Describe the most satisfying meal you’ve ever eaten, in glorious detail.
I think I’ve made it clear by now that I am in no way a “foodie.” Food is a merely a means to an end; that is, take away my hunger. So with that disclaimer, my most satisfying meal is going to seem somewhat humdrum when I describe it “in glorious detail.”
It was two summers ago (gah! already two summers!) while we were rambling across the United States in an 1980’s VW Westfalia Campervan, somewhere between Oregon and California. I remember we were heading to the coast because we were dumb enough to think we could drive through “high desert” in July in a van without air conditioning. We could not. Our plan was to get up early and get on the road before the heat got too awful, but I just could not get up before 8 a.m. (Ha! Hahahahaha! I wish. I wake up at 7 a.m. EVERY DAY now). So we changed our course and headed for the coast.
The day before, we had stopped an awesome Farmers’ Market in Grant’s Pass, Oregon and encountered a new-to-us vegetable: Armenian cucumbers. Strange, twisted looking pale green cucumbers with a mild, almost sweet, cucumber taste. Light, refreshing and cool.
Right before the Californian border, we stopped in this touristy little town (I’ve forgotten the name), parked on the street and ran into what looked to be a touristy little shop. As soon as you open the door, the smell whacks you in the face – FRESH BREAD. There’s a bakery inside, along with all the tchotchkes, and this bakery has a long menu of loaves of bread. There’s a line up at the bakery. We get in line because obviously, in this kind of place, you come for the trashy souvenirs, but you stay for the bread. We get a loaf of still-warm-from-the-oven sourdough. We head back to the van.
Then the most glorious meal happens. Will cuts thick slices of the sourdough and spreads a generous amount of butter on them. He slices up the remainder of the Armenian cucumber and layers it on top of the bread. A dash of salt. A dash of pepper. Another slab of buttered sour dough on top.
The best cucumber sandwich I’ve ever had. Possibly, the best sandwich I’ve ever had.
It starts to rain. We sit in the campvan with the side door wide open and enjoy the cool mist blowing in on us. We eat the sandwiches in silence, and look at each other ruefully when we’re done. The bread is half gone and the Armenian cucumber is no more.
To this day, we sometimes stop and say to each other, “Remember that sourdough? And that cucumber? Wasn’t that good?”
*If you like to read more about our adventures traveling slowly across Western USA, check out our travel blog We Max Out at 90.