How To Create A Perfect Ham and Swiss Sandwich… For A Fascist

From left to right: open-faced cream cheese cucumber radish and dill sandwich, cream cheese lox and capers bagel, and grilled kim(chi)cheese and egg sandwich

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve probably seen a lot of food pictures, and if you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably developed a lot of sympathy for Graham. Me too. Poor Graham. I’m a tyrant.. and my control freak nature comes out in full force in the kitchen. I loathe to let Graham take the reins at mealtime. He’s GREAT in the kitchen. I love it when he cooks salmon for dinner or shakshuka for brunch.. but I always have to look away. It’s better that the health nut in me not see just exactly how much oil and butter saturates the pan.

For the longest time though, the big rule in the kitchen was that Graham was not allowed to make sandwiches for me. It seems ridiculous to be so rigid about something so culinarily banal as a sandwich, but I swear there’s an art involved in the layering as well as some practicality! You want each layer to complement the ones above and below it as well as hit your tastebuds at the right time.

It’s not just in our own kitchen.. I’m a harsh critic of sandwiches whenever we go out. And burgers! Which really are just heartier sandwiches.. I will deconstruct and reconstruct a burger if possible to get the right layers together, softly whining, “Why are they doing this wrong?”. After a year of living together and playing sandwich dictator, Graham, rather exasperated, asked me what the rules were for creating a sandwich that would pass the Stacy test. I went to town with a diagram on our kitchen whiteboard which remained there until the whiteboard and us went our separate ways – us to Mount Airy, the whiteboard to the sidewalk in Graduate Hospital on trash night.

I was planning on posting my favorite egg salad sandwich recipe today, but the camera on my phone decided to be uncooperative, so I’m posting a revised sandwich chart instead..


This is for your run-of-the-mill deli sandwich. There’s variations when it comes to burgers, grilled cheese, veggie sandwiches, etc, but a lot of the basic principles still apply. I should add that these are guidelines for sandwiches I eat.. it’s all a matter of personal preference. Starting with the bottom layer and working up to the top:

Additional Info:

  1. Bread is dry. Bread always needs a “wet” ingredient to compliment it.
  2. Mayo should always be next to cheese.
  3. A thin layer of mustard (if you’re using it) goes between cheese and whatever deli meat you use. Think about cheese, crackers, and charcuterie.. they always come with mustard because it goes with all 3. Note: Different rules apply to bologna sandwiches.
  4. Pickles and tomato always stay under the lettuce. It’s visually appealing to place them on top, but think about all that pickle and tomato juice mushing up the bread.
  5. Always place lettuce on top to safeguard against all the juices that could destroy the bread.
  6. Mayo or dressing always goes between the bread and the lettuce because.. see rule no. 1 and also because it creates a “mini-salad” with the veggies below it.
  7. If you’re using salt/pepper.. you add that in the layers of tomato/pickles because the liquid will ensure the spices adhere.
  8. Once you’ve read through all the chart and additional rules and realize that your wife’s controlling nature over sandwiches remind you of another crazy Korean dictator and that it’s just too much work to make lunch, hand all ingredients over to her, put sharp objects back, and back away slowly.
  9. Play PS4 while waiting for lunch to be made.

Stacy (Supreme Dear Leader)


An Almost Accurate Depiction Of A Nightstand For A Woman In Her Late 30s

It’s been awhile since my last post since, between then and now, Graham and I have moved into our new home, have done a lot of renovating and decorating, and also hosted my sister’s family for an all too brief visit. Whenever my sister and I get together and reminisce while trying to keep up with my toddler nephew, I’m reminded of growing older.. or rather OLDER.

I’ve come to terms with being on the verge of turning 38 this year. At least I think I’m turning 38. I’ve found that after I turned 34, I find myself having to do the math to figure out how old I’m going to be each year. My brain is so bad when it comes to my own age that for almost an entire year, I kept saying I was 36 when I was actually 35. It was a nice little surprise when I realized I was a year younger than I thought I was. I had time traveled to both the future and the past! I realized yesterday, that my nightstand is starting to betray my age.20160518_174200

Here you have…

  • Ibuprofren
  • Living Proof Pre-Treatment Shampoo from their “Timeless” line. Let me explain the “Timeless” collection. It’s actually for “old hair” which came recommended after taking their hair diagnostic test where I provided my age. Yes, I had to subtract my birth year from today to remember. I tested it again, leaving the same hair concerns but using a younger age, and got a different product recommendation for a shampoo and a conditioner. So, the breakdown is: “Timeless” = Code for “Old.”
  • Tums… LOTS of Tums
  • Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum.If you’re wondering this does.. here’s the description from Clinique’s website.IMG_20160518_181909

I love how it’s “for all ages,” but when you look at the targets, it seems a bit biased towards “more mature” skin. Anyway, continuing on..

  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream for dry hands
  • Clinique Repairwear Anti-Gravity Eye Cream. In other words, wrinkle cream for those crow’s feet perched around the eyes.
  • Icy Hot – Extra Strength
  • Vaseline Lip Therapy
  • Glasses

As I mentioned in this post’s title, it’s “almost accurate.” I neglected to take a snapshot of the medication for the sciatica from my herniated disc. Since Graham’s been having to take care of me, I keep apologizing that I wasn’t anticipating this sort of assistance for at least another 20 years. “I’m sorry you chose to marry an old lady,” I joke about both our age difference and my health issues.

I think the 5 Stages of Grief can also apply to your youth. I’m in acceptance, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t TRY to do what I can to age gracefully. If I end up looking half as naturally good as Diane Keaton in my 60s or Dame Judi Dench at 80 (I should live so long.. AND likewise still be a cougar with my husband on my arm), I think I’ll be able to add a 6th stage – pride.