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Supremo

I have loved Pizza Hut’s supreme sandwiches ever since I moved to Florida and discovered no one there knew how to make a good po-boy.

I used to eat them for lunch all the time, even when I moved back to Louisiana. (I mean you can only eat so many shrimp po-boys, you know.) And then I moved to Tennessee and had neither.

For some reason, as soon as I crossed the state line, Pizza Hut quit selling sandwiches. I was devastated. No po-boys. No supreme sandwiches. And with the demise of the old Pizza Hut in Thibodaux, I couldn’t even a get a Pizza Hut sandwich when I went back to visit.

So I made my own. Here’s all you need:

Small loaf French bread — 6-8 inches will do
Thinly sliced deli black forest ham
Thinly sliced deli salami (I used Genoa salami)
Thinly sliced deli pepperoni
Sliced provolone cheese
Creamy Italian dressing
Lettuce and sliced tomatoes if you’re into that kind of thing on a sandwich. (I’m not.)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Slice the bread lengthways, stopping just before you slice it in two

Open the bread like a book with the cut side up on a cookie sheet

Put a slice of ham, then a slice of salami, then a slice of pepperoni on one side (or 2 of each if you want)

Put a slice of provolone (or 2) on the other side

Bake the open sandwich in the oven until the cheese is bubbly (10 minutes or so)

Remove from the oven.

If you must, this is the time to put the rabbit food on.

Drizzle Italian dressing on the sandwich and then close it.

Cut in two. Serve with a  cold beverage and potato chips (Ruffles is what Pizza Hut used).

Adapted from a July 2011 Facebook note

I’ve never liked tuna salad.

There was something about its fishiness that just never really appealed to me when I was growing up.

I felt the same about chicken salad, but in that case, it was the dish’s blandness that never got me past the mushy texture enough to like it.

Plus, I’m not a fan of raw onion or celery and both dishes seem to always incorporate them.

My mom tried. Friends have tried. My ex wife tried. I just never cared for either type of sandwich.

Until the day of my mom’s funeral, when I bit into one of my cousin Jeannie’s chicken salad sandwiches by accident, thinking that it was an egg salad sandwich instead.

It was heavenly. I ate several sandwich halves. It incorporated chopped egg and egg salad is one of my favorite sandwiches. (The first I learned to make.)

Jeannie has fed many a church function with her chicken salad sandwiches, using an industrial sized recipe that involves a food processor, a whole chicken (deboned), a dozen boiled eggs, almost a whole jar of mayonnaise and a variety of other ingredients that include bell pepper, green onions and pickles.

Her recipe makes 35 sandwiches. I haven’t tried it yet.

I was watching “Chef at Home” on the Ion channel the other day and chef Michael Smith made tuna salad sandwiches using canned tuna, which got me to thinking: What would Jeannie’s chicken salad taste like with tuna.

I like sashimi tuna and tuna sushi, so why not give canned tuna a try again? I picked up a couple of cans of white tuna packed in olive oil, thinking that olive oil has to be better for you than briny water.

I experimented on Saturday and today. I may be on to something.

1 can of white chunky tuna in oil, drained and pulled apart with a fork

2 boiled eggs, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of mayonnaise

1 tablespoon of sweet or dill pickle relish

black pepper to taste

a few shakes of onion powder

a couple of shakes of paprika

a pinch of cayenne pepper powder

Mix the eggs, tuna, mayonnaise and relish together, then add the seasonings and mix some more.

This will make at least six sandwiches. I halved the recipe on Saturday, but ended up throwing away the extra half can of tuna. (That stuff smells bad in the fridge, even in a sealed bag.)

I’m going to try a variation on this with chicken next time I have leftovers.

Just east of Dull

I haven’t blogged much because there hasn’t been much to blog about.

I picked a cabin style I like, worked out financing with my credit union, found a contractor to handle the foundation, found a supplier for my cistern and its components, and moved the land cost off my credit cards before interest kicked in.

