Italian S̶o̶n̶n̶e̶t̶ Beef

If ever you wish make Italian beef
Ponder purchase instead from those who boast
As they know the difficulty the most
And will save you the agony and grief.
Better a buyer than recipe thief-
Better consumed from a talented host
Better to reward another in toast
For your struggle will be rewarded and brief.

For at home there is beef, and broth as well
To craft for a party of one. Time spent
Too cooking peppers and bread, Hunched and bent
Over stove to finish as the hours fell.
Your sandwich is fragrant, spicy, and wet –
The chef’s beef is better. On that you can bet.

Man, I don’t know if you can make an Italian Beef at home to compare to a Chicago mainstay. Probably? I’ve had them at home, and they can get pretty good. But, dang, the pros know what they are doing!

I always get mine dipped. Don’t see the point otherwise.

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PBJ

A peanut butter sandwich in the usual way
Is a delight, it’s salty sweet, on any kind of bread.
Some will ignore it, listen to what I say
And you’ll enjoy the sandwich having been honestly led.

Peanut butter thinly spread on either piece of bread
Contains the jam keeping the bread from soggy soaking.
Take care to keep a drink near your head
As too much sticky can cause choking.

Instead of jam, one can use marshamallow fluff.
It’s a fluffernutter then, the sweet more controlling.
Again, only a thin layer is needed of the stuff.
It’s a comfort when needing consoling.

Lobster Roll

You’d think first you’d grab a crustacean,
Which is the main ingredient of the roll.
Actually, you first stop at a dairy station
For brown butter will provide the soul.
Pick up some rolls in the New England style
And toast them lightly on either side.
Melt the butter and let it toast a short while
And a lobster grilled, steamed, not fried.
The meat will come mainly from the claws
And then toss it in the butter that’s brown.
Place it the rolls judiciously and pause
To ladle any leftover butter around
The meat. Then, just a squeeze of lemon
And what do you know, it’s complete!
It may drip on your chin, but I reckon
It’s worth it as its so good to eat.

Lobster Rolls! Lobster rolls CAN be made with mayonnaise as well, but I think the butter version is superior. Some people dice up chives or raw onion. Those people are monsters.

I am a mayonnaise apologist, but I do prefer butter. I also prefer New England style hot dog rolls – my first lobster roll, I thought was served in plain white bread as they are split on the top! 

Rueben

It’s not necessary to corn your own beef –
It’s not hard, but will save you some grief
To pick it up from a reputable delicatessen.
Having them slice it on site will lessen
The work load when you are home
Giving you time to stop and comb
The grocery shelves for fine sauerkraut
Which delivers salty, crunchy clout.
Thousand islands do not enter discussion,
Make sure your dressing is actually Russian.
(This sandwich is original fusion cuisine)
Grab some Swiss cheese, wash your hands clean.
For bread, try a rye deftly marbled –
Pumpernickel, too, quite dark and
If you prefer, a light rye is tradition
Though, I feel it carries a condition
Of distracting the tongue from the innermost filling –
Which by the way, take care is not spilling
Out on the plate. Keep the sandwich contained.
Now for the step that really ups the game:

A Reuben sings if you take time to grill it.

Take a heavy pan, add butter, and we’ll wit
It on the burner, medium low.
Into the pan, the rye bread will go.
When toasty and warm, flip it over and spread
The dressing upon a toasty brown surface
Layer beef, cheese, kraut and in earnest
Flip the plain sauce side onto the heap.
Hold on – you’re almost ready to eat!
On a plate and then slice at an angle.
Now, time for your taste buds to jangle!

Friends, I love a Reuben sandwich. It is, perhaps, my favorite sandwich. My default of my meat-eating days. I don’t mind 1000-Island, but Russian is traditional! This sandwich has varying inventors – but it’s got ingredients named after different countries!

I do prefer dark or marbled rye to light – so much so, I typically ask and then don’t bother with the light. Mileage varies, I guess.

Sandwich hounds may know of the “California Reuben” which uses turkey and cole-slaw instead of corned beef and sauerkraut; it is also tasty. I’m not the biggest fan of straying from tradition on sandwiches that have specific names. It gets confusing! I have found the Reuben to be the most consistently named sandwich in my travels. The only variations are the amount of ingredients. I prefer a small heap to a mound o the beef, and don’t skimp on the dressing!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

INGREDIENTS: Two Slices of bread
American Cheese – yeah, that’s what I said!
Some sort of fat, butter is typical
But mayonnaise is another victual
Spread thinly upon the bread, both sides!
Place them upon the griddle to fry.
When each slice has reached a golden brown
The time has come to flip them upside down.
A slice of cheese on the browned side is dealt,
As the other side toasts, the cheese will melt.
The melted sides then combine into one
Sealing the sandwich – you’re almost done.
You can choose to place it upon the plate
And cut in half – it will taste great!

