Toast Poast Number 1961

Toaster Valentine

Oh drat oh drat oh drat oh drat! I forgot to post this last week. My excuse is a good one – broken wrist mayhem – but it’s still just an excuse. There is really no such thing as a good one. A good excuse is called a reason.

My son forgot to make me a valentine so I put in a special request. Presented with his so-called valentine for me, on purple paper, I was unimpressed. All about him, the note he penciled was simply an excuse for why he had forgotten. Call me ungrateful. Call me never satisfied. I call this preparation for the pitfalls of romance. Ha. Poor boy.

Back to the drawing board, I put together a Madlib and he put it right with me.

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Toast Poast Number 1 Through 6. Where Are You on the Spectrum?

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What is happening? What cultural through-line has emerged that would join such surreal-life bedfellows as a pop-piano-playing crooner, a flamboyant professional basketball player, a reclusive children’s-book author, a twentysomething Internet gazillionaire, and a genocidal madman together in diagnostic brotherhood?

Screen shot 2015-02-20 at 5.57.04 PMDo you see yourself? How could you not? If not here, then on some other much discussed continuum. Something fluid, drawn in every shade but black or white.

Is Everyone On the Autism Spectrum?

What Is Your Secret Talent?

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From the Times…thank you so much for the introduction…

Hugo Guinness, the English-born, Brooklyn-based artist, fashion collaborator and voice actor. Mr. Guiness’ fine-lined drawings echo the work he is known for: coveted lino cut prints, drawings and paintings. He trades the paintbrush for the pen for his ongoing collaboration with the film director Wes Anderson. Guinness’s own home was the model for the Tenenbaum family’s dollhouse-like mansion. He is also a writing partner with Anderson, and the duo recently received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

He is a secret of sorts himself, to me that is, and I am thrilled he was revealed to me by the Lovely and Eternally Patient Susan Trosper.

Read and see more here. The slideshow reveals some of Mr. Guiness’ inner workings.  It is that time of year in cold, dark places – the time of year when our cold, dark inner workings become magnified.

What is my secret talent? Digging deep into lightless, icy caverns here. My secret talent is. Well, I do not have any. Either I have already told you or…the thing I thought I was good at has been revealed to be a flaw. Ah yes, I got it now.  My secret talent is making the sound of a contented guinea pig. Not the high whistle but the funny low chuck-clucking they make when nesting.

What is YOUR secret talent?

While My Onion Gently Weeps

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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA—Praising its standard features and overall dependability, J.D. Power and Associates released a new set of rankings Thursday, naming the Reuben the number-one midsize sandwich in its class. “With an eye-catching, compact design that lends itself to easy handling, the Reuben remains one of the most reliable midsize sandwich options on the market,” said reviewer Leonard Winston, adding that, despite the high-quality materials used in its well-crafted interior, the sandwich still maintains its status as a practical and affordable choice for the average consumer. “In addition to its visual appeal, repeated testing shows that the sandwich’s sturdy corned beef, sauerkraut, and rye-based construction holds up extremely well against both front and side impact. Frankly, the Reuben is unmatched in value even when compared alongside popular European imports such as the caprese and Monte Cristo.” Winston added that, for those who like the sleeker look that comes with taking the top off, the Reuben can easily be converted to open-faced.

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch…er…Russian…dressing…the world is in disarray. Russian Dressing has fallen off the planet, with no decent explanation, and been replaced with…really???…Thousand Island. Yes, that stuff of ketchup and mayonnaise. Thousand Island has its place – on iceberg in 1965. But NOT ON A REUBEN.

The Washington Post weighed in on the Russia Dressing issue recently and the scales fell from my eyes. Quelle horreur! Thousand Island has been masquerading as Russian.

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While I am shouting…to make a proper New Jersey Sloppy Joe YOU NEED RUSSIAN DRESSING.  Click on the link to find a certified recipe for the stuff.

Foisting Thousand Island dressing on the masses is the work of the bottlers. And why, why, why? Surmise all you like, we must take back the bite. The bite of Russian, with its horseradish, paprika and chopped pickles.

Thousand Island, step off. Reubenesquers, unite.


Spread Thin

Sandwich pic

Such a sweet picture. Radish roses. My mom made those. Radish roses could be found in our refrigerator before dinner parties, floating in blue-topped, dishwasher-warped, Tupperware tall boys. That would have been in the 60’s, I suppose.

My mother was no shrinking violet, particularly in terms of politics, civil rights, women’s rights. She picketed George Wallace – alone. And she made radish roses. Was it a rosy time? Yeah, it was, sorta. Optimistically rosy, sorta. So many things such a mess, not tidy like our fridge. So much to do, not enough time to do it.

Then came the 70’s, out went the roses.

Another Day, Another Sandwich

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I had a po’boy from Willie’s. It was good. Need I wax blogetic about the blacktop moving under my feet? No, I need not.

There was time – me being the only early customer – for a chat. Willie told me, “I’m a po-boy enthusiast. It’s all about the bread.”


The righteously squashed oysters of this po’ boy were bedded on bread from New Orleans. Doughed, shaped and baked by  Leidenheimer Baking Company. The sandwich was terrific, the bread terrific too. It was a day, another day, punctuated by lunch. For what else do we live, I ask you? Lunch.


It was a day. A day not to remember, but a day not to forget. Or regret. That’s the days that mostly make up our lives. With lunch.


The remoulade had a lotta mustard and a lotta vinegar. Did I do right by the righteous oysters? Did Willie do right by me? Yes indeed. It was a day unlike any other day. Another day, another sandwich. The interrobang of lunch.


No So Li’l, L’iL Abner

My girlhood comic crush, the “mattress tester” and teen of great appetite (the boots, the hair, the brawn-not-brains!)  must’ve known he’d really made it when – no, not when his strip had a readership of 60 million – but when the legendary Carnegie Deli named a sandwich, a gargantuan hot brisket sandwich, after him.

Abner, “a paragon of innocence in a sardonically dark and cynical world” seems positively post-modern. Politically correct? Most probably not.

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 Carnegie Deli

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This is the only image I could find of the L’il Abner.
Not much more information to be found here. #sad #where’sthegravy?

Lunch Encounter denizens, have you eaten a Li’l Abner? Did it adequately honor its namesake? “Impossibly dense”? Strong and sweet-natured? Please write and report. Until the day I experience the Abner personally, I eagerly await your Dogpatchian dispatches.