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Why I Need A Chauffeur, A GPS, And Possibly A Lawyer

Now I know how to drive home from Atlanta.  Last week–when I attempted it alone, at night, without a GPS or fancy phone–I did not.

Observe the series of distress calls to Scott:

Call #1

Me:    Hey, which way does Mars point?

Scott:     Huh?

Me:     You know. . . like, the North Star points north.  Which way does Mars go?

Scott:     I’m. . . not sure.  Why?

Me:     Because I’ve sort of been following it for a while.

Scott:     What?

Me:     Yeah, I got turned around.  I knew I had to go north, so I followed the North Star.  But it’s getting redder and redder.  I think it might be Mars.

Scott:     Dude, what is wrong with you?  Just. . . stop doing that right now.  I’ll get on the internet.

Call #2  [20 minutes later]

Me:     Okay, so I did what you said.

Scott:     Uh huh.

Me:     One question.

Scott:     Yeah?

Me:     Am I supposed to go though a wildlife refuge?

Scott:     No.  NO YOU ARE NOT.

Me:     Crap.

Call #3  [15 minutes later]

Scott:     What’s the matter?

Me:     Oh nothing.  Just wondering what you think the punishment is for nicking a protected species with the side of your car while on federal land.

Scott:     Oh my God did you hit something?

Me:     Um. . . nooooo?

Scott:     What does ‘nooooo?’  mean?!

Me:     I just–

Scott:     Wait–nevermind.  I don’t want to know.  Just get out of there.

Me:     Yeah but which way is out?

Scott:     I have no idea.  Just pick a direction and stick with it.  Preferably north.

Me:     The only direction I know is Mars.

Scott:     Mars is fine.  Go toward Mars.

Me:     Gah! That’s what I was DOING in the FIRST PLACE.  I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO HELP.

Scott didn’t say anything for a while after that, but I am guessing he was thinking something along the lines of  “#$&*^#$#*!!

So when I got home, I made him a delicious dinner.  I figured I should do something nice before I broached the subject of how we need to hire me a chauffeur.  Or move far away from the wildlife refuge.  Hiring a chauffeur just seems easier.

I made a grilled turkey and havarti sandwich with something we now call awesome sauce: strawberry jam spiked with cabernet.

I based it on  Chris Kronner’s recipe in Food & Wine for ham and gruyère on brioche with strawberry-pinot noir jam.

We didn’t have brioche or pinot noir and I sure as heck wasn’t going to get in the car again and go looking for any.  But we did have an Italian loaf and a bottle of cabernet sauvignon.  And if you can taste the difference between cabernet and pinot when it’s mixed into strawberry jam, you deserve to win a prize.

The prize of awesomeness.  These sandwiches are OFF THE HOOK.  Don’t expect them to taste heavily of wine; the wine just cuts the sweetness of the jam.  Scott says it makes the jam “smokier,” but he may just have been referring to the steam that started coming out of his ears after I called him a bazillion times.When these sandwiches were gone we cried a little, and then we made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the remaining wine spread.  They were stupendous.

Grilled Turkey & Havarti Sandwich with Strawberry Wine Jam  {Download & Print Recipe}

(Adapted from a Chris Kronner recipe in Food & Wine)


1/2 c. strawberry preserves

3 tbsp. red wine

a couple slices of turkey (or ham)

a couple slices of havarti cheese (or other)

2 slices of bread

1/2 tbsp. (1 pat) butter


In a bowl, stir the strawberry preserves and the wine until combined.

On each piece of bread, spread the preserves onto one side.  Place a layer of cheese on top of the preserves.   Place the turkey on one of the slices of bread and sandwich the two slices together around the turkey.

Place a skillet over medium heat.  Melt the pat of butter in the skillet and place the sandwich on top of the melted butter.  Grill until the bread has browned. Flip and grill the other side (adding more butter to the skillet if desired), until cheese is melted.


1 sandwich, with enough jam mix for 4+ sandwiches.
Before I changed the site’s header to the bowl of eggs by our shed, I thought about making one out of a photo of Thunder sitting and holding a whisk in her mouth by the handle.

That did not happen.

Not even close.

P.S.  No animals were harmed during the events described in this post–protected, endangered or otherwise.  Whew!
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34 Comments Post a comment
  1. MrsH #

    When we moved to the Seattle area, I had several very similar converstions with my poor husband:
    Me “Honey, am I supposed to turn left or right at that lake?”
    Him “There are way too many lakes between your office and our apartment for you to say ‘that lake’ and expect me to know which one you’re referring to.”
    Me “You really don’t want me to make it home, do you?”

    Anyhow, I’m glad you made it home and this recipe is going on the “after baby arrives” list because, wow, why haven’t I thought of jam with wine before? Also, I could see adding some thick sliced bacon, but that may be because my father raised me to believe that strawberry jam and bacon is a totally legitimate sandwich option.

    Finally, I LOVE the pictures of Thunder with the whisk – it makes me want to go give my dogs cooking utensils just to see how cute they look with them, but let’s face it, the big one would probably swallow a whisk whole and we’d just get a no expenses paid trip to the vet. Love, love, love the blog. 🙂

    February 3, 2012
    • Wow, I am so glad we don’t live near any lakes. For one thing, Thunder would need a good, unchewable life vest. And I’ve discovered that few things in life are 100% unchewable by Thunder. I imagine that I’d get lost around your lakes too, especially since I bet it would be raining in the Seattle area, making it even harder to figure out which way to go!
      Thick sliced bacon on this sounds really good. Scott’s going to love that idea, since he holds bacon in the highest esteem. Excellent recommendation, Mrs. H! And thanks so much for the kind words. I really appreciate it.

      February 6, 2012
  2. Angie #

    Ah! I love the new header pic! Eggs for Eggton! Must try the sandwich!

    February 3, 2012
    • Hi Angie! By the by, many thanks for the suggestion that we put the tree IN the street. We stuck it right out there and it worked like a charm. ‘Bout time!

      February 6, 2012
  3. Jenifer #

    So glad you made it home finally!!! *Note to self- DON’T follow Mars!!* That was way to funny.

    As always love Thunder too! If I could write a caption for the first one, it would be: “I’m so not impressed with this new stick you gave me!” HA!! Love her!

    February 3, 2012
    • Hi Jenifer! Right–do not follow Mars unless you’re on a planet or star-gazing trip and you’re getting either school credit or cash to plot its course.

      I like your caption idea! It’s perfect.

      February 6, 2012
  4. Funny! I’m glad I have an internal compass but it only seems to work as far as Las Vegas. If I fly to the Midwest or East Coast I’m instantly turned around. It’s as if I need to feel the Pacific Ocean to know where I am. Oh, and I’m totally making these sammies. Delightful.

    February 3, 2012
    • The idea of having an internal compass that stops as far as Vegas is hilarious. