300 Sandwiches....

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Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427
300 Sandwiches....

‘I’m 124 sandwiches away from an engagement ring’ | New York Post

Since last June, a young woman has attracted attention from culinary world icons such as Emeril Lagasse, Michael White and Ken Friedman with 300sandwiches.com, a beautifully photographed blog that documents her quest to woo her boyfriend with bread-and-meat creations. We now reveal that the woman behind the blog is our very own Page Six senior reporter, STEPHANIE SMITH. Here, she tells her story ? and shares some recipes.

My boyfriend, Eric, is the gourmet cook in our relationship, but he?d always want me to make him a sandwich.
Each morning, he would ask, ?Honey, how long you have been awake??

?About 15 minutes,? I?d reply.

?You?ve been up for 15 minutes and you haven?t made me a sandwich??

To him, sandwiches are like kisses or hugs. Or sex. ?Sandwiches are love,? he says. ?Especially when you make them. You can?t get a sandwich with love from the deli.?

One lazy summer afternoon just over a year ago, I finally gave in. I assembled turkey and Swiss on toasted wheat bread. I spread Dijon mustard generously on both bread slices, and I made sure the lettuce was perfectly in line with the neatly stacked turkey slices.

Eric devoured the sandwich as if it were a five-star meal, diving in with large, eager bites. ?Babes, this is delicious!? he exclaimed.

As he finished that last bite, he made an unexpected declaration of how much he loved me and that sandwich: ?Honey, you?re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!?

I paused.

Was our happily ever after as simple as making him a few sandwiches?

Our relationship has always centered on food. We met at a restaurant in Chelsea two years ago when a friend I was dining with spotted an Alexander Skarsg?rd look-alike. An introduction was made, and I found out he?s a computer programmer, a Taurus (or as he says, ?What?s that sign for people who don?t believe in astrology??), obsessed with ?Star Wars? and a very good cook.

On our second date, he cooked me dinner ? tuna tartare and fresh scallops on a tomato compote. More delicious meals, nearly all of them cooked by him, followed, and soon we were dating seriously. The fact that he could make a perfect filet mignon, not just order one in a steakhouse, was a big turn-on.

A year ago, we moved in together to a sleek place in Brooklyn. We?ve met each other?s parents, traveled internationally without strangling each other and successfully hosted many a dinner party.

Things were moving at a natural pace, but I wondered what it would take for him to propose. I?m in my mid-30s, and my parents have been happily married for more than 35 years. I have always valued the commitment and dedication it takes to get married and stay married. Call me old-fashioned, but I?d like to raise a family with someone who feels likewise.

Maybe I needed to show him I could cook to prove that I am wife material. If he wanted 300 sandwiches, I?d give him 300 sandwiches ? and I?d blog about it.

I bought the 300sandwiches.com domain name and a Nikon DSLR. I perused tons of recipe sites and cookbooks for sandwich ideas. I asked friends for suggestions, but some, especially my single friends, were less than supportive of the idea.

?How ?Stepford Wives? of you!? said one single gal whose kitchen was used for shoe storage.

Another, a hard-working C-suite banking executive, also objected. ?It?s not 1950!? she exclaimed. ?It?s chauvinistic! He?s saying, ?Cook for me, woman, and maybe I?ll make you my wife.??

My own mother was doubtful. ?Honey, can you even cook?? she asked.

?No, but I?ll learn!? I argued.

I started with the easy things. My second sandwich after the turkey and Swiss was a two-second ice-cream sandwich constructed from Anna?s ginger thin cookies and blackberry currant ice cream. My early thinking was quantity, not quality.

Ten sandwiches or so in, I did the math. Three sandwiches a week, times four weeks a month, times 12 months a year, meant I wouldn?t be done until I was deep into my 30s. How would I finish 300 sandwiches in time for us to get engaged, married and have babies before I exited my childbearing years?

My mother was the voice of reason. ?Relationships are a marathon, not a sprint,? she said. ?Take it one sandwich at a time.?

I made sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. I made sandwiches to get myself out of the doghouse ? like No. 67, a scrambled egg, smoked salmon and chive creation that combined some of Eric?s favorite things to make up for my being 45 minutes late for dinner the night before.

Even after covering movie premieres or concerts for Page Six, I found myself stumbling into the kitchen to make Eric a sandwich while I still had on my high heels and party dress.

Making all of these sammies, I?ve learned how much Eric loves sharing cooking with me. He enjoys going to the grocery store with me, picking out ingredients and planning dinners. Though I still want to get engaged and get married and live happily ever after, I?ve also put less pressure on the race to the 300th sandwich and I?m enjoying the cooking experience with Eric.

Today, I?ve made and blogged about 176 sandwiches. Over the months, my creations have grown more complex ? lobster rolls, b?nh m?s, pulled pork. No matter what?s on the menu, Eric smiles and says thank you. He?s just happy I cook for him at all.

?You women read all these magazines to get advice on how to keep a man, and it?s so easy,? he says. ?We?re not complex. Just do something nice for us. Like make a sandwich.?

