Living in NYC, a goodly number of my friends are, in fact, NOT American. NYC, and Brooklyn especially, is an immigrant city. We attract people from all over the world with our promise of spectacular food and heinous overcrowding. The two fields I work in, the arts and academia, are particularly rife with immigrants.
I love that so many of my friends have such vast differences in their cultural backgrounds. It makes such a wonderful tapestry in our friendship, and it also makes fantastically inappropriate jokes, which as we all know, are the best sort.
What I think no American is prepared for by befriending a large number of foreign nationals, is the deep, entrenched love of soccer. Apparently (and I know this is crazy) EVERYONE ELSE ON EARTH LOVES THEM SOME SOCCER!!! Here in the US, it’s mostly a sport for 8 year olds and wealthy colleges. It’s relegated to the same sort of audience as field hockey and lacrosse. Our largest association with the game is that a Spice Girl’s husband is pretty popular in the sport, somewhere where it’s popular, and we’re pretty certain our women’s olympic team is fairly good. (nakedspicegirlhusbandsarewelcomeanyday)
And the women of the US….well, soccer players aren’t built badly at.all.
I’ll admit, I was never a soccer fan. Group sports in general held not much sway for me. That is until I saw soccer through the eyes of my son. Soccer is one of the few games that’s not all “stop and start”. They start and the run the hell out of that gigantic field until they fall over dead, or score. Football, baseball, even basketball to a point, are all sports that spend as much time stopped as they do in play. This bored me to death as a youth, and serves much the same purpose to my tiny carbon-copy, I mean my son.
Apparently, there is also no lack of soccer analogies and metaphors. Get your girlfriend pregnant? You slipped one past the goalie. Getting tired after chasing your kids for a few hours at the park? You call a TO. Have a particularly “rompy” weekend with your wife/husband?–Hat trick (also, if you forget to don a hat, that’s how you slip one past the goalie….this also benches the woman for a while)
I think I’m falling in love. The metaphors can just be so…filthy. “Getting a touchdown” just doesn’t have the same connotation. Although still…..GO BUCKS!!! Just because.
I also like to find the one American on the team, and cheer louder for them than any other team member, even if they’re sucking. Even if they get a red card and their pants fall down, because, Merica.
GO BILLY SCHULER!!! (and you don’t even suck!!!AND you’re a former Tarheel! Is it hard living in Europe without grits or barbeque? I feel like you probably need a hug…but you’re probably swimming in Swedish Bikini Team bodies, so you’re probably not all that upset. Who needs grits when you can have ladyflowers?)
If you’re going to play soccer, you’re going to need fuel.
Here’s an idea.
Ham, Brie, Peach, and Pumpernickel
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: grill appetizer bread breakfast entree sandwich snack
Ingredients (1 panini)
- 1 tsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp whole-grain mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/8 tsp chopped rosemary
- teeeeeeny bit ground thyme
- pinch salt and pepper
for the peaches
- 1 peach, sliced 1/2″ thick
- 1/2 tsp butter
- 1/4 tsp honey
remainder of panini
- 2 slices of pumpernickel bread (I like Russian Black bread…it has raisins and oats)
- 1 tsp butter for panini press or skillet
- 2 slices smoky ham (I like French style)
- 2 oz goat or cow brie cheese
- 2 slices crispy bacon (rawr)
- baby spinach or arugula
- sauteed red onion or onion jam
for the sauce
stir together ingredients and slather on inside of bread
for the peaches
fry slices in the butter and honey until caramelization starts
for the sandwiches
assemble as any other panini and grill in the butter!
put the food in your face