snackins ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

10 March 2008


Here are some things I eat when I am only eating for myself. Snacks are the best kind of cooking for exactly that reason: you only have to satisfy one person, so you can cook exactly what you have a taste for. You can also make the business based solely on what your body wants physically: if you want toast, jam, and chocolate chips for dinner, you can have them. It's the same thing, really. See, look:

That jam is Sarabeth's orange apricot marmalade. You should get some if you see it, and if you have any affinity for oranges, apricots, or marmalade. Since I have a fairly unholy affinity for apricot in jam form and good marmalade of all kinds, I got some. Speaking of snacks, one midnight snack I had a lot in high school was yellow sheet cake (made at 11 pm from a cake mix) with apricot jam spread on top. My mom used to buy bushels of apricots from the farmstands outside Chicago and spend an entire weekend jamming them up. As a result, we had the homemade apricot jam to achieve this at all times. We didn't have the homemade marmalade, since we lived outside Chicago, but still. I could do that now with just the random oranges that lie around in the gutters here under the gigantically laden trees from which no one ever seems to pick.

Anyway, Sarabeth's is an idea if you have neither bushels of apricots nor bags of oranges lying around. Since most apricot jam is really sweet and most marmalade is really sour, it's a nice combination. Also, the chunks of peel are half an inch wide.

It's also really expensive, at least off their site. I got mine at TJ Maxx instead. Now There is an underused food shopping experience.

On the other end of the spectrum:

This is one of the fastest and best ways I know to get a huge amount of nutrient and energy into your body at one fell swoop. It does really depend on you liking eggs, though, since both the salad components and dressing contain egg. That makes this sound kind of intimidating to make, but it's really not. It's more that the hardboiled yolk becomes dressing with a little vigorous mixing.

Egg and green bean vinaigrette

a couple eggs
fresh green beans
olive oil
white wine vinegar
salt, pepper

Put as many eggs as you want in a pot of cold water. I used two for just me this time, but one is fine; it depends on how hungry you are. Make sure the water covers the eggs. Put the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Simmer about 8 minutes for room temperature eggs, 9 or 10 for cold eggs.

While eggs are boiling, chop some green beans into inch-long pieces. You want a little higher proportion of beans to egg, so maybe a handful per egg is good.

When the eggs have been boiling five minutes, add the beans.

In the second stretch of boil, make vinaigrette. You can also use good bottled stuff, but why bother? For vinaigrette: put a large slug of olive oil and a small slug of vinegar in a bowl with some torn fresh parsley and salt and lots of pepper. You can add things like a dab of decent mustard or some minced red onion if you want. Whisk with a fork until emulsified, maybe a minute or so.

When the eggs are done, immediately pull the pan off the heat and dump out the hot water. Rinse the pan in cold water, inside and out, to stop the heat irradiating from the metal. Rinse the eggs and beans as well, to stop their cooking. Then pull the eggs out of the beans. Tip the beans into a colander, shake to drain well, and toss them with the vinaigrette. Put the eggs back in the pan, cover with cold water, and let sit a few minutes, until cool enough to touch. Then whack them all over with the back of a spoon, peel them, and cut them into big rough chunks.

Throw the eggs into the bean vinaigrette and mix vigorously. Smash up the chunks of yolk with your spoon in process. As you mix, the yolk will amalgamate with the vinaigrette and become part of the dressing.

Add extra salt and pepper if necessary, then eat. If you want to make this into a full dinner you can add some toast and maybe a banana. Or maybe that would be a full breakfast. Whichever.

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