A while back somebody somewhere published a book about the telltale signs of the beginning of a civilization’s fall. You know, like the Roman Empire – the biggest “fall” of all. If you read just a little about it you’ll find out all kinds of bad stuff those people did to set the wheels in motion for sure destruction. One of them was their attitude towards food. More specifically, though, was the rise and glorification of celebrity chefs. Right? My eight pound old dictionary says “celebrity” means renown and honor publicly bestowed because of noted character or exploits. Huh. So let me tell you about dinner last Sunday.
I put out the call early in the week. Join us if you’re able. Baked ziti, Italian sweet sausage, homemade garlic bread (yes, with homemade bread), blueberry pie. Sunday – we’d love to see you. #1 son jumped right one it and volunteered a Caesar Salad (our fall of Rome connection). The food came out well – maybe a tiny bit of scorch on the garlic bread (stupid broiler – gotta watch that sucker and lay off the Merlot for a second) but otherwise, it was all yummy.
After all our concentrated gorging, when we come up for air and the kids had gone off to the living room, #3 son pipes up. He surveys the glorious leftovers and says “You know what would be good?” We all politely burp, pat our round tummies and wait.
“A lasagna sandwich.” He says this with attending hand motions and we can almost see the layers going into this astounding creation. Pointing to the remnants of my excellent garlic bread he further illustrates, holding his hands as if in prayer. “Yeah, take two pieces of garlic bread, stuff some lasagna between them and it would make an awesome sandwich. I’ve always thought that would be great.”
We smiled, thinking of the glory. Three kinds of cheese, deep red sauce, perfectly cooked noodles, and lots of earthy spices all cozied up between slices of crispy bread dripping with butter, more cheese and garlic. I, of course, would want to add a sausage or two. And #1 son, the great Caesar Salad maker, would add romaine, salad dressing and a few garlic croutons. A truly stacked sandwich – worthy of decadent Rome even. We all got teary eyed just thinking about it. Why worry about war, famine and pestilence, or the barbarians at the gate for that matter? We had this vision before us.
The conversation went downhill shortly thereafter as we got off into the weeds with various eating contests we’d heard of and the exploits of the heroes of those sporting events. Hot dogs, 14 pound hamburgers, row upon row of pies. Speaking of which, we hadn’t had our dessert yet. That blueberry pie called to us from its place of renown on the big buffet. I abandoned the conversation and waddled over to get it. “I have vanilla ice cream if anyone wants.”
None of us was in any real danger of turning celebrity chef and becoming a contributor to the decay and fall of Western Civilization, but, boy oh boy, wouldn’t it be great to be the owner of a nationwide chain of lasagna sandwich shops? Or, if the barbarians do bust down that gate, maybe a lasagna sandwich will be what they’re after and not our heads. One can hope.
PS: Garlic bread recipe upon request
Image: Free Digital Photos