When we broke for lunch, I felt like I had to make a second sandwich. I went with a sandwich on a baguette based on salami and pepper jack that was along the lines of what I usually make (cucumbers, lettuce, mayo) but spiced it up a little bit in honor of the earlier sandwich (tabasco, no avocado),.
Making this sandwich was revealing about food on a very different level than anything I have discussed so far. Yes, what you eat can say a lot about who you are. Yes, food helps define social groups and boundaries. But food can be so much more: today, I turned to making a sandwich to help me relax and focus on a difficult decision that I have to make. Everyone has a way to take a step back from their problems, and mine happens to produce sandwiches. So even though my first sandwich of the day gave me the desire for a second one, it was the need for calm and to take my mind off the stress that led me into the crafty truck at lunchtime.
I managed to get into the craft services truck on the early side today, which meant that I had more options and was therefore undecided about what i wanted to make. I am very indecisive when it comes to food, mostly because I’m generally alright with anything. Luckily, someone recommended Hawaiian bread to me, and thus a starting point was found. The roast beef is usually one of the first things to go, so I figured I would take advantage of it still being there, and obviously, cheddar is the appropriate choice for this sandwich meat.
When I make a sandwich at work, I always give half of it to Tony. This is great for me because he gives me his critique on the sandwich, and great for him because he gets half of an awesome sandwich. Even though (as previously mentioned) I am a big fan of mayo, Tony isn’t, so today I used mustard and no mayo, which meant I had yet another decision to make: what kind of mustard? The Jack Daniels southwest spicy mustard appealed to me because I felt that it went well with not only the roast beef, but also with the Hawaiian bread. This is another advantage of sharing my sandwich: it helps me understand how to make sandwiches that appeal to other people. Knowing that the condiment will be different means that the other sandwich fixings have to be compatible in a different way. On the other hand, I have a very hard time letting go of my other two favorite ingredients, lettuce and cucumber, so those were included as well.
It is this practice of substitution and experimentation that makes sandwiches so intriguing. There are an infinite number of sandwiches possible…and I want all of them.