How It All Started

Bob Phillips

The title of this blog was inspired by one of my Spanish professor's at Miami University of Ohio, Dr. Robert Phillips, who died in the e...

Friday, June 24, 2011

That no pregnant woman should ever have to travel 200 miles to satisfy a craving again

I craved two foods during my only preganancy. Early on I wanted lots of grape juice, although prior to that I was happy to take it or leave it. I accepted this yearning as part of my pregnancy, and towards the end of my first trimester, when James noticed we were out of grape juice and asked if he should go out for more, I thought and minute, then replied "no, I guess I'm done with that." It was not until about two months later that I experienced my only other craving: a Monte Cristo sandwich. James picked me up from work at lunchtime one Friday and asked what I was in the mood for. When I told him I wanted a Monte Cristo, he wondered aloud if there was any restaurant in the Rio Grande Valley that might have them on the menu. Dejectedly, I told him that I doubted it. I don't remember what we ended up eating that day, but I do know that following day, we drove 3 hours to get to Corpus Christi where we thought our chances might be better at finding the sandwich I wanted. I also remember that by the time we got there I was so hungry I was more interested in having any food, than continuing the Monte Cristo quest. We went into a seafood restaurant, mostly because it was open, and were prepared to order anything that looked appetizing. As luck would have it though, the Monte Cristo sandwich was on the menu! I ordered it and ate half, then asked that the other half be wrapped to go. A few minutes later the waiter came out to confess that the other half had accidently been thrown away, and that they would take half the price of the sandwich off our bill. In a rather uncharacteristic move on my part, I explained about waiting a whole day, and traveling 200 miles to get the meal, and inisted that another sandwich be prepared instead. My request was obliged. Later, when one of my co-workers asked if I'd craved anything during my pregnancy and I told her the story about the Monte Cristo, she said me she'd never heard of a Monte Cristo, so I explained that it was an egg-batter fried ham and cheese sandwhich, topped with powered sugar, and served with jam for dipping. She pursed her lips, and said "well, that sounds like something a pregnant woman might crave."

In honor of that day 14 years ago, today we made our own Monte Cristos using the recipe from our new Grilled Cheese, Please cookbook. The one thing this recipe specifically says is that one should NOT grate the cheese "because dipping the sandwiches in the egg mixture is a messy affair." We strayed slightly from the recipe in the book in that we did not use both turkey and ham, only ham, and did not use mustard. Didn't see the point in that at all.  These really are simple, and I don't know why I didn't just make one for myself that day, but that's all amniotic fluid under the bridge now.

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