To tell the truth, I've never really liked sandwiches. Other than peanut butter and fluff, which is really more like dessert (and we all know I love dessert), squishing things between bread has just never had much appeal for me. I like a lot of the things that go in to sandwiches, but given the choice, I'd rather eat them separately. I would often do just that; when I started packing my own lunches in third grade, I'd often pack some bread, a chunk of cheese, a piece of meat, maybe some sliced cucumbers... all wrapped and eaten separately.
But there is one caveat: throw a sandwich, even one I would normally gag at, on the grill, and bingo! I'm salivating. I think I first encountered the concept of panini when I first went to London at seventeen; there were a lot of little panini shops near my fashion school in the Tottenham Court Road area, and, other than the carrot-ginger soup from Pret a Manger, the panini became my favorite lunch option.
Last week was cold and drizzly here, and one day in particular was absolutely a grilled-cheese-and-tomato-soup kind of day. (Grilled cheese, of course, has always been the one exception to my sandwich indifference.) We had neither bread nor tomato soup nor ingredients for tomato soup on hand, so I called Dan and asked him to pick up sandwich fixings; by the time we got off the phone, we agreed that some kind of deli meat would be good. My only specific request was avocado (I'm on an avocado kick again) but left the details up to him.
He brought home turkey, roast beef, provolone, a tomato, some crimini mushrooms, and the obligatory avocado, along with a nice, crusty loaf of sourdough. We used everything for the sandwiches except the mushrooms (later served sauteed with scrambled eggs). After a few minutes on our little Foreman grill, the bread was toasty, the cheese was melted, and the combination was perfect. We ate at the kitchen table while tossing the Yahtzee dice, under cover of the skylight, hammered by the rain.