While that’s a lot of activity, it’s mostly phone calls, emails and texts.

The biggest issue I am facing right now is getting the grass cut so ticks and chiggers aren’t a problem.

I’m not doing so well with that.

I didn’t winterize my lawn mower and ended up putting bad gas in it last week. The short version is it won’t start. The longer version is that no matter what I do, it won’t start.

Since I only paid $120 for the lawn mower new, I can’t see me spending money at a repair shop. I cut half the yard with my weed eater last week. I couldn’t grasp an object the day after. So this afternoon, in a feat of genius, I bought a Fiskar reel mower.

I blogged about wanting a Fiskar a few years ago. It’s a beautiful machine, well built and stout as all get out. But I didn’t find out until I got it back to The Ridge and all put together that it won’t cut anything that’s taller than 6 inches.

Fiskars reel mower

Fiskars reel mower

The grass and weeds in my yard are much higher than six inches right now.

The Fiskar made a dent in the grass. You can see where I pushed it in the really thick area. But tomorrow, I’ll stop at Harbor Freight on my way back and pick up a corded weed eater and something to hold the trigger down while I get the grass low enough to use my new Fiskar.

The old lawn mower? I’ll pick up a spark plug kit at Harbor Fright, too, and clean the plug to see if that will make a difference.

But I probably won’t do that for a few weeks while I concentrate on getting the grass down to a manageable height. I’ve basically spent the last month or so up there watching the grass grow.

Did I mention that The Ridge is just east of Dull?

Chair-ish the thought

It was like spending time with an old friend the way the recliner eased back with a slight nudge when I sat in it after I got it home Monday night.

This was no ordinary recliner. I recovered from a tonsillectomy in that chair. I spent countless Saturdays and Sundays watching football in that chair. I even watched the Saints win the Super Bowl in it.

When Carolyn asked if I wanted it, I jumped at the offer.

I thought it would fit in the backseat of my car, but after wrestling with it for 10 minutes, I realized I’d need a pickup. In the end, I rented one after work and picked up the chair this past Monday.

I couldn’t wait to sit in it again. I spent many hours with either Bubba, Kamilla or Krista on my lap in that chair. I miss them bunches. Truth is, I wanted this chair as part of the divorce settlement, but that got to be nasty, so I just walked away from the house for a pittance and moved on with my life.

The chair, to the left, is where I watched the Saints win the Super Bowl.

As an adult, I had always owned a blue recliner.

The first one I picked up at Naquin Furniture in Thibodaux for $99 on sale in 1981. It was big and soft and comfy. It came with me to Florida, back to Thibodaux and then to Baton Rouge. I sadly left it on the roadside 19 years later when I moved to Nashville. There was no room for it in the U-Haul truck and my fiancée called it “nasty.” (That turned out to be a theme throughout our life together, but I digress.)

When we built our house in Murfreesboro, we got a blue recliner for the bonus room. This one was a Queen Ann style chair. Comfortable sitting in reading, either upright or laid back.

Carolyn moved it from the bonus room to the great room near the end of the marriage and I spent less time in it, though that’s where I saw the Saints win the Super Bowl.

That’s where it stayed until I picked it up.

It’s funny how memories work.

I wanted the blue recliner because it made me feel comfortable. A year after the divorce, when I could afford to buy new furniture, I bought the same exact chair from a local store in Nashville.

But they didn’t have blue in stock and it would be six weeks before they’d get another, so I settled on the maroon model and it has served me well.

Four years later, the blue recliner was mine again. So I sat down and gloated about the prodigal chair coming home. I moved the maroon recliner to the other side of the sofa and put the blue chair in its rightful place where I like to watch TV.

There’s really nothing to watch on TV on Mondays, so after a few minutes of sitting in the blue recliner, gloating, I was back at my desk in the spare bedroom reading Facebook.

