Recognizing the culinary rut you may be falling into after a long quarantine with limited access to a grocery store, I posted some recipes a few days ago. The post was good as far as it went, but I fear that I made a couple of unfortunate omissions. It happens. More and more with each passing year. Let me try to rectify things and fill in a couple of gaps.
First, I left out desserts. Frankly, I tend not to eat dessert. I like desserts. A lot. My problem is not eating desserts, it’s stopping once I get started, so
I try to keep my focus away from desserts. I’ll make up for my omission now by posting two recipes that are sure winners. I certify that I have eaten way too much of each when opportunity has presented.
Liza Tanner Boyd’s Coconut Cake. Here’s a recipe for the dessert you really want to try. It is wonderfully moist and flavorful, and since you’re locked down no one else will know how much you eat. That’s important with this recipe. Some of us have been known to make a spectacle of ourselves.
Pound Cake. Try this recipe for the best pound cake you’ll ever eat. Really. And see if you can identify the ingredient that really sets it apart. If you have any left over, toast a slice lightly with butter. You’ll thank me.
I also omitted sandwiches. I am fully aware that you know how to make a sandwich, and probably have been making them since you were a child. But nowhere is it easier to get stuck in a rut than with sandwiches. Turkey, ham, tuna salad …. I see you’re drifting off to sleep. So here are a couple I bet you haven’t tried, and one for which you’re probably using the wrong recipe.
First, let’s talk hamburgers. The average American eats 192 hamburgers every year. I made that up, but most people eat hamburgers pretty frequently, usually with the exact same toppings, or toppings within a narrow range. Break out of your rut and try —
This Guberburger recipe. The Guberburger, a local specialty of Sedalia, Missouri, is an interesting take on everyday ingredients, each good in itself, but rarely combined. And, unlike, say, the Crown Burger (equal parts ground beef and hot pastrami), the Guberburger requires only ingredients already in your pantry. I know it will sound unorthodox, but these are unorthodox times. This is a great recipe.
Now let’s move on to cold sandwiches for that 93.4 percent of the world that doesn’t want to cook anything at lunch. And let’s set aside some of the world’s great sandwiches that you shouldn’t eat when all you’re doing is sitting on the couch all day. No muffulettas, no Italian subs. We’re looking for sandwiches that will get you away from the same old turkey or ham or tuna salad.
Peanut butter and jelly? Again? Let’s try this recipe for Peanut Butter and Mayonnaise. Does that sound weird? As I said, these are unorthodox times. People used to eat peanut butter and mayonnaise all the time during the Depression. Indeed, Dear used to eat mayonnaise sandwiches (two pieces of bread, one smeared with mayonnaise) — and it wasn’t bought mayonnaise. I tried a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich recently and liked it. I think I’ll have one today.
The Pimiento Cheese sandwich is an all-time great sandwich, my favorite self-prepared cold sandwich. This is a recipe for classic, unadulterated pimiento cheese. People like to invent variations on the classic, and that’s fine. It shows the distinctively American creativity that in a few days has moved us from coronavirus tests that take an agonizing week or two to give a result to one that gives you the answer in five minutes, hardly enough time to work up a sweat. Amazing. Medical tests are one thing, but with the pimiento cheese sandwich, there is no replacement for the classic pimiento cheese.
There are other combinations that don’t involve cooking. Have you tried sliced green olives and mayonnaise? Raw herring? You can put virtually any leftovers between two slices of bread. Leftover turkey dressing is probably the best, but that’s seasonal. You can branch out to different cheeses — limburger with mustard has a Wisconsin following. Jamaicans love Tastee Cheese. (Tastee Cheese comes in a can. The only canned cheese I’ve tried is Cougar Gold, an aged white cheddar produced, I think, by Washington State University. Our friends Kit and Gary Maestretti sent us some once. It was very good.)
I’m always on the lookout for new sandwiches — and desserts. Tell me about some of your favorites.
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