09 October 2008


I date the beginning of my not-very-distinguished cooking career to the day Mom and Anita were in the back room sewing. It was about half past noon, and my hunger stirred me from the book I was reading.

When I asked when lunch would be ready, Mom and Anita didn’t appreciate the urgency of the situation, so I went back down the hall to the kitchen. Staring into the refrigerator, I got the idea I could make sandwiches for everyone.

This obviously wasn’t a common occurrence, so I decided to celebrate…by putting chili powder in the sandwiches.

I think everyone ate their sandwiches that day, though I don’t recall any calls for a repeat performance.

This summer I received another dose of inspiration—feeling kind of queasy after consuming Stouffer’s lasagna for six straight meals.

Thus, while wandering the WalMart grocery aisles one evening, I hit upon a variation on a recipe my sister used once.

Take regular slices of bread, toast them medium brown in a toaster oven, and put the toastier side down on a cookie sheet. Spread a medium amount of Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauce over the bread, and add slices of marble jack cheese. Sprinkle or place pineapple chunks on the cheese.

Then add the dill pickle slices.

Put the whole thing back into the toaster oven at 375 degrees until the cheese melts.

Hunger is the best sauce, and you should also know I do have the ability to “muscle my way past the gag reflex,” to quote a famous rat’s brother. But seriously, the sweet and sour cancel each other out, allowing the flavor to come out.

Less successful combinations include the use of pepper jack cheese, Steakhouse variety Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauce, and adding turkey ham.

Oh… don’t leave a half a can of pineapple chunks in the refrigerator for two weeks. Some kind of chemical reaction turned the can a beautiful gray color, and the pineapple tasted like the can (for the record, I did throw it out).

Anyway, the focus group testing on this recipe has gone so well, I’ve decided to cancel the plans to open a franchise.

Till next time then…chow!

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