Tuesday was much the same. WNPT had pledge programming and its pledge programming is the lamest of any PBS station I’ve ever seen. So I was in the office soon after the evening news went off.

Wednesday, I worked from home after a bout with my Meniere’s. I spent the morning at my desk, but felt worse and laid down in the recliner at lunch time.

The chair that helped heal me after tonsil surgery 12 years ago started giving me a back ache. I switched to the other chair and dozed off shortly after reclining all the way back.

I moved the maroon chair back to its proper place on Thursday and spent most of today in it, dozing off and on while cooking and home improvement shows alternated on WNPT. As soon as I have a leak-free place on the ridge, the blue chair will head up there.

Fond memories have their place in life, I’m certain, but I do believe they’re best left as memories.

If I owned any Rolling Stones songs, I’d play “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” right now. I met with the zoning director this afternoon and plans to redo the old barn into a house won’t work.

It’s too close to the road to be considered for residential.

So this weekend, I’m working on Plan C, which may actually be Plan A, since Plan A never really involved living in the barn any way.

I have several options, it’s just a matter of breaking out the measuring tape and seeing what will work best for me.

Plan A called for a few small buildings, paid for with cash as I go along, serving a variety of purposes, including living (bedroom, kitchen/dining, bathroom), storage, study/office, laundry room, etc.  That’s what I will do. I just have to site the house before I can install the septic tank and I was hoping to have the septic tank in place by the end of April.

The old barn, formerly known as the cabin, will still get torn down and a new roof put up. The roof will serve as my primary source of drinking water. The slab can be a variety of things, including a garage or a work shop or both.

The good news is that I only need a building permit for the building I plan to sleep in. The rest of the small houses are OK. I’ll only need a permit from the electric company to put grid power in any building, which has me thinking about solar power options again.

Don’t be surprised if Plan A looks a lot like this:

The weather lately seems to have everyone in the doldrums. Where it was snowing last week, it’s raining this week. With temperatures near normal and water in abundance, I can’t help but think I’ll be cutting grass again soon.

All in all, things are going well but rainy days like today make me think of one of my favorite poems by my favorite poet.

Lodged
By Robert Frost

The rain to the wind said,
‘You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.

 

Whatever you’re going through, hang in there. It gets better.

Cutting edge

Tonight marks the start of the traditional pre-Christmas “Where did I put the scissors?” season.

It starts each year just a few days after I buy enough Christmas presents to decide it’s a good time to start wrapping some. It ends with my next visit to Dollar General.

There was a time when scissors played an important role in my life.

One of my biggest memories of Hurricane Betsy, aside from peeing in the back yard during the eye of the hurricane (a tradition that I have upheld over the decades), was the destruction of my third-grade classroom along with my school box, and special dispensation from the principal that we could have pointed scissors.

Pointed scissors made me feel almost grown up. That is until I grew up and found I rarely had need for scissors.

I remember carefully wielding scissors when I was 13 so I could put a “Home Is Where the Miller Is” beer ad from a magazine onto the homemade waste paper basket I made at Vacation Bible School.

Who knew that just a few years later, scissors would be so unimportant to me that I’d end up buying a new pair almost every year, especially these last few years.

I’m sure they’re around here somewhere, but they’re not where I think I would usually put them. I checked all the drawers, and looked under the piles of paper on my desk and dresser.

I’ll look again in the morning. But at $1 a pair at Dollar General, my time is better spent on just buying a new pair than trying to find the old ones. They’ll resurface at some point during the next year. And I’ll make a mental note to put them in  a place where I will find them later on. But I rarely find them again.

With new scissors, I’ll be able to sit on the floor and wrap presents tomorrow night. And when I’m done, I’ll put the scissors where I think they belong. And over the next week, I’ll go to that spot whenever I need to wrap more gifts. But as the Christmas season fades, so does my recollection of where I put the scissors.

One of these years, I’ll put them in the same place as the tape, which I usually find three rolls of when I’m looking for the scissors.

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