Post # 353 An Earl With An Idea

March 23, 2015 at 3:16 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 353 An Earl With An Idea

The story, as I heard it, says that a few hundred years ago an Earl sat at the gaming table in his house, hosting a private gambling party.  As the evening wore on, stomachs began to growl, but he was on a winning streak and didn’t want to take a break for a full on meal.  He called his manservant to him and asked the he prepare several slices of bread with some meat in between them.  It was a handy way to eat with his hands while cards were being played.  The idea was a success.  The Earl of Sandwich went down in history as the inventor of the sandwich, born of necessity, desire, or pure greed.

So, whenever I think of a sandwich, I think of two slices of bread with something in between.

sandwich 01

I tend to think in absolutes, so whenever anyone talked about something called a sandwich outside of my definition, I tended to want to correct them.  One of the first “real” jobs I had I worked at a famous fast food place known for burgers and fries and a couple of golden arches.  It was fun and I enjoyed my time there except for smelling like grease all the time.  One time, the GM pulled all of us into a meeting to explain the introduction of a new product.  It was some kind of burger, I don’t really remember what, and as he was extolling its virtues, he concluded with “It’s a mighty fine sandwich.”  I bit my lip, metaphorically, because to me, it was a mighty fine burger, not a sandwich.

But then we get into trouble.  How do you define a sandwich?  Everyone knows what a sandwich is, right?

*Side Note:  I used to work in a building that had a cafeteria on its first floor with many different stations for various types of food.  There was a “carvery” where they would make huge sandwiches fresh for you and one of those was a BLT.  These poor ladies, whose first language was not English, did their absolute best for us, but they had a script to follow to make sure they didn’t make any mistakes.  Invariably, when I ordered the BLT they would ask “Would you like lettuce and tomato?”  Since those two ingredients fairly define a BLT, I’d just nod.  Okay, back to blog.

Like so many other items in the cooking universe, the varieties of sandwiches are unique to the person making or eating said sandwich.  I knew a girl in high school who would get the spaghetti plate for lunch and would take the bun, split it in half, and put a huge chunk of spaghetti in it and eat it.  Her response to my question “What the heck are you doing?” was “I can make a sandwich out of anything.”  She would also mix milk in her bowl of jello chunks, but that’s another story.

On the Food Network, one of their celebrity chefs is known as Jeff Moro, the Sandwich King.  He won their competition by making sandwiches for nearly every challenge.  I’ve made some of his creations and all I can say is they were GOOD!

Since the ingredients are ever changing and can be “anything” as my friend used to say, then maybe the defining factor would be the bread.  But can you call the picture above and this picture:

sandwich 02

the same thing?  They have the same ingredients, and they’re both on bread.  But depending on my current mood, I’m just as likely to pick on over the other, and they’re both still called sandwiches.

You can’t even argue the size of the sandwich as a factor.

sandwich 03

These are a mere three to four bites.  Wait, maybe the defining element is that you don’t have to cook a sandwich!

sandwich 04

Oh, yeah, never mind.  Grilled ham and cheese is a favorite of mine.  But there’s that two slices of bread thing.  And that’s what the Earl did.  hmmmm.

sandwich 06

sandwich 08

sandwich 09

Yeah, nope.  That doesn’t do it either.  And it’s not even how you assemble it.

sandwich 05

Whether you cook the ingredients before or during or after.

So what are we left with, in the end?  A sandwich is bread acting as a vehicle to transport food to my mouth thus to my stomach to stave off starvation for yet another day.

sandwich 07

oh, ooops.

Enjoy

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