Well, here it is again, nearly the end of Summer. Our vacations are over, the kids are back in school, I'm expecting the fog to lift any day now, and, as usual, my tomato plants have died. This time I blame it on not hiring an expensive service to water them while out of town: relying on my babysitter for one week and my husband for the next was, clearly, not the right decision. But Summer here extends through late October and really doesn't arrive until sometime in September anyway, so I've started fresh with two new seedlings. I'll let you know how that goes.
As for the strawberries, they are still in the freezer. The two five pound bags of sugar I measured out precisely for making two pots of jam still clog up the pantry, threatening to spring a leak or invite varmints to chew through their flimsy plastic casings every time my husband opens the door.
"When are you going to make that jam?"
"Honey, are those strawberries going to last another day in there?"
"Will you please make that damn jam so I can fit my spare beer on the shelf!"
As we who were lucky enough to come of age in the late 80s know, life moves pretty fast. If we don't stop and look around once in a while, we could miss it. So instead of blogging or making jam this Summer, I've been busy looking around, mostly in other people's kitchens. I've watched my friends, family, a few people I barely know and myself struggle to cook for our own families and friends, and thought a lot about what makes home cooking so difficult.
For one thing, there is the problem of time. We are all very busy people. Slaving away over a hot stove is not the way most of us want to spend our minutes away from work and outside of the car. So today, I'm going fast and easy...get in and get out. Like Lightening McQueen, I am speed. And not only is this sandwich cool, quick and tasty, but it comes from my absolute favorite, the ladies of the canal house, who will be visiting San Francisco tomorrow!!!
Really, I don't want to gush, but I haven't been this excited for an event since I saw REM on their Green tour in 1989. So we ate their fast, easy and delicious suggestion of a sandwich with great excitement. Or at least I did. My husband loved it for the meat, as, shockingly enough, so did my daughter. And my son could be convinced to take a few bites when offered a bribe. So there you go, its a winner all around!
Summer Roast Beef Sandwich: (adapted from Canal House Cooks Lunch)
(makes 1 sandwich)
2 slices of whatever good fresh bread you have around
1/16 lb roast beef (1/2 lb makes four sandwiches)
ripe tomato slices, as many as you want
ripe avocado slices, as many as you want
Slather some mayo on one slice of bread, layer the tomato on top, then on the opposing slice of bread smush the avocado into the bread and stack roast beef on top. Liberally salt and pepper both sides, then put them together and slice in half. Excellent with a glass of water or chilled white wine and an ice cream cone for dessert.