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3rd November
2011
posted by amber

Sandwiches

The popularity of pressed sandwiches continues. I spend my entire workday assembling, and then squashing, slices of bread with various fillings. When the kitchen door opens to allow a harried waiter or waitress to rush in or out, I get glimpses of the customers, dutifully chewing away on these toughened offerings. They can’t get enough of them.

Avocado and brie flattened between heavy rye, with garlic mayonnaise. Shaved ham, purple onion and blue cheese waffled in sourdough. Shrimp deep-fried in panko crumbs, then mashed with cajun sauce in a baguette so thinly you can’t tell what shape any of the ingredients originally enjoyed. It would take an archaeologist to sort it all out.

I was hired as a soup cook. I like wet food. I like my flavours to mix naturally, vegetables sauted in herb-infused oils, home-made stocks, simmering until the peak of taste arrives. I am an expert at knowing the timing of the peak of taste, sooner for your delicate broths with oriental noodles or hand-crafted pasta, later for hearty country soups like split pea.

Of course, I serve bread or even sandwiches with my soups, but they should complement and never overpower the soup. I wouldn’t serve a pressed sandwich to my worst enemy.

But I don’t have to worry – the customers never order a soup to go with their pressed sandwich. I’m allowed to make just one soup each day, my soup of the day, and at the end of the day, I and the other staff take home generous containers. Everyone who works here loves my soup.

They’ll miss it when I’m gone. My boss doesn’t know it yet, but tomorrow is my last day of forcing bread and fillings too close for comfort.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

Thank you to my mother, Mary Bond, for suggesting the first line of this story.

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