Is this romantic? Cute? Desperate? Chauvanstic? Any other thoughts?

bunnyfufu's picture
Joined: 10/21/05
Posts: 203

I like the concept, but it would take a load of dedication and it doesn't seem like something that someone who's not into cooking should attack as a project. That being said, it's not really even about the sandwiches at some point. More about a practice like a yoga practice or anything really. She'll ultimately get more out of what she puts into it. The process will be informative. That, I dig.

bunnyfufu's picture
Joined: 10/21/05
Posts: 203

I like the concept, but it would take a load of dedication and it doesn't seem like something that someone who's not into cooking should attack as a project. That being said, it's not really even about the sandwiches at some point. More about a practice like a yoga practice or anything really. She'll ultimately get more out of what she puts into it. The process will be informative. That, I dig.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1534

I think this is a cute quirky thing that is special and funny to this couple.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I have to admit...the whole sandwich making thing reminds me of those bad jokes about "get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich"

But I don't think that's what's happening here. Good fun. Quality couple time. Although, the sandwiches=engagement comment was a little annoying to me.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I can't figure out how I feel about this because I can't figure out how serious it is. Like, is their future together seriously hanging in the balance here? If she never makes it to that 300-th sandwich (I dunno, maybe her kitchen burns down or her hands fall off) then he really wouldn't ever marry her? I don't *think* that's what is happening here, but I admit that there are parts of the article that made me feel like on some level she thinks it is. Like:

"Ten sandwiches or so in, I did the math. Three sandwiches a week, times four weeks a month, times 12 months a year, meant I wouldn?t be done until I was deep into my 30s. How would I finish 300 sandwiches in time for us to get engaged, married and have babies before I exited my childbearing years?" - Is this a serious comment or is she being tongue in cheek?

If it's true that she actually does need to do this thing to prove her love or prove that she's worthy to be his wife or whatever, then I think that's just gross and wrong.

On the other hand, I think that this almost HAS to be just like a sweet and funny joke between them, almost like she's writing him 300 love letters out of sandwiches, in which case I think it's sweet and funny.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4111

It really sounds to me like he was joking around and she decided to turn the joke around on him and do it for real. I don't get how anyone could think is chauvanistic when he is cooking huge gourmet meals for her and all she is doing is making him sandwiches. It sounds like she is getting the much better deal I would trade having a meal cooked for me for making a sandwich anytime.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

Yeah I think they are just joking around.

I don't really think the seriousness of their relationship truly hangs on if she will make him sandwiches.

I think there is a simple message in that its nice to do things for eachother, things that people can appreciate.

If there is no true expectation that the wife must cook for the husband then i don't think its a big deal. She had said many times that they share the cooking...that he does the bulk of it actually.

So its just a cute silly story in my opinion.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I don't think it's cute. I think it's cheesy and lame. I can't go quite there to call it chauvinism, sexist, whatever, but I'm leaning more that way that "aww, funny and cute." Sorry ladies. Pile on now, please. OMG, I've had such a bad day and I'm being a b!tch. Sad

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

If she's not being serious about it and he doesn't truly expect it from her then why can't she do it. To me it amounts to doing something for your SO that you know he will like.

Just like i buy him gifts that i know he will like. Just because she is a woman doesn't mean she shouldn't cook for her husband if she wants to.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

OMG, I've had such a bad day and I'm being a b!tch. Sad

OT - I am sorry you are having a bad day. :bigarmhug:

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"KimPossible" wrote:

If she's not being serious about it and he doesn't truly expect it from her then why can't she do it. To me it amounts to doing something for your SO that you know he will like.

Just like i buy him gifts that i know he will like. Just because she is a woman doesn't mean she shouldn't cook for her husband if she wants to.

I am turned off by it just because it's out there, you know? It's seems like such a production, IMO. Just make the sandwiches if that's what you want to do, but really? To get all this attention over it, IF she's serious about it, puts the whole thing in a light that's not so appealing to me. Sorry, feeling negatory. Must get out of my funk. Sad

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I am turned off by it just because it's out there, you know? It's seems like such a production, IMO. Just make the sandwiches if that's what you want to do, but really? To get all this attention over it, IF she's serious about it, puts the whole thing in a light that's not so appealing to me. Sorry, feeling negatory. Must get out of my funk. Sad

I'm sorry you are feeling down. I wish i had an exceptionally funny like to share with you to cheer you up. Alas i don't.

Yeah, i looked at the site though and the sandwiches look great. Its a great place to get inspiration. I just don't see it as much different as anything else that was out there. Really I think the main thing is the site itself, and all these pictures/recipes of sandwiches. The rest is just a story behind it all.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I will admit I did like the look of that fried tomato sandwich with the arugula. The boyfriend looks like a drip, though. It looks like he's thinking "Crap. I'm really gonna have to propose now."

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I will admit I did like the look of that fried tomato sandwich with the arugula. The boyfriend looks like a drip, though. It looks like he's thinking "Crap. I'm really gonna have to propose now."

LOL!!! I was thinking like what if she gets to sammy 299 and he's all "You knew that was just a joke right? I mean, we're not ACTUALLY getting married, you know that right?"

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I don't think it's cute. I think it's cheesy and lame. I can't go quite there to call it chauvinism, sexist, whatever, but I'm leaning more that way that "aww, funny and cute." Sorry ladies. Pile on now, please. OMG, I've had such a bad day and I'm being a b!tch. Sad

Well, I'm having a great day and I feel the same way about it. Why should she have to make 300 sandwiches before he'll give her a ring? If she's wife material, then he should just go ahead & marry her. And if he's husband material, then she shouldn't be keeping track of how many sandwiches she's making for him, kwim? You do it because you like to do something for him, not because you're going to get a ring at the end of it. And why the hell is she waiting around for him to ask her to get married and wondering if there will be time for babies if she takes too long making his damned 300 sandwiches? My advice to her: Get out a calendar, put it under the plate of the next sandwich, and say, "Hey baby, unless you pick a date, that's your last sandwich."

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

The boyfriend looks like a drip, though. It looks like he's thinking "Crap. I'm really gonna have to propose now."

I was thinking something similar. Mine was that he'd start saying, "That salmon wrap didn't really count as a sandwich," and "We really can't cound the tuna melt because you ate most of it," LOL! :biglaugh: