Today’s lunch was three years in the making.
If you live in the great expanse that is the US of A, there’s a chance you’ve heard of a little sandwich shop called Jimmy Johns. I don’t know if they have franchises in all fifty states, but I bet if Muncie, Indiana has one….lots of places have one. When I first ordered a sandwich there, I got the Turkey Tom. And it was good. Soft french bread and provolone cheese and enough mayonnaise to make you feel very guilty. I had the Turkey Tom several times. But one day I tried number six, the Vegetarian. And I never had the turkey. Ever again.
It’s a mystery why I even tried the Vegetarian. I mean, I do like to pretend I’m a vegetarian, occasionally. And lunch meat does give me the creeps. But the Vegetarian contains guacamole. And all my life I’d had a hang up with avocado. The slimy texture; the strange taste. I have vivid childhood memories of retrieving avocado slices from salads and ostracizing them on my dinner plate. While carefully inspecting the surrounding lettuce and tomato for traces of green slime before ingesting them.
So the only reason I can fathom ordering the Vegetarian is that I was pregnant with the Hen and adhering to the warnings in those helpful baby books about the dangers of deli lunch meat. Or maybe I was trying to feel ‘virtuous’ by eating a veggie sub. (Not that white bread, mayo, cheese and guacamole are particularly virtuous.)
Anyway, I found that if I didn’t look at the green slime, I could eat it quite happily. Especially since it was laced with garlic which masked the weird avocado taste.
But of course there is no Jimmy Johns here in Calgary. And these days I only get to sample the veggie sub when we make the epic journey back to the heartland. Side note: if Calgary had a Jimmy Johns (and a Chipotle Grill. And a Trader Joe’s and a Target), ‘no one’ would complain about the weather or the absence of spring and trees.
A few months ago, I stopped at Primal Grounds to get a quick bite to eat (in the car…en route to dropping off the professor at the University.) I grabbed a chicken curry wrap. It cost $12. (If memory serves.) I thought ‘that is an insane amount of money for a wrap’, even if it is made with organic chicken. And comes with a thimble-full of soup.
I went to the grocery store a few days later and bought tortilla shells and experimented with making my own chicken wraps.
I was on facebook last evening when a friend announced that she’d made guacamole. Usually facebook lures me into the bowels of discontentment with its photo albums of sunny, exotic locales and whatnot. But occasionally facebook is practical. Even useful. Because I had avocados sitting on my counter. I’d just bought tortilla chips at the store. I could make guacamole. (It isn’t often that I have lime juice, green onions, chipotle peppers, and tomatoes sitting in my fridge, unexpired, at the same time.)
But last night I did. And I made guacamole and it was tasty.
I was in the kitchen early this afternoon, scrounging around for something to eat. I started making guacamole. And I grabbed the half-full bag of tortilla chips. But then I remembered the chopped cooked chicken sitting in my fridge. And the $12 wrap from Primal Grounds. And the Jimmy Johns veggie sub laced with garlicky green slime.
And I changed my mind.
I grabbed a tortilla, put it on a plate and spread some guacamole on it. I mixed the chopped chicken with a teaspoon of mayo and dijon mustard. I put a big dollop of chicken on top of the guacamole. And I topped the chicken with two thin slices of cheese. And I wrapped it up. And I ate it.
It wasn’t a virtuous meal. But it was good.