Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sometimes a Sandwich Is Just a Sandwich

I'm still trying to adjust to the time change, but I find that by the time I get home from work, the sky is already starting to lose a little light, and with it vanishes some of my energy.

Frankly, I just haven't wanted to cook much in the evening this week. The trouble is, I didn't get a whole lot made over the weekend to keep me going, so I have to do something.

Tonight was another chilly, grey evening, and all I wanted was comfort food. I wanted pasta, but I didn't have any more in the pantry (I really ought to make some this weekend). Then I wanted hash browns, but as I'd already had potatoes in my lunch, that didn't seem the most sensible solution.

I decided to stop at the neighborhood bakery for a loaf of their focaccia -- which, let's face it, is really just white bread with olive oil in it, not flatbread. (It's still pretty darn good, though.) Because at least with bread, I could have toast or a sandwich of some sort.

See, that's one of the problems of becoming a dedicated local-foods advocate. The more I try to incorporate local foods thoroughly into my cooking and eating, the harder it is for me to "cheat" and use something non-local in a conscious way. I mean, I'm not trying to be a real hard-line stickler about it, but I'm trying to keep myself mindful about what I eat.

But come on, a loaf of bread from the local bakery isn't the end of the world. It's not my homemade bread, it's probably not made with local ingredients, but it's made by a locally-owned business. So I have to remind myself that there are different degrees of localism and different ways to "chew the right thing."

Once I got home, I cut two thick slices of bread, toasted them thoroughly (both sides), and topped them with: slices of a very ripe local tomato, lots of basil leaves (also local), a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and a dash of black pepper.

Maybe it's fall outside, making me long for the cozy warmth of toast, but I could enjoy a last taste of summer in these open-faced sandwiches, and I could feel good about keeping some local character in my dinner.

Come the weekend, I'm sure I'll be able to fill the refrigerator with more ready-to-heat meals made with local ingredients to get me through next week and more gloomy weather.

But for tonight, well... why get all in a fuss because I couldn't have an all-local meal? It tasted great, it filled me up, and I did what I could. Maybe I needed the reminder: dinner doesn't always have to be political and high-minded.

Sometimes a sandwich is just a sandwich.


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