Monday, April 16, 2012

artist and sandwich aficionado josh graham

are these your expensive swedish glasses, josh?

i first met josh years ago in new york city when he was a wee lad, literally no more than 4 or 5, playing on his dad's 80's apple computer.  years later, we ended up teaching together, and i had a blast in the classroom with him, pushing the boundaries of high school pedagogy by doing a unit on marina abramovic and writing manifestos with the students.  i also learned why he's such a popular teacher as well as one who inspires a lot of high quality work from his students: he creates a very "present" vibe, for lack of a better descriptor,  in the classroom.  he's passionate and rigorous about his aesthetics and techniques, but he also helps students feel relaxed, comfortable, and inspired.  he really knows how to help students get their alpha waves flowing.  i love hearing about everything from his plans for the weekend or next vacation, to what last night's painting session on the porch was like, or how he put together his sack lunch for the day, because it's clear that he knows how to enjoy recreation, painting, and the quotidian minutiae of daily life all  equally well.  i hope his guest post will inspire you to get more art into your living & your sandwiches, √† la josh graham, a.k.a. sandwich boy.  what should girls in a  tight place take away from josh's post?  

if you're in a tight place, make your whole day, every stupid, boring, crazy, hard damn moment of it, more beautiful, thoughtful, and delicious by following josh's example of deliberate living.

What would you like"Girls in a Tight Place"readers to know about you?
 I collect rocks and bugs and own way too many plaid shirts. I waited 4 months for my
eyeglasses to be imported into the U.S. but refuse to wear anything but Chacos.

Are you in a tight place right now? If so, what are you doing about it?

Yes my girlfriend's apartment...she has way too much stuff. I take things to the
DI when she's not looking.

What do you want to get done this year?

I would like to create some artwork that I like.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by cities that are allowed to age and the monochromatic color palate of Utah's winter landscape (sans snow), among other things. Also Hennessy Youngman.

What is my favorite legwear?

Nothing too constricting...maybe a brand new pair of Smartwool socks?

Sandwich Boy #1
How many times have you been on one of those "health kicks" and ordered a veggie sandwich from wherever and been disappointed with a sandwich consisting of two giant pieces of white bread a bunch of lettuce, some nasty black olives,  maybe some sub-par tomatoes or "cheddar cheese?" Or maybe all you eat is the same old veggies, or you're sick of salads. . . I don't know. . .  but here is a native New Yorker's ramped up take on some hippie food.

Some of the ingredients I use to combat the "health food kick" blues:

Goat cheese
Dandelion Greens (cut off the tips and stems they are super bitter)
Spinach Leaves
Carrots (cut lengthwise!)
A Good Dijon mustard with some sweetness to it (in this case Sierra Nevada Stout...yes they make beer, too.)
Great Harvest Dakota Wheat bread  (Toasted! It's all about the toasting!)

Of course there's other stuff you can put in the sandwich, but these ingredients offer a nice balance of healthiness and taste.

some of josh's more elevated sandwich ingredients

 Remember PEMDAS? 

Order of operation is essential for sandwiches, too.
Smear your mustard on one side and a fat element (goat cheese in this case) on the other.
Make sure your tomatoes are towards the middle if you are making the sandwich in the
morning for one likes soggy bread.

order of operation:  protect bread with fat, protect tomatoes with greens and cheese, etc.

Prepare to cut:

there it is:  pre-smushed for cutting

& Voil√°:
is the dipping sauce over the top?  nope.  never

The finished product is  served here with a side of sweet balsamic vinaigrette for dipping (not really necessary because of the goat cheese and avocado but . . . .)

Sandwich Boy Tips: 

As with any sandwich, the importance of proper ratios cannot be overstated. The veggie sandwich is a good intro sandwich because ratios are not as essential.  If you're a sandwich novice, or if you've had some sandwich failures, start here to build your confidence.

All I can say on ratio for this sandwich is:  don't skimp on the cheese, mustard, and avocado and keep the bread element minimal.  It doesn't need to be too precise.

Also, we all know that what makes sandwiches great is that they are quick and transportable, so if you're spending more than 10 minutes on one sandwich, you're doing it wrong. And if you need to take it to work I suggest tinfoil... but more on the all-important sandwich wrapping later.