Friday, March 11, 2011

Michael's Sourdough Challenge: Week 1

I love a good project and/or game, and will make a project or game out of just about any activity.  This leads to hours of amusement and entertainment -- sometimes I am the only one entertained or amused, but that's fine by me.  I am a total nerd this way, but don't forget that I am the very same person who worked on a report about cats with Medora Payne when we were under-10 kids on Liberty Street, neither one of us able to have cats as pets (family allergies), out of total love for subject spending hours at the library, reading books about cats, collecting images of cats, writing page after page after page...  Yes, I have a long history of this.

For example, coming home from Tahoe a few weeks ago, I decided that I would make a little project of counting how many medical marijuana dispensaries there are along the freeway corridor.  Lately, I've been noticing these everywhere. So I kept a running tally in my notebook.  Unfortunately, it appears that really, the bulk of the dispensaries I remember are on a different stretch of road, so it wasn't that fruitful.  But then, since it was getting to be twilight, optimum raptor hunting time across the flatlands of Highway 37, I turned it into a game of Pot vs. Hawk.  Hawks won it, hands down.  Awesome!  There are many, many more examples of my project-mania, but you get the idea.

Over lunch at the delicious Michael's Sourdough a few weeks ago with some friends, we were discussing our unfortunate tendency to always order the same delicious thing.  I always get the #23 with Dijon, no onions, half-wrapped.  Always.  Because it's delicious.  Half-wrapped because the sandwiches are enormous and certain to induce food-coma if eaten in their entirety.  How sad, we said, that there are broad swaths of menu we are not accessing because of our favoritism.

And so a new project was born.

The Michael's Sourdough sandwich menu has 26 items on it.  Twenty-six -- how tidy, I thought.  If we eat here every other week for one year, I proposed aloud, we could work our way through the entire menu.  Thank goodness my friends are generally willing to humor me and my silly ideas.

We start today with Sandwich #1: Idaho Ham.  The rules are that everyone orders the same sandwich; we eat and discuss.  If nothing else, it's an opportunity to see some people I love on a regular basis in the middle of a work-day.

The Michael's Sourdough Challenge will not be easy.  The menu (sorry, vegans and vegetarians, and me with my sometimes-narrow tastes) is quite meat-y, and does include liverwurst (week #12) and salami (week #8, oh the breath!).  Schedules are another challenge, since it's absurd how hard it is to coordinate the schedules of just 4 people.  Keeping a commitment with each other for a year is another aspect of the challenge.

So we'll see how it goes.  I'll be there today, tasting the #1 sandwich on the menu and in our game, enjoying the company of friends and a little mid-day break.  And naturally, taking notes.

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