Is Stuffin Muffin Enough in Stuff?

The Norman Rockwell, by Absurdly Good Stuffin Muffins: 192 grams of stuffing, turkey, cranberries, pecans, (and apparently Bacon I have found out afterwords) and I am sure a bunch of butter in muffin form.

This had all the right ingredients to be a great sandwich (minus the Bacon… I don’t think I heard them say that there was the swine in this one, so maybe the day I had it didn’t have it? Anyway, now I know…) It had the sustenance, the textures, the balance of flavors, and surely the structural integrity. This thing was a muffin, made out of stuffing, and filled with things most people eat at a turkey dinner. I know a thing or two about Turkey Sandwiches and would like to think that I am fully aware of how to craft such a delicacy. It was dense. 192 grams (weighed on a calibrated scale of course), and the size of my fist. Due to the stuffing outside, it maintained it consistency and texture, and did not collapse or fail when toasted, bit into, or torn apart. This muffin dinner was a meal in itself, as any given sandwich should be. It needed a little bit of salt, but that came easily. it is difficult to make something for the masses and have everyone’s flavor pallets fully satisfied. I would have preferred to have a little bit of gravy with it, or maybe even a slathering of fresh cranberry sauce on the top, but then we run into the issues with portability and ease of eatability. It was handy, it was convenient, and it was flavorful; all of the things that a sandwich should be.
But it was most definitely not a sandwich. That much is the honest truth.

This is a muffin, not a sandwich, so why am I blogging about it? Am I guest Blogging for The Best Muffin Blog? Or did I forget what a sandwich was since I haven’t blogged for so long? Has the summer heat gotten to me?

I think the answer is somewhere in the middle, on a more theoretical level. Maybe a little bit Foodlophical*? Why should I discriminate against a muffin, when it has mostly the same basic ingredients as a sandwich? There may be people that might actually classify a muffin of this caliber as a sandwich. I mean, if an empanada is a sandwich by my standards, why can’t I say a muffin is?

I keep thinking of the Bill Cosby Standup about Chocoloate Cake. And how perspectives can be so different for some people. In the standup routine, Bill is told by his wife to go make breakfast for the kids, which he does not want to do. He goes downstairs and starts to get breakfast ingredients ready, when his 4 year old comes down stairs and says she wants chocolate cake.

“My brain looks up the chocolate cake recipe. Eggs, Milk, Wheat. Nutrition”

So he cuts the chocolate cake, and pours a glass of Grapefruit Juice. His other kids come downstairs and all want chocolate cake for breakfast as well. His wife comes downstairs, and sees that the kids are having chocolate cake for breakfast and has a kiniption, and sends Bill back to bed.

I agree with the four year old, and am all for chocolate cake for breakfast, but I also know that Chocolate Cake is most definitely not a breakfast food. This is taking the last remaining strain of convention and beating it like the eggs were beaten while making that cake. This is how I feel about a muffin posing as a sandwich. Don’t get me wrong here, Nobody is every saying that it was a sandwich, and as far as i know, these guys have no intention of doing so. I am just pointing out that perspectives can vary from one person to the next. I stand upon princples when it comes to sandwiches, and I have a lot of rules that help uphold those standards.

I have seen often that people have very few core motivations to do what they do. They base their opinions on either faith or investigation, and it is not very often that they will base their ideology on both. I have been a strong believer in the rules of sandwiches, which must contain above all others, layers, bread-like outsides, sustenance, and sauces. There are some fuzzy lines, that people often question, but I will tell you that there are 2 main reasons why these muffins will never be sandwiches in my book. They don’t have true layers, and they don’t have sauces. The other reason is the intent. They have no intent of being sandwiches. Just like the chocolate cake has no intent of being a breakfast food, but it shares similarities, a muffin should never have any crazy idea of being a sandwich.

That being said, I highly recommend you give one of these a shot if you see them around at a farmers market. They use good ingredients, including love of the muffin, and are fun guys.


Gardens make good sandwiches

You can make a good sandwich without a garden, but some of the very simple things that grow in your garden are often a great add on to any sandwich. Today was a nice warm day. Sunny outside, people bustling around the neighborhood, and people starting to get into the spring mode.

