Laziness at lunch...

Now that I no longer eat lunch in an office environment, I find myself with a lot more time on my hands to cook, experiment, or just altogether ignore lunch.  I get lazy.  It’s easier to eat a bar of chocolate or go get a falafel than to be bothered to cook on a sunny Monday afternoon in Paris with no work constraints.

Well the joke is on me.  Today it was rainy.

So I did what any self-respecting American would do at lunch time.  I made a sandwich.  I learned, like most primates, through mimicry.  My father would habitually provide his offspring with sandwiches for their school day, all the way through their high school years.  Before bed, he’d stand at the pumpkin-orange kitchen counter assembling bread, cheese, turkey, mayo (later honey mustard, to be healthier) into near little sandwiches ready for transport and consumption at the local Catholic institution of education.  We were all picky in our own ways.  Sister didn’t like anything with too much flavor.  I was wary of meats that weren’t white.  Brother tried cheeses that were not slices of square American.  

Then as I grew a bit older, say around 12 or 13, I started to test out my own sandwich skills.  On days off from school, dad was off the hook.  It was time to fend for yourself.  So around 11:30 my brother and I (and sister once she learned some coordination) would turn on the Price is Right, watch a few games, and then make a sandwich during the commercial break.  This allowed us just enough time to finish up our sandwiches and potato chips before the depressing midday news came on and I would opt to play with my LEGOs or ride my bike.

At 24, the scenario is slightly different, and LEGOs are scarcer than ever, but the idea is the same.  Make a sandwich, enjoy, and move on.  No difficult clean up.  No huge commitment.  Just bread and yummies.

I took to it.  I visited my now-favorite bakery in Paris on the way home this morning from some errands.  Du Pain et des Idées, the 2008 best bakery in Paris, sells an amazing bread called the pain des amis or “bread of friends” – an understatement to how much I really like it.

I tossed some veggies that were hanging out in the fridge into a dish and baked them with some truffle oil and fried an egg for some meatiness.  Usually at home, there would be packages of sliced deli meat available for sandwiches, but this concept is lost on nation that sells two pieces of sliced ham in a package for around 4 euros.

I sliced the hunk of bread and made a simple cider vinegar and truffle oil vinaigrette, layering the veggies, some fresh lettuce, and the egg on top.  It worked out pretty well, and as I tore into, my mouth agreed.  It was a fantastic combination of rustic French bread and fresh veggies treated with care (and truffle oil).  Dad would be so proud.

Definitely something that will be reproduced (maybe even tomorrow, if you know where to look in Paris!).