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Sunday, 19 February 2006

I like cheese sandwiches too…

Filed under: food & drink,whine — ejm @ 08:59 EDT

Pete Wells of Food & Wine wrote

a really good blog will make the reader feel passionate as well. This should be easy when the subject is food, but it does rule out cheese sandwiches. Listen up, bloggers: Nobody cares what you had for lunch today!

Oh no!! Really, Pete?? But I care what I had for lunch! And I also care what many other people had for lunch! In fact lunch just happens to be one of my favourite subjects.

And I was devastated to miss lunch yesterday because of work. It’s not right to miss lunch! Of course I thought about lunch as we were slaving away and yes, one of my thoughts was indeed “I’d rather have a cheese sandwich”.

Now, initially, when I first start thinking of a cheese sandwich, my thoughts turn to somewhat dry and stale white bread, cold butter that will not spread, hardened slices of dry cheddar… in short, an unappetizing slab to choke down in miserable silence.

And then I come to my senses and remember the quintessential sandwich. A cheese sandwich. I ate it years ago. It hasn’t yet been equalled.

excerpt from my voluminous travel diary
(that Pete would HATE reading)

In Strada we bought lunch at an alimentaria. They had the crustiest whole grain bread. […] I asked the woman to cut my bread in half and then she put pecorino di San Gimignano and the most gorgeous green coloured pesto on it. […] We continued walking and shortly after saw all the shops closing for siesta. Whoosh! Lunch bought just in time! The road became quite busy because everyone was going home for lunch. Just before reaching Giobbole, we stopped for lunch by the side of the road. We went into an olive grove and sat looking down into the valley at a huge wine estate. […] My sandwich was simply fabulous. (a sandwich by which all subsequent sandwiches are measured; none have surpassed that sandwich) The pesto, that had so much basil and clearly the most wonderful golden olive oil, had oozed into the bread but not so much that it made the bread mushy. It was… well, what can I say? All words are inadequate to describe that sandwich! […] it was with a little reluctance that we got up from that shady spot beneath the olives.

Hmmmm, I want to try making that sandwich again!! We do have pesto I made last fall in the freezer but no pecorino and no crusty bread on hand. I’m working all day today (I’m not going to miss lunch again though!! I may be dumb, but I’m not that dumb!) but tonight I will make a biga so we can have crusty bread by tomorrow evening. We have some really good parmigiano in the fridge right now – sure, it’s not pecorino but I bet it will work!

Okay, now let me just double-check Pete’s list to make sure that I have covered everything here…

Pete’s Blogging Guidelines

  1. blog needs to communicate passion, and a really good blog will make the reader feel passionate as well. check (or at least a half check)
  2. there ought to be consequences — something should be at stake. hmmm… what’s at stake here? ummm, oh yes… whether I will come through with the bread making in order to complete the sandwich.
  3. blog needs a sense of purpose. check*

*Read more about the cheese sandwich revolution at Kalyn’s Kitchen.

I have to give almost full marks to Pete for fulfilling all of his own guidelines. He especially succeeded with #1, don’t you think? How many readers did he impassion into making cheese sandwich responses? Bravo, Pete!!

(I’ve had to dock Pete from receiving full marks because he didn’t manage to get me to buy even one copy, let alone a subscription, of Food & Drink.)

Oh, and one other thing…. No, I don’t have a photo of that great cheese sandwich. I know that a picture is worth a thousand words and being the verbose person I am, I opted for the words instead.

  • Kalyn

    This was wonderful. You’re really a good writer. Loved reading about your sandwich lunch from the travel journal. In fact it made me wish passionately to go traveling myself.

  • ejm

    You’re very kind, Kalyn. I’m glad you liked it.

    And yes, travelling is a wonderful thing! Especially if you bicycle from place to place.

  • MrsBrown

    It was yesterday as I was reading about brownies that I happened to be eating a cheese sandwich not knowing that it was Cheese Sandwich Day (or Week as it appears to have become). My cheese sandwich was made with some really excellent sourdough bread cut on the bias. I slathered on aioli, half an avocado, some cucumber slices and some havarti with jalapeno cheese. It was brilliant. My 11 year old son said, looking longingly at my sandwich, “Did you make two?” Because it was so delicious yesterday, I made another one today (and one for my son).

  • Kady

    Love your diary entry about the cheese sandwich! It’s bloggers like you whose passion exudes from their posts so that it doesn’t matter what the topic–it’s interesting to me!

  • Ivonne

    I care what you had for lunch. And breakfast. And dinner. And snack …

    Excellent post!

  • ejm

    You are both too kind. Thank you, Kady and Ivonne.

  • ejm

    I can’t believe I neglected to drool openly over your sandwich, MrsBrown! What kind of cucumber? English or regular?

  • MrsBrown

    Regular. Sometimes I like to put some red pepper in as well.

    Last week, I made a roasted portobello mushroom sandwich that I saw Jamie Oliver make on his show a long time ago. I served it on rye bread with baby greens and dijon mustard which is what he suggested but because I’m unable to follow a recipe without “fixing” it, I added gorgonzola cheese. Oh my! The cheese ran all over the place…it was divine but I guess it would fall under the Mushroom Sandwich category, not Cheese.

  • ejm

    It’s my feeling that as long as there is cheese in the sandwich, it would fall in the “cheese sandwich” category. That portobello mushroom with gorgonzola sandwich sounds pretty amazing.


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