I will admit it; I inherited my father’s garage. Needless to say, the man did not keep a clean carriage house. Quite the contrary, on most occasions it was a booby-trapped minefield that only prepared my brother and me for the obstacle courses and myriad adventures that we would encounter in the military.
Piles of magazines that had not been read for years in one corner, and mountains of tools dated to the antebellum era in the other. It was not unusual to have to climb over things to get to the 7/8 inch socket wrench that you needed to fix a very specific part of your bike. It was just another day on Bayberry Drive.
As I look upon the mess that is our new house, I realize that I have a deep case of the Moving Blues. We are no longer residents of Ocean Pines, and have moved up to Bishopville since we found a house for us and my mother-in-law. It is a lovely house and we are happy to be coming here if we have to leave The Pines.
Despite my ribbing in the past, we do love the community, amenities and activities. But above all, we love the people; we have made a lot of great friends in the Pines and I look forward to staying in touch with all of them.
Despite my closing sentence two weeks ago, my friend Bob, an ardent supporter of Ocean Pines (that may be one of my strongest understatements to date), was here to help move the heavies and keep the ball rolling. To me, this is what makes the community such a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately, it was during the 10 trips in the rental truck, countless hours of moving, and various house guests that I realized that we have collected way too many things over the past 16 years. Of course, we had a truck-full when we moved here from Baltimore in 1999, so it only makes sense that we would be exponentially further-laden.
On a few evenings this week, we would look at each other and realize that no one had eaten for the past 10 hours while dragging, lifting and carrying many cumbersome things. Usually, the answer was fast food or rotisserie chicken, but tonight it was time to make a cold cut sub.
There is something so nourishing about a sandwich piled high with sliced Italian meats, fresh vegetables and mayonnaise. Wait, what? mayonnaise? Yes, I like mayo on my cold cut subs, so sue me. I know that it can be seen as a grievous sin, but my last name is derived for the French namesake “Souplis” (phonetically the same) so I won’t lose a moment’s rest on the issue. I like mayo.
Departing from my digression, when the sandwich has been amassed in a manner of Italian-style greatness, it becomes an amazing thing. In fact, I’m not ashamed to say that sometimes a sandwich frees the soul. It’s easy to eat, it is nourishing and the many nuances of flavor, texture, smell and sight are one of the most flawless combinations to me.
When it comes to the condiments that I put on sandwiches like this, I like to hit the Sons of Italy aisle in the grocery store or places like Southside Deli. SOI items are great, such as the salt-cured olives, pepperoncini, various marinated vegetables et al. It is easy to make a great sandwich when you use great building blocks along the way.
I sit back in my chair relaxing, writing and dozing off in a food coma while dreaming of the ensuing nightmare of cleaning out our new garage. Since we are moving out in a tremendous hurry and under a little duress, things have ended up in a massive pile in a fairly large garage. I’m not sure that even my father’s garage was ever this bad.
I walk outside to assess the damage before bed. As I look at our collection of “things” from the past, I am almost warmed by the quasi-hoarder feel of it. Mayhap I am homesick for Bayberry Drive. Alas, I am not my father, and I will work through the mess one box at a time. I will thin the herd as it were, and this may very well be the swift kick that I need to start paring down the junk. After all, that’s exactly what most of it is.
Italian Cold Cut Sub
1 12-inch sub roll
Mayo, to taste (don’t yell at me. It’s what I like)
2 ounces Pepperoni slices
2 ounces Genoa salami slices
2 ounces Mortadella Slices
2 ounces Coppa or other Italian salume, sliced
2 slices good provolone cheese
Lettuce, as needed
Fresh heirloom tomato slices
Sliced pepperoncini, as needed
Hot peppers, to taste
Sweet peppers, to taste
Fresh chopped oregano and basil, as needed
Cracked black pepper
Slice the sub roll and schmear with the mayonnaise
Top with the rest of the glorious fillings and sprinkle with the basil, oregano and black pepper
Revel in the fact that July 4 weekend is almost upon us and a cold cut sandwich is a cool but spicy curative for the moving blues