Sometimes the Fail Train pulls into the station right on schedule: like this morning, when I get up an hour earlier than I would like to, hustle to CrossFit, come home and fall asleep while my beautiful girlfriend—almost 210 sandwiches in to this herculean though unnecessary gesture of love, as if that’s needed—makes me a sandwich, photographs it beautifully, writes a loving story to go along with it, goes through 20 rounds of revisions and posts it up for the world to see. She’s a damn good writer and a perfectionist, but the creative process just isn’t easy for everybody all the time. Writing for someone else is different from when you’re writing with your own voice and from your own heart.
The Fail Train also made a stop at our apartment last night. We had intended to begin Egg Nog French Toast for today’s sandwich. I had made egg nog before, following Martha Stewart’s recipe … egg yolks, sugar, creme, RUM, spices … more rum … and why not some more rum? Chill in the fridge overnight, fold in whipped egg whites at the very end, and done. After I had made a nice swordfish dinner for the two of us, I grabbed my laptop and sat at the bar while Steph got to work on egg nog.
Steph picked a different one of Martha’s egg nog recipes than the one I made before, and I blame Martha for writing a recipe that basically encouraged everybody to make 2-inch thick egg nog omelette directly in a pot. No double-boiler, no “do not let simmer under any circumstances!” indication (well, at least not as crystal clear as it should have been to Stef—Bad Martha!). I also blame the half-German ancestry in me for sometimes saying exactly what I see without any hint of diplomacy or tact.
So when Stef inadvertently curdled the eggnog because the pot became too hot, saying, “hon, what the? you making an omelette nog over there?” wasn’t the proper way to state it. In fact, that was definitely a bit crude. I pointed out her mistake instead of helping her fix it, or laughing with her at the results and helping her clean the mess. I made a simple observation, but made in the most crass way possible. Swing and miss, pal.
Note to self: this is supposed to be a team effort, you idiot. You can’t just sit there and be the primary, secondary and tertiary antagonist just watching it happen, sitting back and having a laugh like Statler and Waldorf. These entries don’t just appear and sandwiches don’t get delivered by Seamless.
Lessons learned: put down the laptop, get on the other side of the counter…and I’m told that flowers and chocolate will fix anything. Today’s FailTrain might need to deliver them by the kilo.
And yet, besides all of that, she still made me a sandwich.
2 slices bread
1 dozen cherry tomatoes, roasted (or you can use regular raw sliced tomatoes)
1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
4-5 leaves fresh basil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
(Go to CrossFit, come home and fall asleep on the couch while your girlfriend:)
Toast bread. Spread ricotta cheese on both slices, then layer on basil, then peppers and tomatoes. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic. Stack on side onto the other, to make a sandwich. Slice and serve.