Today’s sandwich was a turkey on sourdough with a roasted raspberry chipotle sauce, some fresh tomato, cilantro, mint, and avocado. Check out the recipe section to see how to make one of these tasty garden-fed delites!

This means that it is time to start thinking about what you want on your sandwiches! You can really spice up your sandwiches with just a few simple steps.
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Hamburgers are not sandwiches, but they are close

As I said at the beginning, I am going to talk about only sandwiches, and not hamburgers. But here is a dilema I have, and was thinking about when i was eating a very tasty hamburger. What is the difference between the two? Both of layers, both of bread, both of toppings. Some sandwiches don’t have any veggies, some burgers don’t have any veggies. Some burgers have lots of toppings and sauces, some sandwiches have lots of toppings and sauces. Some burgers have toasted buns, and some sandwiches have toasted buns. Some burgers are on sliced bread, and some sandwiches are on hamburger buns….

Meatball sandwiches are still sandwiches, and they take more work than burgers….

But I am not going to talk about the amazing burger i had down at Park Burger down in denver the other day. I am not going to talk about the fact that it was ground bison, with crispy lettuce, 2 slices of tomato, 3 pickles, 2 onion circles, 7 sweet potato fries, a smattering of guacamlole right on the toasted bun. I am not going to talk about how the lettuce pickle and tomato made a barrier between the bread, the guac and the caramelized onions on top of the patty. I am not going to talk about how nicely toasted the bun was or how wonderful the sweet potato fries were. I am DEFINITELY not going to talk about the fact that the burger was cooked to a wonderful setting of medium-rare. Not even going to mention that the burger didnt need ketchup or mustard on it. Nope. I am not going to talk about that burger at all.

I am going to talk about the fact that I really wanted a sandwich, but had to settle for a burger.

so yeah. i really wanted a sandwich, but had to settle for a burger.

How it all begins

So to make a sandwich, you need 2 major ingredients, right?  bread, and something to put between the bread.  A lot of people think that this is pretty simple, but let me give you a little scenario here.

You have 2 people, with the same ingredients; bread, peanut butter, jelly, and butter.  You ask them each to make a sandwich, but what do you end up with?

Person 1: Takes out the pre-cut slices of bread, slabs on some peanut butter and some jelly on the other side, slaps them together, and cuts in half. that is the typical reaction to making a sandwich.

Person 2: This person looks at their watch, and notices that it is only 10:30am.  In an effort to make a sandwich that more suites the time of day, he slices off a couple of thin slices from his loaf of bread, toasts them, applies a healthy amount of jelly, a decent spread of butter, and leaves the peanut butter for later.  The jelly and butter combined with the warm toasted bread (golden, not burnt) will add a slight crunch to the texture, but the soaked in butter will bring forth the creamy flavors in the sandwich. The cool jelly will act as a secondary sensual feeling as the sweetness hits your tounge.  In another hour, person 2 will slice off another couple of pieces of bread, toast those, and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with crunchy peanut butter for extra sandwichy goodness.

Now which one do you want?  I would prefer to have Person 2 making my sandwiches.  If you have to compromise, here are some good tips to making a perfect PB&J sandwich:

  1. Good bread; It makes a difference.  Today I had a PB&J on Jewish Rye.  It is better for you, it has more flavor, you get some crunch out of the seeds, and it looks better.  Good breads for PB&J are Rye, Whole Wheats, Oat Breads, or Mulit-grain breads.  Sourdoughs, fruit breads, and breakfast breads have too strong of flavors.
  2. Toast it to perfection: A lightly toasted piece of bread does wonders for sandwiches, especially if you are taking them on a trip somewhere.  Some people prefer soggy sandwiches, but I do not.  i would like to be able to take my sandwich out of its plastic sandwich sized bag and eat it like it was meant to be eaten. I don’t want to have to turn the bag inside out and suck the sandwich off the plastic.  Toasting helps because it takes some of the moisture out of the bread, so when the jelly soaks in, it isn’t over saturated. it also adds a nice crispy crunch which feels satisfying to bite into.
  3. A good balance of ingredients: Not too heavy, not too light.  If you go too heavy on the jelly, it falls off the side. Too much peanut butter, and you are licking the roof of your mouth for 3 hours.  Find what you like and stick with it.

Now that you know a couple of the secrets about making a good PB&J, you can go try it for yourself!