Sandwich #206–“Ring Shopping” Curried Chicken Salad

By 300 Sandwiches

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206curriedchixsaladLOI can’t believe what I did this weekend.

I tried on engagement rings.

With E.

This whole thing just got real.

We figured since we were inching closer to engagement, now would be a good time to talk about “the ring.” To my surprise, E had done his research—the kid had been studying diamonds and ring pricing for months. As we flipped through photos on Pinterest of various engagement rings, E threw out stats for the four “Cs”—clarity, cut, carats and color—like it was second nature. He was even obsessed with the little-known fifth “C”: “country” [of origin].

One would have thought I, the excited girlfriend, would have decided years ago what type of ring I wanted. Shouldn’t I have nailed down how many carats, what cut, what style and what type of setting I wanted, sketched out in my Trapper Keeper by the time I was 15 and kept that piece of paper in my purse until I met my Prince Charming?

Nope. I had no clue what I wanted.

I’d never had a reason to do research before—none of my exes had ever come close to proposing, nor did they offer to take me ring shopping simply out of curiosity. I had not search for engagement rings on Pinterest or any of the popular wedding sites. At all. Ever. Sure, I’ve admired a few friend’s engagement rings, but I hadn’t given the ring—my ring—much thought. Until now.

E and I hit up a few stores in the name of research, and I excitedly tried on rings. Surprisingly, some rings I thought looked awesome in the jewelry case looked horrible on my finger, and some I thought were hideous in a photo actually looked good on my finger. I realized going to a bunch of stores and trying on a bunch of different rings was going to be the best indicator of what I would like. We had many more of these “research trips” ahead of us.

Even then, my preferences would only be part of the final buying decision for E: “I want to give you something you’ll like, but I also don’t want you to pick your ring. I want to surprise you.” I understood his feelings. He wanted to give me something from his heart, not a ring I drafted for him. I get it.

That night, E made dinner—roasted chicken with asparagus and roasted tomatoes. The next day, as we dragged out our Christmas decorations, I made curry chicken salad sandwiches with toasted pecans. The nuts added a spicy crunch to the sandwich, and curry made the whole thing just a bit more interesting.

I gave the sandwich to E as he was sitting on his computer, and stole a glance at his computer screen. He had an article on DeBeers’ business practices on his browser. Now I know how he was getting all of that research done on diamonds—and why he sat in his office “working” while I watched football on the couch.

The little-known 5th “c” of diamonds is “country” [of origin]. Diamonds have a, shall we say, much less than stellar record on matters of human rights and the environment, amongst others. The more I look at it objectively and the more I read, the more terrifying it really gets, so I’m trying to be as careful as I can before buying. Stop in to a jewellery shop and ask them about the source of their diamonds and they’ll commonly give you the industry standard 30-second talk about the Kimberly Process, conveniently omitting that Global Witness, the influential NGO that helped craft the process in the first place, pulled out in late December 2011. Ask them specifically where their diamonds come from and you’ll commonly get a blank face (as what happened this weekend). I’m particularly interested in diamonds from Canada, Botswana, Namibia and Russia, though I’ve much more research to do before I pick a winner.
4 slices whole wheat bread
2 cups diced chicken
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 green apple, chopped
1/3 cup toasted pecans*
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 tablespoon paprika
pepper to taste

(for the toasted pecans, you’ll need a pat of butter and a teaspoon of cinnamon)

Toast pecans: over a low flame, melt a pat of butter. Then toss in a handful or two of whole pecans. Roast over low flame for 5-8 minutes, turning several times, and sprinkle on cinnamon halfway through cooking. Remove from heat. Chop into rough pieces. Set aside.

Mix mayonnaise, curry, cayenne and paprika in small cup. Set aside.

Mix chicken, celery and apple into large bowl. Add pecans. Then add mayo, and combine until well blended. Add black pepper to taste. Scoop out salad onto slice of bread, top with another slice of bread to make sandwich, and serve. Makes two sandwiches.

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