Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What Men Really Want.... in their lunches

Of course I want another sandwich for lunch... for the ump-teenth day in a row, to include weekends. Why shouldn't I love the taste of bread, processed meat, assorted vegetables, left to sog in a refrigerator several yards from where I'm going to eat it... 4-6 hours later.

The paragraph above was called 'sarcasm' and was introduced to early settlers by Conquistadors from Madagascar, Spain. It's a small suburb just north of Philly. Not Philadelphia, just Philly.

The paragraph above, while not sarcasm, was in-fact bull(expletive). It was introduced to you by me, just now. Let us continue...

So my wife thought an article on "what men really want... in their lunches" would be a popular blog post. Since she's really good at it (she makes no less than 5 every morning) I am still convinced that this is a trick to get me to bust myself. The REAL trick is, how does one go about writing such an expose without "outing" himself in the process? Let's find out...


To be honest, my lunches are 98% (+/-2% margin of error) of the time delicious. I'm not just saying that because my wife's within arm's reach, they really are good! Then again, it's 98% of the time, sandwiches. The sandwich has a long history, too. Unfortunately, I don't care. The point is, how many different ways can you make it? How many times do I have to eat it?! How many times do I have to eat by myself staring at my computer screen before I "saved enough money" to eat with my
co-workers at Carabbas?!??!! When, God, WHEN?! Since I'm on it, wanna know something else?! I don't give two-putts to a birdie about bread either! My wife will eat it by the loaf and talk about how delicious this bread is or how we need to buy a new bread maker because she loves bread! If she loves it so much she should marry it! To be fair, I smoke cigars and can tell you about every little odor, taste, or vintage. So I'll stop there. The point is, how many ways can you make a sandwich appealing before you want to throw your lunchbox at your coworker, or your coworker at your lunchbox.

I searched Google high and low... I searched for "ultimate brown bag lunch" and came up with a +Cooking Light article on a bunch of sandwiches that wouldn't make it through the first 4 hours of the day before becoming soggy messes. Then I searched for "how to make a man's sandwich" thinking that I'd get a lot of really awesome ideas! Wrong... I found +Food Network's "Sandwich King" Jeff Mauro who also makes some pretty amazing sandwiches... that you can't eat outside of a restaurant. So then I searched for "ultimate brown bag lunch" and came up with lots of articles about adding dips and sauces and garnishing your soups. Holy crap! Do people really "live" for that?

"Oh, buddy! Wait'll you see what the little lady packed for me today!"
"Yeah? Cat poop would beat what she made you yesterday!"
"Well I gave her 'the what for' last night and she's singing a new tune. Check this out!"

And you didn't kill yourself last night because today was going to be better? Yup, your tomato soup with garnish saved the world. How about this; I'll tell you what my wife does and you can tell me how to make it better. Then, I'll pass that along with the preface "this guy on the internet said..." and then I'll show you the pictures of what happened next. I think that'll work!

The first thing out is bread. It has to be fresh bread, obviously, but not the almost-expired-and-left-on-the-counter-so-it's-still-good,-right? bread. Next is the condiments, single-side only. If your lunch is gonna be damp then put it on one side so it doesn't ruin your entire lunch. You can still eat a one loafed sandwich and be legit. Next is some fresh veggies; not lettuce, we've gotta create a barrier for it to breathe! Were talking about onions, maybe some bell peppers, something for the meat to sit on like a throne! We're talking about the nerve center of your lunch here! Finally, throw down some meat. Whatever you want, just throw it on there! If you lay it on then it's not tender enough. Toss that meat right on there like you own it, but don't displace the veggies underneath. What you'll learn is that the soggy-ness comes from the bun-condiment-meat contact. Inevitably you placed your sandwich on the only side that could've ensured it's timely demise. Now, being properly educated though, you've created a barrier between the meat which will allow her to breathe and open up to you like a young flower on a warm day. You'll finish that bad-boy off with a slice o' lettuce (if you like) and the other loaf of bread. When you place it in your lunch make sure it's condiment-side-down, for that soggy-loaf-issue we talked about.

Everything else in your lunch is a compliment to your sandwich. Be honest, you've opened your lunch and saw the bag of smash you called a sandwich and even the Oreos didn't sound appetizing after that, right? It's all about presentation. Take pride in your preparation and the delivery will be flawless.

Armed with this basic and somewhat flawed knowledge, I'm curious to hear your side? What are some of YOUR lunch tips to make that brown bag look more appealing and less like a projectile? What are some good snack tips for the on-the-go lunch? What about the 'nibbler' who doesn't eat an entire meal in one sitting?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Do You Remember YOUR First....Tooth?

I remember sitting on my couch waiting for my Uncle to come over because my mom, the big-bad-ER-Nurse, couldn't pull a simple tooth! It blew my mind! I'd seen her dress wounds in the hospital that made ordinary men squirm but when it came to pulling her own son's first loose tooth you could forget it. In fact, I don't recall her pulling any of my teeth.

Last night my youngest son lost his first tooth... and I didn't have a single dollar bill. There are few horrors in the world such as this and fortunately for me there is a gas station just a few blocks away.

What spawned this article was not the recollection of loosing my first tooth but pulling my first tooth. Just as my mother was a nervous wreck to pull my first tooth, I, too, was "less than stable" when it came to pulling our daughter's first loose tooth. I put together a few tips for all those other "first-timers" to make your event go as well as mine.

TOOL LIST:
- Dental Floss (to tie to the tooth)
                                                      - Pre-folded tissue (for bleeding)
                                                      - Willing child (unwilling ones aren't worth arguing with)
                                                      - A little bit o' salt-water rinse (after you pull the tooth your child                                                              should rinse their mouth out)

A few important facts:

1) Pull straight up, not out. The New Kids-Center gives a few tips on how to extract those wiggly teeth but more importantly, pulling up on the tooth prevents further damage to the gum.

2) Control the situation. I place my thumb on the inside of my child's mouth and on top of, their adjoining teeth. This makes sure that I am pulling the tooth away and not allowing my child to jerk their head back when they see my hand start to move. Since I'm an avid fisherman this technique is common to me. The trick isn't to jam your thumb down his/her throat but to gently control the jaw bone via the neighboring teeth. Literally just pinching the jaw-bone between your thumb and forefinger.

3) Don't lose it! Literally, not emotionally. These little teeth fly and then get lost in the carpet. Try explaining that one to the tooth fairy. A good knot will keep the tooth within reach, a.k.a. tied to the dental floss. The +Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a great site that shows you how to tie various knots. Ultimately, a simple knot will do. Just make sure you tie it on tight, and below the widest part of the tooth which is typically the gum line.

4) Pay the kid! Nothing worse than losing teeth and not having any coin. Of course, this is the tooth fairy's problem but you can help a fairy out at least! Another cool idea is from +Lainie Wicks at Maker*Land and they printed up miniature letters from the tooth-fairy. Pretty clever!

I've shared this video before from +Make: called the Tooth Fairy Transport System.


I hope this eases your tooth-pulling woes and puts you in a better position to yank those teeth out! Finally, let's all be honest and acknowledge the fact that +Pinterest is a real thing and check these certificates out...

#ToothFairy #FirstTooth #KidsDental

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