I'm running on about an hour of sleep as I'd pulled an all-nighter last night, so this blog entry will be fairly brief, I hope.
Disaster struck early this morning when my spaghetti sauce burned. Chalk it up to inattentiveness caused by drowsiness. I had also been cooking meatballs at the boss's request, and while the sauce had been compromised, the meatballs turned out to be surprisingly excellent. So—change of plan: instead of serving pasta, I elected to do meatball subs. This meant hitting a bakery and grabbing a shitty baguette. The boss, meanwhile, felt that a single baguette wouldn't be enough, so he lumbered downstairs and found some fresh-baked hoagie rolls that were only a step away from being Vietnamese-style personal-sized bánh mì baguettes. They proved to be the perfect size for my meatballs. I also quickly bought a bottled tomato sauce from the grocer in our office building's basement. This was to give the meatballs a bath in which to sit while they were being reheated in our office's microwave. That was a revelation to me: I'd had no clue that the first-floor bakery made and sold hoagie rolls. Are there enough Westerners in the area to justify making such explicitly Western bread?
The original plan had been to have my boss and my coworker over for lunch, but I scrapped that plan in favor of feeding all three of us at the office (because this is Chuseok Saturday, no one else from the company was there). I think this worked out better for everyone, and it was easy for me to tote my lunch materials to the office in my large Costco shopping bag. The real question, of course, was whether the revised lunch would be a success.
I think it was. My coworker told me it was the best lunch he'd had since he'd gone on his recent vacation cruise (which took the cake, for him, mainly because of the vast panoply of food options on offer); my boss merely rumbled, "I'm full" after downing his meatball sub. Lunch also included insalata caprese, but the basil leaves had turned a horrifying dark green because I had stored the salad too high inside the fridge: the proximity to the freezer had caused the leaves to darken. The salad still tasted fine, but the texture suffered a bit.
For dessert, I had also bought a Paris Baguette cheesecake. As I've mentioned before, I think cheesecake is one of the few bakery items that Koreans do better than Americans. I'd pick Korean cheesecake over American any day of the week: it's lighter and fluffier, but still cheesecake-y enough to be recognizable as cheesecake. Costco's American-style cheesecake, by contrast, is heavy and lugubrious, and getting through two slices of it is an actual chore. Today, at the office, we had cheesecake for dessert, topped with my homemade berry sauce. Like it says in Genesis, And it was good.
Some pics of today's lunch. Below, my boss's sandwich before the Great Cheesing:
Next—the same sandwich with Parmesan cheese on it. The meatballs themselves are ground beef with egg, salt and pepper, plus dried parsley, fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese. I didn't have bread crumbs at hand, but it turns out that you don't need them: the cheese and egg are sufficient as binding agents. I've filed that fact for future reference.
Another glimpse of a meatball sub:
Below, plump meatballs swimming in a bowl of red sauce:
Next up: a picture of my own sandwich