March 10, 2010

Sandwiches of Discontent


Reading The Winter of Our Discontent makes me feel discontent about my self-made sandwiches. The ones Ethan Cawley makes just sound so much better.
"Behind the counter he cut four fat slices of rye bread and buttered them liberally. He slid open the cold doors and picked out two slices of processed Swiss cheese and three slices of ham. 'Lettuce and cheese,' he said, 'lettuce and cheese. When a man marries he lives in the trees.' He mortared the top slices of bread with mayonnaise from a jar, pressed the lids down on the sandwiches, and trimmed the bits of lettuce and ham fat from the edges. Now a carton of milk and a square of waxed paper for wrapping. He was folding the ends of the paper neatly when a key rattled in the front door and Marullo came in, wide as a bear and sack-chested so that his arms seemed short and stood out from his body."
--The Winter of Our Discontent, John Steinbeck
I don't think I've ever savored rye bread (granted, I don't eat it all that much), but this book is making me crave it intensely.

Why don't we all make our sandwiches on fat slices of rye (buttered, too -- how lovely, how old-fashioned, how down-home American!), trim the edges, and wrap them romantically in a neat square of waxed paper? Sure beats dumping them into plastic "sandwich bags."

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