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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Party Sandwich & Canned Carrots

I have to admit we do not eat a lot of sandwiches. I came up with this idea as a party sandwich. It gives a nice presentation to the standard sandwich. The real trick with this sandwich besides creativity is a fresh made bun, but not any bun will do!

The Bun

The bun is a basic white bread but slightly modified. It is one whole loaf of bread cut in half bun style. The dough is shaped into a round and baked in the oven. I have specified organic for both the sugar and the honey for a reason. Organic granulated sugar looks like regular granulated sugar but is a light tan. It imparts flavour instead of just sweetness. I only use organic honey, never pasteurized and bought directly from the beekeeper. The flavour of the honey will depend on the time of year and what flowers the bees have collected pollen from. The deeper the amber colour of the honey, the stronger the flavour. For this recipe a medium amber honey works nicely.

Basic White Bread Modified - ABM
1 1/4 c milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp granulated organic sugar
1 tbsp organic honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3 1/4 c unbleached flour*
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp melted butter
sesame seeds

Place ingredients in breadmachine pan in the order your manufacturer suggests. Set to dough setting. When finished, remove from pan onto a floured board or countertop. The dough will be sticky. *Work just enough flour in to remove stickiness. Shape into a round loaf and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with moist towel and leave to rise until doubled. Brush with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle on sesame seeds. Bake at 400℉ (375℉ convection)for 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 350℉ (325℉ convection). Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. Remove from oven, lightly brush with remaining melted butter and allow to cool on a rack before cutting in half.

The Fillings

Here's where the creativity comes in. You can use whatever fillings you want. I did one of these when the kids were home for the weekend. My husband grilled a giant hamburg patty about 4 lbs of meat and his special knack. We made a huge burger then cut it into six wedges. It was a huge hit! I have a picture of one of my kids trying to take a bite out of a wedge that had to be almost 5" thick. There was a lot of laughter as one kid tried to outdo the next. The bun is just the start. The whole idea of this is to have fun with your food!

If you have access to a deli, use the fresh sliced ingredients. This party sandwich started with a light spreading of Miracle Whip on each bun half. The bottom half was loaded with a lettuce mixture, deli sliced smoked turkey and cooked ham, deli sliced swiss cheese, onions and honey mustard. I cut it into six wedges and served with homemade dill pickles.

Party Sandwich Cut

This sandwich got rave reviews. Now really it is just a regular sandwich presented differently but the looks it got was priceless! Obviously a few eyes were bigger than the tummies and again there was a lot of laughter. It's funny that food plays such an important role in all of our family and friends get togethers yet in the end the real importance is the bonding and reinforcing of relationships.

Homecanned Carrots

Carrots are quite inexpensive this time of year. One way of preserving carrots is to can them. As produce goes, carrots are one of the easiest to can.

Canning Carrots
Wash and peel the carrots. Wash again. Slice into coins or cut as desired. Pack the carrots tightly into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1/2 tsp salt to each pint or 1 tsp salt per quart. As always when canning vegetables, salt is optional so you can reduce the amount or omit entirely. Ladle boiling water over the carrots leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust the two-piece caps. Process pints 25 minutes, quarts 30 minutes, at 10 lbs pressure.

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