Be Above It & Reubens


You have to listen to this (it’s a Soundcloud thing and I hope you can see it).

A long time — maybe two years? — ago, Ben, Soren, and I had dinner at the Vine Street Pub. One of the items on the menu intrigued me — it was a tempeh Reuben. I’d never had a Reuben in my life and honestly the idea of it terrified me, if it’s okay for me to admit I’m such a delicate flower I can be terrified by the thought of a sandwich. I don’t like 1000 island (except on the rare vegetarian Big Mac) (When I was a kid, my mom always put 1000 island on her salads. It was typically the only dressing we had in the house. I thought it was gross and, as a result, thought I didn’t like salad. Then I went to college and discovered ranch.) I don’t like sauerkraut and in fact hadn’t touched the stuff since my mom made me as a kid (although to its credit, sauerkraut was never as bad as the times my mom made me eat smoked butt and cabbage; I am traumatized forever). But somehow, the idea of combining all the weird-ass shit you combine to make a Reuben intrigued me. I almost ordered it but then didn’t, and the thought of a Reuben dissipated in the ether of my brain.

Until earlier this month, when I was thinking about sandwiches, what with sandwich Friday and all. At first I was going to make samosa sandwiches but then I was all hm, I love carbs but there’s a chance a combination of bread and potatoes is going to piss me off. Hey wait what about Reubens? So I put Reubens on the calendar for today and I shit you not I looked forward to it all week, which is solid verification of the fact that my life is not very exciting. (My latest thing is thinking about how, because I arguably could do my job anywhere, we should move to Uruguay. I am very serious about this.)

I figured that, because Ben and I have never even had a Reuben, we should follow a recipe. I found one that looked decent (here) and we pretty much followed it. Instead of 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, I used one tablespoon of Bragg’s liquid aminos. Ben made his own 1000 island (mayo, ketchup, relish).

I made this rye bread (I just throw all the stuff in the bread machine in the morning before leaving for work and set the timer so the bread will be done when we need it) and we used some super-fancy sauerkraut we got with our organic produce delivery (the “classic caraway” variety from here), Organic Valley baby Swiss, and the called-for Lightlife smoky tempeh (one thing to know if you make this — the tempeh will break into a million pieces while you cook it but this doesn’t matter).

Now comes more bad food photography but I don’t even care. These are so good I want to eat them every day for the next month, at least. It’s so weird that you can take a bunch of stuff I don’t particularly like and combine it into the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever had. It’s like magic sandwich physics or something.

Vegetarian reubens OMG