To celebrate “The Carcassonne Dream” turning a year old, here again is the recipe for the legendary sandwich that drives honeymooner Dan to desperate measures. As crisis deepens and he closes in on the final ingredients, he ultimately must choose where his fate lies: with his new bride or his dream sandwich.
FULL DISCLOSURE 1: the story isn’t crime like my latest stuff. It’s a blend of satire, adventure and magic realism that–OK, it’s a romp.
FULL DISCLOSURE 2: the local ham is completely made up. If you don’t mind fictional ham, proceed. Otherwise maybe try a Bayonne or Spanish jamon.
Old Carcassonne is Medieval fortress preserved and looming over a modern-ish French town. Even beset by tourists the place has the grandeur of a tomb and the vibe of fantasy. A place so epic needed a sandwich to match.
I started with the Provence classic pan bagnat. From there, lose the tuna and add some fiction and voilà:
- Goat cheese spread
- Carcassonne Ham (fictional)
- Sliced hard-boiled egg from a purebred Marans chicken
- Red onions
- Kalamata olives
- Cucumber, sliced
- Red wine vinaigrette fermented from Languedoc Minervois AOC wine
- Camarguesea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
No one sets out to buy a $35 club sandwich. You back into that kind of decision later and over time, after long miles journeyed, after tiny losses mounting on your stomach, after foolish choices and opportunities foregone, after hunger sets in and then settles in. The $35 club sandwich is a end-of-the-line choice, almost happenstance, but it happens, and when it happens, it happens all the way.
It was November 2007, and the journey was Venice. A dream city, the Floating City, Queen of the Adriatic. We left Florence on an afternoon train. For fun that morning we marched ancient streets and climbed Il Duomo’s 467 stairs–yes, for fun–which had us rushing to the station with train station snacks for lunch. In Italy, the presence of a service, in this case a snack car, never guarantees actual availability. Closed, reason unknown. A three-hour ride later Continue reading In Which I Buy a $35 Club Sandwich
It is winter. Christmas Eve 2011, and Writer Guy rides the train to Arles. Second class. The South of France trundles by outside, salt flats and olive trees, the mountainside and harbor towns of the Mediterranean coast. I sip my Coca-Cola Lite and return to my laptop.
For in France the writing flows, as fast as the sweeping wind is vicious. I plan a collection, short stories set in different French locales, and the first idea has begun to spill out.
It is about a guy in Provence. On a train. In winter.
Such is my premise. Six words nearly bring the Coca-Cola Lite out my nose: “France Is Continue reading Behind: “The Carcassonne Dream”