Hello, all! This is Bowl Number 2/B2/Andy subbing in for Cynthia this week. I’m stepping out from my usual role on the blog, i.e. part-time hand model and taste tester, to pitch in a quick guest post. Between Cynthia’s work as a lawyer, blogger, cookbooker, wife, and mommy, she doesn’t get a lot of time off, so I figured I’d give her time to sneak in a nap this week. So here we go!
The bowl household has really settled into a regular rhythm after four months, now that we have started to figure out the mysterious, tiny potato that is B3. He enjoys cooing, bouncing in his baby bjorn, resting his lumpy cheeks on mama’s shoulder, and Korean nursery songs. He does not like sleeping between 11 pm and 2 am, being ignored when he has something to say, or, despite what newborn/infant wisdom would have us believe, being swaddled or restrained in any way (I have seen him punch his pudgy arms out of straitjacket-like swaddles with both remarkable ease and impressive fury–much to the dismay of veteran nurses who think they have trapped him).
B3 is, in many ways, the bowl house’s cult leader. He has reprogrammed us through sleep-deprivation and sheer charisma, and I am pretty sure B1 and I might kill on his behalf with the right trigger word. In sum, our world revolves around this tiny potato man.
Along with this new focus on chubby cheeks and tiny toes, though, have come a few challenges. There’s a lot more to juggle, and only so much we can do in our semi-conscious, sleep-deprived states. In other words,
B1 and I are still figuring out how efficiently to divide the labor and each pull our own weight. B1 is doing a titanic amount of work, and I am figuring out how best to help out.
One area where I have never been a great help is the kitchen. I have a second-grader’s understanding of food. I’m an uncoordinated oaf with a knife. And fire makes me nervous. But, my lack of cooking skills aside, there is at least one thing I know that I can make when Cynthia is exhausted, that requires little-to-no-talent and is almost noteworthy for its complete lack of noteworthiness—a turkey and avocado sandwich.
This sandwich came from a summer of isolation in Denver, when I was working as a legal intern after our first year of law school. I was single then and hadn’t started dating B1. I remember thinking, at the time, that I was going to live in isolation like that for the foreseeable future, just beers, video games, and these daily turkey and avocado sandwiches. And yet, despite such well-laid plans, a few years later, I found myself making that sandwich for the first time, on a whim, for my wife, who was pregnant with our first child (?!). Something I didn’t even have the capacity to dream of when I was in Denver.
I don’t know whether it was the pregnancy hormones or the novelty of me stumbling through the kitchen, but B1 took the utmost delight in me putting the sandwich together. And each time I make it now, she (entirely for my benefit, I’m sure) acts as if this were the first sandwich ever gifted to man by God himself.
At the end of the day, though. It is just a sandwich, and very much a kitchen noob sandwich at that. Two slices of bread, veggies, and some condiments. No impressive twists or turns or fusiony magic. Maybe a baguette with some toasted bread if you’re feeling fancy, like the artisanal eatery, Subway.
But this is one of the few tangible things I can contribute in the kitchen, when Cynthia is tired and we don’t want to order. It is, what I imagine what we will make B3 and B(X) and B(X+1) and B(X+n) when mommy is working, and those poor little bastards are stuck with dad making meals (so many apologies in advance).
Between that and Shin Ramyun, I think we have a good start, but I’ve still got a long, long way to go. Lucky for me, B1 is the best teacher a second red bowl could ask for.
P.S. I took great delight in referring to Cynthia as “B1.” She found it odd, because she, of course, always goes by Cynthia. But if I’m B2, and Luke is B3, she has got to be B1. Besides, it makes me laugh because it reminds me of the TV show “Bananas in Pyjamas.” If you’re not familiar, I leave you with this rational, completely understandable Wikipedia summary:
The main characters are two anthropomorphic bananas named B1 and B2. Other characters include the three teddy bears Amy, Lulu and Morgan, and Rat in a Hat. The bananas, the teddies and Rat in a Hat all live in the same neighbourhood, a cul-de-sac called “Cuddles Avenue”. The bananas live next to the beach and serve as beach patrol. The teddies live next to and look after the park. Rat in a Hat works and lives at the community store. The characters enjoy eating “munchy honeycakes” and “yellow jelly”.
Turkey & avocado sandwich
makes 2 sandwiches.
- 4 slices of your favorite bread or 2 baguettes, sliced in half
- 6–8 oz deli sliced turkey
- 1/2 avocado, discard wingless Snitch nut inside
- 3–4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1–2 tablespoons mustard, preferably honey mustard because honey mustard
- 3–4 thin slices onion or diced finely in little squares, McDonald’s cheeseburger style
- 1/2 small tomato, sliced, minus drippings
- infinite pickles
- 4–6 iceberg lettuce leaves, crunchy, more white than green, not nutritious
- If you like, toast the bread. When we’re feeling really fancy, we use French bread, sliced in half and placed under the broiler for 30 seconds to a minute.
- If serving to a pregnant wife, microwave the turkey for about 30 seconds, or put it into the broiler with the bread until steaming.
- Place bread on sandwich-constructing surface.
- Spread avocado on one slice, and mayonnaise on the other slice.
- Decide which bread is the bottom bread. Put the turkey on the bottom bread. (Note: I failed to do this in the photos above, and it keeps me up at night. Be sure to put meat at the bottom or chaos will reign.)
- Shake mustard bottle to prevent mustard water spill, then apply mustard on top of turkey meat.
- Next place sliced tomato, onion, and pickles. Distribute evenly. Beware tomato drip.
- Next place iceberg lettuce leaves.
- Finally, crown the sandwich with top bread slice.
- Press down firmly until sandwich is within maximum mouthspan. Maximum mouthspan may be measured by holding finger up to mouth and measuring on finger the length between top and bottom teeth. You can then hold that finger measurement up against the sandwich to be eaten. It won’t help you eat the sandwich in any way, but it will give you the illusion of control.
- Eat it.