, crazed, starved? photo 2 photo 1-1Muncheez may look like a place to get yer fix when you got the munchies and it is! Cause you are a discerning individual.photo 4You will walk, uber, careen, the extra kilometer for Muncheez.   photo 1-2

A righteous undertaking. And rewarded.

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Pangs Like Rocks, Ad Hoc

An important friend died two weeks ago. He had a firework-filled life and some seriously tumultuous times too. Tonight I had a long phone conversation with his funny, tender-hearted baby brother and we covered a lot of ground. Towards the end of the conversation I brought up the rough patch – seemingly arduous, grueling and lengthy – in his brother’s life. “I don’t think about him that way,” he said.

If you don’t think of it, it ceases to exist, doesn’t it? The bad parts evaporate. Gotta get me some of that.

MS was the culprit that killed him. Even if we don’t think of it, it exists. Could we make some sandwiches to put that beast to rest? With Chili Russian on ’em for extra strength.

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Charitable Banh Mi for dogs

The Ad-Rock Pang

Yield: 4 servings

1 pound good-quality Jewish deli-style pastrami
4 (6-inch) baguettes, split lengthwise and toasted
2 medium Kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced lengthwise on a bias into 6 planks
8 cilantro sprigs
8 dill sprigs

Wise Potato Chips, cream soda, dill pickle spear for serving (optional)

Pickled Carrots:

1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar (plus more if needed)
2 tablespoons kosher salt (plus more if needed)
4 medium carrots, peeled and grated (about 4 cups)

Chili Russian Dressing:

1 ½ teaspoons caraway seeds
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup dill pickles, very finely chopped
⅓ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sambal oelek chili sauce, plus more if needed
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Make the pickled carrots: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegars, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the carrots and stir to combine. Let the carrots sit in the vinegar mixture for at least 20 minutes before using. Taste them — they should be balanced, not very salty, and slightly more sour than sweet. If the flavor needs to be adjusted, add a little more sugar, salt or a splash of water to lessen the intensity of the vinegar. Transfer the carrots and brine to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

2. Make the chili Russian dressing: Toast the caraway seeds in a small skillet set over medium heat, shaking the pan often, until the seeds smell toasty and fragrant, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a spice mill or coffee grinder and pulse them a few times until they are roughly pulverized. Place the ground caraway in a small bowl and add the mayonnaise, pickles, ketchup, sambal oelek, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

3. Assemble the Ad-Rock Pang: Wrap the pastrami in a paper towel and microwave on high in 20-second increments until it is warmed through (or steam the pastrami on the stovetop until it is warmed through). Spread the chili Russian dressing inside of each baguette, evenly coating both the top and bottom sides. Divide the pastrami among the bottom halves of each baguette. To the top half, add a few cucumber slices followed by 2 cilantro sprigs and 2 dill sprigs. Add the pickled carrots on top, sandwich the two halves together and serve with potato chips, a cream soda and a pickle (if desired).

Thank you Sorry-Birds!-Ellen for the ping on the bing!