Or…you can take this savory comestible
To a superior level – that’s incontestable.
If you enter the fridge and grab the cheddar,
And use for a minute on a box shredder,
Keeping the sandwich on the heat –
Put this cheese on top, take care to be neat.
Let THIS cheese melt under a towel or lid
And beneath it have a spatula slid
Then flip it quickly so cheese hits the pan
And do your best to stand and withstand
The aroma as these shreds caramelize.
But give it a minute until your spatula can prise
This sandwich back on the your dish.
Some seasoning is now all you may wish
To add to this perfect grilled cheese – with no fault!
I suggest a small sprinkle of fine garlic salt.

Bro! Best grilled cheese sandwich ever. Yeah, and I love food and cheese and fanciness, but salty, melty American will always make the best grilled cheese. Don’t @ me, bro!

That said, I love to change up the breads, the cheeses, throw on some fruit or jam. If you add fruit, warm it up in the pan or micro before adding it to the cheese. Apples and brie are a treat. So’s fig jam with some sharp cheddar on whole wheat.

If you really want to reach back to schoolyard days, squish it down after it’s done. 

 

Avengers Review

I’m choosing to do some more poems. But after poems of such a serious theme (despite some needed levity) I believe I’ll be a bit more frivolous. Spoilers if you haven’t seen the picture.

I saw the heroes turn the tide
After an elaborate Quantum ride.
There was plenty I enjoyed, of course:
The fan service, the final force –
Visiting places where we’ve been before.
When the Captain lofted the hammer of Thor!
The action, the heroes, the final goodbyes.
Watching Ant Man and Wasp as they changed size.
Allowing an opera to have a clear end –
Though we will see many faces again.

Where will marvel go from here?
They haven’t told us; it isn’t clear.
The book has closed for Iron Man.
The Captain, too, has had his last stand.
I am saddened by the end of an era –
One wouldn’t expect a 4 color pair of
Bright shiny heroes to cause this reaction.
Always of the “Make Mine Marvel!” faction.

Emotional, exhausted, sad and undone –
Darn it, these pictures are supposed to be fun!
There are stories to tell of heroes still alive –
We’ll (hopefully) find out in Avengers Five.

The End

Twenty-Nine lifeforms described to the ether –
Are they gone already, or are they still there?
Out in the wild, the ocean, the ice
Suffering due to humanity’s vice.
Why should humanity wonder
On ways to prevent non-humanity to suffer?
To sit in deep warmth snug in a house
Why care about the Alabama Beach Mouse?

I’ll tell you this – how can we ask them?
How can we sit and shout and type
“You can’t wear the fur coat – it just isn’t right?”
How can we tell these people their lives?
Stop the poachers with their guns and their knives?

Why should they care about animals rare?
As they sit in the dirt without water or air –
The people I mean. Shut out on the street.
With threadbare shirts and nothing on their feet.
There is no desire to save otherkind
When your own people pay you no mind.

Humanity is stocked from pole to pole
And we’ve filled the air with oil and coal,
But we need to fill bellies and we need to fill brains
And work to release mankind from the chains
Of centuries of others controlling the roads
Of upward mobility – instead we’ve set loads
Upon loads of struggle and debt and treatment unfair-
So how can you ask “mind the polar bears there?”
Until we work to undoom our own species
No one will care. That is my thesis.

I remember the Lorax who spoke for the trees –
And Adams, and Adams, and Margaret Mead
Who spoke of nature and creatures and fought for all we
Who were willing to stand up and fight.
Fight for less fortunate, fight for what’s right.

There needn’t be battles, but an army we need
To dismiss the shackles and help people be freed.
Through this effort of providing our brothers enough
The animals, plants, the others will rise up.

Help the planet, help the people, help all of the life
To live it as much as one can without strife.

What a month! Yes, a treatise to end it on. A poem a day. A realization I did have writing – many people do not care about endangered species. And, indeed, why would they? The very people who hunt the gorilla are often doing so because they need to eat. People poach horns and ivory for the lucrative trade – but they, too, need to eat.

So, it comes as no surprise, that I would entreat us all to care and help and protect the natural world. But people, too, need protection and aid. And by helping them to rise up, we increase our ability to help nature.

Thank you for reading my poems this month.