Saturday, October 24, 2015
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
The point: even though I love bread, I still won't choose really good bread and a bad sandwich over mediocre bread and a good sandwich, and by "good" I don't mean (necessarily) the quality of the meats and cheeses, but more about the balance of the sandwich. After all, Salumi's may have the best meatballs in town, but I've had a better sandwich at Subway: a SANDWICH should be HELD IN THE HAND AND EATEN. If you have to use a knife and fork, then you're not eating a sandwich. (Yes, I know it's possible, but you have to lift off the top of the sandwich, then, and set it aside, and then what are you going to do with that top piece? Eat it plain? Save it for later? Butter it and eat it after wards? I've done all these things, and I like them, but in THAT case you're not really eating a sandwich: you're eating an open-faced meal on a bread base with a second course of a thick piece of bread. And that is great, as far as it goes, especially if the bread is really good. But if the menu says "sandwich" then I want a goddamned sandwich. Held in the hand. Bitten into. Eaten by mouth and fingers.)
Posted by Aarwenn at 9:00 AM
Monday, October 19, 2015
I used to love bread, of course, but now, getting older, it just tastes...heavy. It tastes like all I'm going to do is sit there for the next hour and feel full, and have my stomach grumble and my mind go dull, and one of the many, many benefits about getting older is that I can now easily associate those things, the action and the consequences, and the consequences flavor my perception of the bread so that I can easily and willfully choose to not eat it. And not feel restricted, or controlled, or deprived: to willfully and easily choose to not eat it. Like now veggies taste good, because I know I really will feel better if I eat them, and so I eat them, not because I'm told to or because I *have* to, because the editors of Shape magazine are breathing down my neck, but because I really want to.
There are many, many good things about getting older!
Of course, I LOVE bread, or used to, anyway, and still, to my mind, nothing goes better with a good cup of coffee in the morning like a really good piece of bread, toasted, with butter. Not even any cheese--just toast with salted butter, and maybe some heavy cream in the coffee, but no sugar.
Not that it hasn't taken me awhile to come to this conclusion, mind you. I always think, with my More, More, More, mind, that maybe I should add a little cheese to the toast, and maybe a little sugar or chocolate to the coffee, not that I don't love the taste of coffee as it is, but adding chocolate or sugar would make it tastier and more luxurious, somehow, and this is absolutely true. But then I end up with cheesetoast and a mocha, and while I love each of those things, somehow, together they seem a little...overdone. Too much. And I worshipped the idea of melted cheese with a mocha for many, many years: cheese omelets with mochas, cheesy breakfast sandwiches with mochas, a mocha with a baugette and butter and jam, a bagel with cream cheese and an iced mocha in the summer. But finally, I had to admit that I just didn't actually like this combination. It sounds so good in theory, you know, and indeed cheese and chocolate have gone together for eons, in many different cultures. But they usually eat them plainer--just a good piece of cheese and a good piece of chocolate--no coffee and very little bread--and what I'm getting at here is that PLAIN is often the way to enjoy good flavors. Not more complicated. Plain.
Coffee with cream and a piece of plain toast, and the crunchiness of the toast, with the fat of the butter and just that hint of salt, really picks up the sweet caramel notes of the coffee and the heavy cream just carries the mouthfeel, providing a slippery nest for the stretchiness of the gluten strands to stretch and pop over, bursting with flavor.
I'm getting off track, which I tend to do. To be continued!
Posted by Aarwenn at 8:00 AM
Thursday, October 15, 2015
I eat low carb, and I don't miss sandwiches.
I love, love, LOVE a good sandwich, and even a bad sandwich, and it's not even about the bread. The bread is really just there as an excuse to hold the sauces, or to be more accurate, it's not even that I love a sandwich: it's that I love the excuse to spread mayonnaise and mustard on something. Just about anything will do.
So, even eating low-carb these days, I don't miss the traditional "sandwich" at all--that was a very easy swap for me. Does it have lunch meat, cheese, mayo, mustard? Are there pickles? Is there lettuce? Great! It's officially a sandwich. I'll wrap it in lettuce, and if the lettuce breaks, and I get mayo and mustard all over my fingers, well, that just gives me an excuse to lick my fingers. Sometimes I'll take ham and melt cheese over it, then spread the top with mayo and mustard and pile spinach on there, and then roll the whole thing up with the ham on the outside and just chomp into it that way, making little Mmm, Mmm sounds. Sometimes I'll make a full on lettuce wrap, as I mentioned before. Craving pizza? I'll make a mat of pepperoni at the bottom of a bowl, melt mozzerella cheese over it, decorate the top with some tomato paste and basil paste and spread that stuff around with a fork and eat my crustless pizza with fork and knife. And it is delicious.
That's two things I've learned about eating low carb: 1) everything is easier in a bowl, and 2) most of your meals look like a dog's breakfast, and that's okay. Chicken bits with melted cheese, then covered with guacamole and sour cream and salsa; scrambled eggs with pico de gallo and cheese and sour cream; faux noodles with chicken and peanut sauce and sriracha; I don't need carbs for any of these things. And the best part--the absolute best part--is that faux noodles take SO MUCH LESS TIME than regular noodles, and so many fewer dishes and equipment, that I'm beginning to prefer them, and not just because they don't make me feel heavy afterwards.
(Okay, so, occasionally I'm feeling fancy, and I'll make myself low-carb bread and build an actual traditional sandwich, and since we have a George Forman grill, I will press said sandwich and it will be DELICIOUS.) See example:
THAT'S RIGHT, I MADE THAT. AND IT'S TOTALLY LOW CARB, BITCHES. That's homemade almond bread and stuffins from half a sandwich that E didn't finish--I don't know what kind of block the man has about leftovers, I LOVE them--built into an awesome sandwich in about thirty seconds because I own a George Forman grill and it is awesome.
More things I made recently follow.
Cabbage from Whole Foods (mentioned in this post) with WF peanut-coconut sauce, chicken bits (salvaged from a different dish), and sriracha:
And finally, crustless pizza:
Looks pretty good, right? I THOUGHT SO.
Posted by Aarwenn at 12:44 PM