One of the real benefits of having Bonnie away for work is that I get the bedroom TV all to myself. Normally, we compromise; for instance, if I want to watch Mega Ships and she wants to watch What Not To Wear, we compromise – and we watch What Not To Wear. Since I was only sharing my bed with Zeke the dog, and he was fine watching anything as long as he could sleep for the next sixteen hours, I was downward descending through the channels when I came upon “At Home With Arlene Williams” on the local religious station.
Arlene hosts a cooking show on a stage that looks like a head on collision between a high school prop department and fluorescent Sharpie’s. This episode was devoted entirely to sandwiches. (I usually try not to watch cooking shows late at night for fear that I reason a plate of chicken nachos at 10:30 sounds like a good idea.) Anyway, don’t expect to see dear Arlene in Kitchen Stadium battling Iron Chef Bobby Flay over a table of Sea Urchin stomachs.
First up was egg-salad with its own secret ingredient which she teased for a full five minutes while she mashed hard-boiled eggs on a plate. Was it going to be some exotic Indonesian spice? Of course not. The secret ingredient was – a big forkful of butter. Oh yeah. But as she is mixing up her egg, butter and mayo salad she said the most interesting of things. When she was adding salt, she said “My dad only liked salt on two things; eggs and chicken. He was such a funny guy.” No, Arlene, he was a lunatic.
The coup de grace was when Arlene fixed what she called her “combo” sandwich. More specifically, she said,” When I want a combo this is what I do.” First, she gets three slices of bread from (not kidding) a bag that still has the twist tie on. (For the sake of reality though, how many of us have a cracked whole wheat artesian baguette sitting around?) Mayo on two slices and Dijon on one; so far, so good. Then she heats a single slice of ham in a skillet with butter and plops that between two slices with a piece of cheese. She fries an egg in the same skillet with more butter, pours that on the second slice of bread and adds a tomato. Now she says as she grabs the salt, “Always salt the tomato. Paul (I am assuming her hubby) always says, ‘Arlene, did you salt the tomato?’”
I felt like yelling at her, “Arlene, what the hell is up with the men in your life and this salt thing?” She needs to tell Paul (as it is very possible my wife would), “You want salt on your tomato? Here’s your fucking salt!” as she chucks the shaker at his skull.
But I digress. This “combo” sandwich was three slices of bread, one lousy piece of ham, a slice of cheese, an egg and a tomato…properly salted. If that doesn’t say hunger buster what does? I swear she did that on the fly. Maybe she was listening to her Charlie Parker before the show and told the producers, “Arlene is improvising today! Get me a piece of ham and loaf of bread and watch me freestyle!”
I grew tired at this point, so I missed the ham salad segment. It was either go sleep or go to work on those chicken nachos.