Not always does a good night sleep and a hearty breakfast help you get your shit together and get on with your day.
OK, ok! Easy. I’ll just speak for myself then.
In my defense, it doesn’t help that my TASK BOARD still says it’s Saturday, while at the same time, I’ve been convinced since last night that today is Friday (the day I’m taking Jason on a date to a secret location). Meanwhile, a strange man with a nice, deep voice says to me on the radio that today is Wednesday, September 30, 2009. Hmmm.
My reality today is convoluted to such an extent that I bounce from one place to another with a heavy chip on my shoulder. I know I should be writing now, but the very thought of it makes me spin 180 degrees on my bare heels and go sweep the neighbor’s stoop. Next, I focus on my hands as they scream for attention, and suddenly I find myself performing a home manicure – a task I normally dread like the chicken pox. Once the bright red polish is splashed all over my nails, it’s the silence in the room that gets me at last.
I fan my froggy fingers out over the keyboard of my computer, open iTunes and break out the jams. It’s not until The Last Shadow Puppets begin to play that I decide it’s time to turn the volume UP, prepare my stage, move the chair out of the range of my high-kick, place Cosmo on the balcony of our bed and GET MY GROOVE ON. While the music blasts from the speakers, I jump and throw my hands in the air, stretch in all directions, bounce my shoulders, bend to the sides, thrash my hips back and forth, and give the “dance” MY ESSENCE. Gasping for air, I look at Cosmo, and a bright smile wraps it’s way around my glossy face like a red bow on a Christmas gift. He just yawns at me with mere disapproval: “Mother, REALLY??!”
After being scolded by my very own dog, I curl my tail under my own bottom, shut down the music box, and shuffle my feet to the kitchen hoping to get some LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING from an oozing, chocolate mini-cupcake. One thing leads to another, and within minutes, I’m prepping lunch. On the menu today… an Avocado Turkey Sandwich with a side of a Quinoa Salad. I’m confident after this meal I’ll have a work out that would make Michael Phelps crawl out of his pool humiliated and in tears.
Speaking of Sammies, they play an important role in our household, especially since Jason returned to work and I took on the temporary role of “little wifey”, which nota bene suits me shockingly well. The part I play entails my rising at dawn along with my beau and tending to his feeding needs. While Jason assures me he’s perfectly capable of getting a bowl of cereal in the morning, I won’t have such nonsense and proceed to fill his bowl with a cherry picked mix of breakfast grains topped with a rainbow of sliced fruit, all soaked in an ocean of almond milk.
While the boy crunches away, I move on to the next task at hand which consists of assembling his lunch and dexterously fitting the mountain of food into the 2 compartments of his teeny-weeny lunchbox.
If there are no leftovers from the previous night’s dinner (which is the case 3 out of 4 times), I grab from the refrigerator whatever I can hold in my arms and build a Mothership of all Sandwiches. I start with two slices of HEALTHY bread, which unfortunately in many cases tend to taste like old tennis shoes. Particularly the low sodium Ezekiel Bread which is as exciting as a chess match!
Let me pause here for a second. If it wasn’t for a pile of SPARKLING NEW jeans that are an entire two (2) sizes smaller than the last pants I bought, I would be slathering both sides of ciabatta bread with mayonnaise and topping it with 1-inch thick chunks of chicken, beefy slices of mozzarella, tomato and a basil leaf. I have wet dreams about Italian breads, rustic French baguettes and country rolls. In fact, I’m drooling a little bit right now with nothing more than the mere image of them!
How do I turn that ugly ducking of Ezekiel Bread into Cinderella? I have a trick (or two) that (lucky for you) I’ve decided to no longer keep to myself.
My secret is to make the sandwich relatively MOIST, but not soggy. Second, you want to keep it versatile and exciting. The sky is the limit when it comes to building a sandwich! Think outside the box. Instead of always going for the good ‘ol mayo, use a low-fat version mixed into a coherent cream with a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Or forget about mayo altogether and spread a little hummus on your bread topped with slices of heirloom tomato and pickles under an umbrella of a few spinach leaves. You can buy a flavored one, or just make your own Hummus. The EDAMAME DIP you just tried this week for the first time will go swimmingly with a few thin slices of low sodium turkey, maybe a little of Monterey Jack and a slice of Tomato, all sprinkled with finely chopped chives and packed between the slices of bread.
Being Polish, I bring my Polish twist to the table, and when the sandwich is for here and not to go I like to keep it open. It’s an ideal surface for a tablespoon of cottage cheese, green onions and crunchy Persian cucumbers. That’s today. Tomorrow, get yourself a ripe avocado, slice the meat and spread it generously over your bread. Cover with turkey/chicken/ham, and top with thick slices of hard-boiled egg – don’t forget to sprinkle it with a dust of salt and pepper. The next day, make a Tuna Salad and use it as filling in your sammy. And if you grew up convinced radishes taste like dirt, here’s your chance to bring back the magic and believe in Santa all over again – slice one radish and hide it between the layers of your tuna sandwich. Not only will you have that extra crunch, but also vitamins and minerals you’ve deprived yourself all your life.
Have you ever tried Mascarpone cheese? It’s good not only in a Tomato Sauce for your pasta, or in cakes, but can also serve as a foundation for your – exactly! – next day sandwich. You can cover it with slices of meat, cheese, roasted peppers, onion, cucumber, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and fresh herbs (basil, dill, mint, tarragon, etc.) Same thing goes for Pesto. You can have an exciting, delicious sandwich every day at work, and it will never taste the same. Bring a smile back to your SAMMY.
One last thing to keep in mind – do NOT overcrowd the guy. Don’t pile up everything under the sun onto your slice of bread. After all, you want to be able to wrap your mouth around that bad boy, don’t you?
I could go on, and I’m positive there will be more opportunities to talk sandwiches. Hell, I’ll make sure of it. Today’s article will at least get you started. It’s like opening Pandora’s Box of Sandwiches. From now on the ideas will never stop coming. They will flood your mind, your lunchbox, and your kitchen. You’ll feel overwhelmed with the creative powers that will suddenly take over and you’ll start feeding your coworkers, your neighbors, and even your dog. Each Sammy will be a Gourmet Concert of Wild and Exotic Flavors clasped within the crunchy arms of two slices of toasted bread waiting to be domesticated in your mouth.
Now go and unleash your inner Sandwich Snob. Then tame the beast with your creations. Have fun with it!