Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An illustrated guide to a sandwich.

Here I am again with no photos to show you, so I'll have to paint you a word picture.

My summer grocery trips have not generally been well-planned. I'm ending up with sad, clam-shelled mixed salad greens because I can convince myself at the store that I'll totally make salads to eat with lunch and dinner for the next week. That doesn't happen.

Instead I'm all about the sandwiches.

June saw plenty of tomato-basil sandwiches, often complemented by whatever cheese I had around the fridge, and a few slices of avocado.

During Stampede there were asparagus-tomato sandwiches slathered with Bulls-Eye Barbecue Sauce on crusty buns from Rustic Sourdough Bakery (via Kingsland Farmers' Market).

Last week I picked up a loaf of "European" bread from a vendor at the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Farmers' Market. It may have been a sort of light rye. All that I'm sure of is that it was good. That led to tomato-thyme-lettuce between slices of bread.

Now, I'm all about building a work-appropriate sandwich. This had nothing to do with immodest dressings, of course. Profanity could occur if you are not careful in the pre-office construction of the sandwich.

I've tried two approaches so far, both with delightful results. Now, I assume that most of my humble assemblage of readers are at least somewhat versed in sandwich-making, so don't think I'm trying to insult anyone's lunchtime intelligence. It's just that I'm so pleased at how much better my work sandwiches are these days that I was inspired to share this with you at 1 a.m.

1. Make a sandwich of cheese slices and a condiment that won't become disgusting and coagulated (Good: pesto. Bad: mayo, I assume) in a toaster. Wrap it as you would normally. Separately, wrap/contain all those juicy, messy, moist veggies: today was tomatoes, lettuce and pickles. Toast the bread-cheese portion of the sandwich to desired melty crispiness when mealtime rolls around, then place your veggies between bread slices and you're good to go. (See illustration for clarification as necessary.)
2. Make a sandwich of cheese slices (today was applewood smoked cheddar — a boon to vegetarians who are former admirers of smokey, salty bacon) and any condiments that will complement your chosen veg. Wrap that baby up. Choose and wrap your veg, as above. When mealtime arrives, assemble those two parts, and enjoy a fresh, non-soggy sandwich!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Salsa Hangover

I spent much of this weekend dashing between places. From home to work; work to Folk Fest; Folk Fest home and then back again 11 hours later; back home and then Sun & Salsa Festival.

I ate so much salsa today, folks. There were purportedly over 40 salsas at the Salsa Fest, which we, the eaters, are supposed to vote on. I've been to the festival at least 4 times, but have never formally voted. I haven't even seen the opportunity to vote in recent years. Ah well.

Some of it was cheap or bland or salty. Some of it was so, so good. I didn't take notes; as you may know, it is hard enough to balance a platter of multigrain Tostitos and a teetering tower of teeny salsa samples, but add in a pen and notepad? Nuh uh.

Standouts included the Naked Leaf with a peach-mango salsa (c/o Una Pizza+Wine) that was beautifully complemented by organic ginger-peach tea leaves (that's assuming memory serves me right after a conversation with owner Jonathan; he tells me the tea is reminiscent of chai, but isn't quite there. A seriously cool tea shop, my friends. I wrote a little story about it in my early days as a journalist).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Putting a face to a cake

Can you smell that?
Those little donuts
No, not the banana bread, or the date squares. And it's not the mojito or the brewed ice tea with homemade ginger syrup. It's not even the deep dish pizza or the vat of hummus and it's certainly not mini donuts.

That, my friends, is Blogger's Guilt. So I am writing this to break the seal, and hopefully a flood of blog posts will come pouring out. It could happen, right?

I baked into a new frontier last week, actually. I baked a birthday cake from scratch, made icing (from scratch) and decorated it with an astonishing likeness of the birthday boy!