Thank Goodness for the Earl of Sandwich

I want to thank John Montagu the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Yes he had a gambling issue.  But it is because of this issue that the sandwich was born.  He hated getting up from his gaming table so he asked to have something he could eat with his hands while he played and the sandwich was born. The great thing about sandwiches is there are no rules for making them.  You are the master of your creation.

I recently spent a weekend with my wonderful Wine Women of West Virginia and one of the women prepared a brie and pear sandwich. It is an adult grilled cheese and it is simply divine. The secret is the bread.  You need to use a good quality whole grain bread.  Wegman’s and Safeway bake their whole grain breads right in the store so try one of theirs if you live close by.  The only thing I added to this wonderful sandwich is craisins.  I think it adds a nice touch.  Maybe next time I will put craisins and walnuts.  Again no rules.

I have loved sandwiches my entire life. Growing up it was what was in your lunch box or brown bag. The microwave was not available in the cafeteria and it was too much work for me to make a salad.  My Mom made sure that both my brother and I learned to make our own lunches. Sandwiches were a quick and easy thing to make.  After all anything tastes great between two pieces of bread.

I remember one of my favorite sandwiches was a grilled cheese sandwich that could be purchased in the cafeteria in my elementary school.  They didn’t actually grill the sandwich it was baked but it was so good.  In High School I was always watching my weight and my go to sandwich was iceberg lettuce on wonder bread.  It doesn’t sound all that great now but it worked in High School. The best part was that it was about 160 calories.

When I found this book I was intrigued.  I mean three hundred sandwiches is a lot of sandwiches. There are some good options in the book.  Some are your standards but others make you think hmm that’s an interesting combination. If you need ideas you may want to take a look at this book.

 

The Princess Diarist

I loved the original Star Wars movies. Who didn’t. I wanted to ride with Han Solo in the Millennial Falcon to infinity and beyond.  But Princess Leah was the best.  She was smart.  She was actually funny all though if you asked her she probably would not have agreed.

But most importantly she was a kick ass take no prisoners kind of woman.  She had to be. She had people depending on her.  Many, many people depended on her to save their world.

For young women this character was a role model.  It portrayed a young woman with excellent self-esteem and a boundless amount of confidence. What a burden that was on her. How wonderful for us!

More importantly, I admired Carrie Fisher.  She played the part well.  Her book and later the screen adaptation of the book Postcards From the Edge was really about her struggles.

Just when she seemed to be pulling things together again she suffered a heart attack and died.  I had just seen her do an interview on GMA and The Graham Norton Show. I was devastated and I don’t even know her.  I kept thinking to myself this can’t be fair.  But then I heard my Mom whisper in my ear her mantra Life is not fair.  How often I heard that growing up. How true it is.

While I knew she had mental health issues after all it was out in the public for everyone to see, I did not totally understand her pain until I read the Princess Diarist.  When it comes to someone’s mental health you really never understand the depth of their pain.  After all it is their pain and pain is so hard to understand until you truly feel it yourself.

Fisher had an excellent sense of humor.  I think it was a coping mechanism for her.  Her humor was apparent in all her writings and her stand up show Wishful Drinking.  If you haven’ seen it, see it!

The book is a reflection of her time on the Star War Set.  She was young and a little naive.  Reading it you can definitely see she was struggling.  The book is a mix of her diary written as a 19 year old and her reflections as she looks back in time.  Heavy.

She is a good writer and I did like reading her book.

Britt Marie Was Here

For many people, fitting into society is not easy.  Many are socially “awkward”.  There is nothing wrong with that and for the most part most embrace or at least learn to live with themselves.  Many don’t and therefore we have Newtown and Columbine.  Heartbreaking! I wish society did a better job helping people who need it.  I wish I did a better job.

Fredrik Backman writes about socially awkward people and he does an excellent job. Many of you may have read A Man Called Ove. If you liked it  you will enjoy this book as well.  Just a sidebar if you haven’t read  A Man Called Ove read it.

Backman does a great job of writing about characters that have just a little difficulty being around people.  In this novel Britt Marie is a little awkward around people. She was managing.  She learned to deal with and accept who she was.  That didn’t mean she was happy but she coped.

Britt Marie’s husband is  cheating on her. She suspected it for awhile but she chose to ignore it until her husband has a heart attack and the other woman becomes a reality.

There is always some event or events, sentinel moments in a person’s life that changes everything.  I have had them, in fact quite recently. I am sure you have as well.  Choosing how to deal with them is the key to survival.

So Britt Marie digs down deep into herself and makes a change.  She finds a job in a community that is dying from the financial crisis. How she adapts to her new surrounding and how they adapt to her is both a poignant and humorous story.  The characters are wonderful. I loved Britt Marie Was Here .