The Perfect Sandwich

ImageDo you regularly cook foods for people in your family that you yourself don't eat? I do. Turkey burgers.

I just don't get it. Jeff was raised on good old fashioned beef patties. Yet, given the choice today, he invariably chooses turkey over beef. I, in contrast, am a 100% grass-fed beef kind of gal. I prefer beef's tender texture and rich flavor. With the right beef, a burger is delicious even without condiments. (Not that I'm suggesting you do that.)

So when we have burgers, I usually make Jeff a turkey burger and me a hamburger. The last turkey burger I made for him, I topped with sauteed apples, Gruyere cheese, and sage mayo.

After the first bite, he said, "Oh, God, this is good."

I nodded, smiled, and took a big bite out of my hamburger. He took another bite. "Sue, seriously, you've gotta taste this turkey burger. It's awesome."

"But, I don't like turk--"

"Just one bite. Come on."

 

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mexitorta.jpgSeems the latest food trend is food trucks, more specifically gourmet food trucks. Or as one San Fransisco owner calls his, "mobile bistro." From LA to Austin to NYC, dozens of urban, hip food trucks are charming epicureans with fare ranging from duck dumplings to pavlova with red fruit gelée. Hotdogs and hamburgers have been usurped by their more politically correct cousins, organic free-range chicken and grass-fed beef.

But what about the old food trucks and carts? You know the ones -- the quintessential LA taco trucks and the hot pretzel carts run by a gruff guys named Sully or Bobby. Are they being squeezed out? Last March in East LA, Mexican food truck owners, under fire from restaurants who claim they're hurting business, began a campaign called "Save Our Taco Trucks."

Personally, I'd like to see both camps succeed. Because, let's face it, getting affordable, healthful, organic meals from a food truck is terrific. So is getting an artery clogging carne asada (marinated steak) torta when the craving strikes.

 

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pbj.jpgI have to admit – as much as I love trying new recipes – there are times when nothing quite compares to the satisfying goodness of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some days there's just no time for chopping, grilling, or baking and a classic PB & J is the perfect solution.

According to Smuckers, no one really knows when or where this sandwich was first created. Bread and jelly have been around for ages, but peanut butter wasn't invented until 1890. This spreadable creation was a hit at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, and during the 1920s and 1930s, commercial brands of peanut butter such as Peter Pan and Skippy were introduced. Around the same time, pre-sliced bread became common in the U.S. But there's no mention of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before the 1940s.

The National Peanut Board reports that the average kid eats 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before graduating from high school. They're not just for kids – I've often been on airline flights, when a waft of peanut butter drifts my way, and I turn to see some business exec pull out a Ziploc bag from a briefcase and enjoy a pb & j out – much to the envy of fellow passengers. You can also take comfort in knowing you're helping to save the planet!

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tostitos.jpg I can’t help it.  I really can’t. 

When I go into a grocery store and I put an avocado in my cart, I think “Ohmigoshwhatif someonecomesoverandwantschips too?” And so I go and buy chips.  Two kinds.  Because what if a friend has a craving for blue corn instead of yellow?  G-d forbid I should not have blue corn tortilla chips in the house.  That’s thought one. 

Thought two is more like “hmm, never heard of that before.  Maybe it would add a nice kick to stir-fry.”  And so I put the odd looking, non-English labeled jar into the cart, too.  

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worldseries2007.jpgIt's hard to believe that baseball season is about to begin again. I see bits and pieces on the news about players reporting to Spring training. I see photos of fathers and sons dressed up in their player's favorite jersey, watching an early practice, hoping to get an autograph. The excitement is building of those summer nights at the ballpark; that all-American warm, fuzzy feeling most folks associate with baseball.

My thoughts are far from warm and fuzzy, more like torture and terror. On October 30, 2007 at 2:30 am, my phone rings. I struggle to find the phone, wondering who died. I hear a voice "Hello, this is Scheduling, can I speak to Laura." All I can say is "yes?" "Laura, we have a trip for you. You are going to fly to Denver and then to Boston and back to Atlanta today." Excuse me, it's 2:30 am, is this a joke? When did we start flying to these destinations in the middle of the night? I'm not sure what I said but I get an answer.

"The Boston Red Sox won the World Series a few hours ago and by the way, you are the Flight Attendant in charge." (I’ve since learned that no team would jinx their chances of winning by booking the plane home before they actual clinch the trophy.) 

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