Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eat Fresh?!

By Mary A.
Guest Writer

TGIF…well, sort of. It’s the Thursday before Good Friday and I’m writing to you late because I’ve been busy dyeing Easter eggs. I was babysitting from 3 to 7 tonight, and thought it would be fun to spend that time getting our fingers stained. We were busy the entire time, but that was mostly because I built our Easter fun around a sub sandwich party.  I had platters of fresh cut tomatoes in 3 different varieties, sliced black olives, triple washed spinach, American cheese, pickles and a baguette that was so crisp and crunchy, you could hear me sawing into it in the next room. I set up a bottle of balsamic right next to it—all the things the “sandwich artists” use at Subway. 

The cool part of this festive, healthy meal was that my grandkids chose all the ingredients at a trip to the grocery store beforehand. I’m beginning to see that picky eaters are something more common to the USA than other places (anybody read "French children don’t throw food”?) But I’ve found, when I involve the kids in the cooking process, i.e. letting them measure and experiment with ingredients, they’re much more likely to try new things at dinner. Case in point: they’d never seen a yellow tomato before tonight, and were excited about them because I insisted they weigh them at Publix before I bought them..and it had to be a pound and not an ounce more. “Hey, I’m not made of money. Turns out, they loved the drippy things, soaking their hoagies. I let them fill the cart with condiments and sandwich decorations they know from Subway. 

Though I am a foodie and pride myself on cooking a lot, I have been…… known to frequent restaurants now and then—and think it’s really cute that my first grade grandson calls Subway, “Eat Fresh”. Ah, the power of advertising! He used to gag on lettuce when he was a baby, which was hard for me to take because I’m a HUGE fan of soups and salads, sometimes literally, LOL. I hated the idea that I was related to a person who could say no to greens. But then he experienced the six-inch cold cut at Subway and realized he rather liked them. But I think what he liked even more was directing the stranger behind the sneeze guard as to exactly how he wanted his sub.

We came home tonight and made the whole concept a D-I-Y project. Then we dyed eggs while I cleaned up the dirty dishes. It was a blast, and the perfect meal when you’re facing a substantial craft project and need something good, fast and healthy to eat beforehand.

What you Need for A Sub Sandwich Bash, Party of 3 

Here are the ingredients:

1 baguette (it can be Cuban or French bread too)
4 to 5 slices American cheese
2 or 3 tomatoes 
1/2 cup hamburger style dill chips
1/2 cup black olives
2 cups spinach leaves
1 bottle of balsamic vinaigrette or Italian style dressing
Salt and pepper to taste

Any condiments, cheeses, veggies and meats you’d like to add are both welcome and expected. You’re the sandwich artist, after all! Just remember to cut the baguette in half, or into thirds. Slice the top of each individual sandwich, so it can be placed back on top once the sandwich is decorated. Set out all the yummy condiments on plates and let the kids build away!

Let me know (via the Nana Network wall on Facebook) if the sub sandwich party was a hit with your family. I for one, give it a vote that exceeds sub par!

Grandma Mary   

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