Stalking the Waiter

Riffing on foods, flavors and methods, that would be telling.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

That's What I Get for Reading

This may sound gross, or not, depending on if you're one of those folks who loves or hates weird combinations, but here we go.

I recently read Jennifer Weiner's, "In Her Shoes." In the book there is a childhood recollection of going to some upscale department store and having tea and little sandwiches in their cafe, little cream cheese and olive sandwiches. This started a whole childhood reminiscence for me because that was one of the finger sandwiches my mother used to make for tea with the church ladies.

My first and last opportunity to sit with the ladies when they had their tea party, my mom made those sandwiches. And it was one of those very sandwiches I was delicately nibbling when I totally disgraced myself, to be banished forevermore. Well, not really, we moved, and she never started up with the new church ladies. BTW, we didn't have to move because of my faux pas. Really.

Anyway, I was sitting next to one of the older ladies, sipping my tea, munching my sandwich, making intellectual (or so it seemed to five year old me) conversation, when disaster struck.

Mom had a good turnout that day, and ran out of chairs. So, I was relegated to the piano stool, the backless piano stool. Pity I didn't remember it was backless before I copycatted the lady across from me by crossing my legs, thus causing me to tilt backward...where no chair back waited to support me. LOL! As you can imagine, I went over backwards, not only sending my tea cup and partially eaten sandwich airborne, but one of my feet took out the cup and nosh of the nice older lady next to me as I went over. I still have to laugh, although I was mortified at the time. So, cream cheese and olive sandwiches definitely freighted with meaning for me.

Next, I was rereading Janet Evanovich's, Ten Big Ones, the tenth in the Stephanie Plum series. Stephanie has an ongoing love affair with peanut butter. She loves peanut butter and olive sandwiches, too, no doubt the black olives that come in cans, rather than the green olives of my mother's tea sandwiches, but olives still.

So, it hit me. Bam! (not an Emeril reference) Cream cheese on one slice of bread, peanut butter on the other, and sliced, green, pimento-stuffed olives pressed between them. I obssessed over it. I tried to resist it. And I did, temporarily, since this inspiration hit at about three in the morning. But the next day, I had to try it out.

And it was scrummy. Creamy, bland cream cheese, rich and a little sweet peanut butter, both spiked with the briney, pickley zing of the olives. Delish. My one caveat is that, unless you like heavy foods, start small. I made a whole sandwich of it, and it took me the whole day to finish it. Just too much of a good thing.

Now, I have to give my creation a name...Plum Fussel? For Stephanie and Mrs. Fussel, the nice lady who was such a good sport about having me kick her tea and crumpets out of her hand and all over her nice dress? But that's misleading, makes you expect there to be plums in it, doesn't it? How about Fusseletta? Like Muffuletta, because it's got olives and a couple other good things. Yeah, I like the sound of that.

Cheers, Mrs. Fussel, wherever you are!

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At 5:07 PM, Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Great!! I used to make green olive and cream cheese sandwiches years ago. I got to where I wanted more zing, so I'd cut up Greek pickled peppers and put a layer of those on too. (Let's keep going with this muffuletta thing here: they've got peppers too! And cheese of course. But I think I'd skip the salami.)
Fusseletta. Hilarious.

At 8:48 PM, Blogger b'gina said...

Hmm. I bet green onions and bacon would be outstanding instead of the olives. Riffing, always riffing.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger cookiecrumb said...

You're onto something there.


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