This morning, after 17 years of living in Connecticut, I learned (courtesy of Koalagirl15) that grinders are different from submarine sandwiches, hero sandwiches, and hoagies. In fact, I am so slow on the sandwich understanding front that my beloved friend said to me, “I can’t believe, after all this time, you didn’t pick up on this.” It must be my permanently frozen Minnesota brain. I truly did not realize that southeastern Connecticut is the birthplace of the grinder, much like Philadelphia is the home of the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. You can get a cheesesteak sandwich in other locations, but it just won’t taste the same. Apparently, you can eat a sub, a hoagie, and a hero anywhere in the country, but it isn’t a grinder.
“So, what makes a grinder a grinder?” I asked. Well, according to a forum posting on Roadfood.com, written by a former New London (Connecticut) resident, a grinder is a sandwich made on special bread with salami, provolone cheese, peppers, and olive oil. My girlfriend says the sandwich must also include shredded lettuce, tomato, salt, and pepper. Note: the olive oil must be dripping out of the sandwich and soaking through the paper used to wrap the tasty treat.
I am so glad that the Lord has blessed me with such a wonderful friend who, today, corrected my food knowledge deficiency so that I am no longer a sandwich ignoramus. By the way, on Friday, I am eating lunch with Koalgirl15 and her sister. Guess what we’re having? “Real” grinders. I can’t wait!
Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.