The Chuck Bartowski Sandwich - The Food of Chuck

Last week I was rewatching Chuck with my youngest son (Chuck is like a comfort food for us), and we got the episodes when Chuck meets Lou, the deli owner, and decided we needed to try those sandwiches. 

via idiomatic.com

via idiomatic.com

Lou Palone first appears in Chuck Versus the Truth (season 1, episode8) when she brings her cell phone to the Buy More to be serviced, panicked because her "whole life" is on the phone. Chuck assures her the phone is in good hands. When Lou returns to pick up her phone, she brings a sandwich as a thank you: turkey and muenster cheese on egg bread. She's named the sandwich after Chuck. 

via tvgeniereviewed

via tvgeniereviewed

In the next episode, Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami (season 1, episode 9), Chuck flashes on a poster in Lou's Deli, and ends up working a mission when he should be on date with Lou. Needless to say, the date is ruined. Later, Chuck brings flowers and hopes to apologize to Lou, but the deli is super busy and he ends up waiting and waiting. When he finally gets a chance to talk, she's only interested in working. So in an attempt to impress her, he places an order for a sandwich "in the Reuben family": rye bread, pastrami, muenster cheese, and coleslaw. Grilled. 

This means there are two sandwiches named "The Chuck Bartowski"-- the one created by Lou and the one created by Chuck. 

Sandwich on the left is marble rye, pastrami, provolone, and coleslaw. Grilled.  Sandwich on the right is egg bread, turkey, sopressata salami, and provolone. Grilled.

Sandwich on the left is marble rye, pastrami, provolone, and coleslaw. Grilled.

Sandwich on the right is egg bread, turkey, sopressata salami, and provolone. Grilled.

Of course we had to try both. 

I was about seven years old when I first had a pastrami on rye sandwich. My dad and I stopped in a Shopsy's Delicatessen for lunch, and he ordered for both of us. I remember it came with mustard on it and a pickle on the side. I loved it from the first bite. It's funny, but every time I have a pastrami on rye, I'm reminded of that day with my Dad-- the craziness of the busy deli, the sour pickle, the ugliness of the brown and orange decor, and this really tasty sandwich. 

The Chuck Bartowski had a lot to live up to. Not only did it have to meet the expectations built-up by the show, but it also couldn't destroy my childhood memories.

Interesting thing: I'd never heard of muenster cheese before and apparently neither have my local grocery stores. After a bit of Googling to find out more about it, we decided to use provolone as a substitute. 

I also decided to add sopressata salami to the turkey sandwich because I expected the combination to be otherwise bland. This turned out to be a good decision. I wonder if the blandness of this sandwich was a deliberate choice by the writers. Were they trying to show Chuck through Lou's eyes as bland? As a turkey? As semi-soft American cheese? 

(If you've seen the episodes, then you know why we went with provolone and sopressata.)

My favourite of the two sandwiches was the pastrami on rye. It's a surprisingly good sandwich with the coleslaw on the inside. 

"Surprisingly good." Yeah, that's a fitting description for Chuck Bartowski. 

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There's a hole in my yard

Yesterday evening, I was alerted to the squawking and clicking of ravens in the front yard. They appeared to be strutting with round white objects in their beaks, and since we don't have ping-pong balls in the yard, I thought, "Oh, they're eating toadstools." (It's rained A LOT this spring.) Then I realized the grass was cut recently-- making for a less hospitable environment for the fungus. I went out to investigate and found a hole in the lawn. 

We've lived in this house for fourteen years, but it was only in the last couple of years that I witnessed a turtle laying eggs on my property. Though I always watched for hatchlings, I never did see any, and I wondered what happened to the eggs. 

I poked around in the hole and felt something. I had a pretty good idea those weren't toadstools the ravens were gobbling up. I pushed back some of the dirt and found an egg. Possibly more behind it. 

Since I didn't see the mother turtle, I don't know for sure, but based on previous years I suspect they're snapping turtle eggs.  Snapping turtles are at risk and under special concern status since a variety of conditions could cause their quick extinction. Ontario recently permanently banned snapping turtle hunting

Over the past few weeks, I've seen more dead turtles on the roads than I have in my entire lifetime. I don't why. Perhaps the rain had turtles going farther to look for nesting places. Perhaps motorists couldn't tell the difference between turtles and the lumps of cold-patch my municipality uses to make cheap, useless road repairs. Perhaps some motorists are feeling vengeful after the loss of their right to kill two snapping turtles a day. 

I love to be around nature. When I'm out with my family and we see a turtle crossing the road, we stop to help it. Sometimes we just stop and watch to make sure they get across safely. One time we stopped to watch a mama turtle lay eggs in the soft shoulder of a rural road. We've helped small turtles and great big giant turtles. Painted box turtles and snapping turtles. (The snappers are a little tricky to help. Those claws have a long reach. Some suggest using a snow shovel to pick them up.)

What was I to do about this nest? Surely there would be more than ravens after the eggs. 

I figured I could add more dirt to bury the eggs better, but I also figured the ravens would probably dig it up. 

I found a rock and placed it over the hole. 

It's heavy enough the ravens won't be able to move it. It's shallow enough the turtles should be able to get out once they hatch, but I'll keep an eye on it. Hopefully it will help keep the earth under it warm, like an incubator.

Once I was back indoors, the ravens returned. They clicked and strutted around the rock and then flew away. One raven returned this morning and seemed non-plussed about the rock. 

I tried to get a photo, but, unlike other birds, they seem to know when I get close to the window. 

Stay tuned for more turtle and raven watch.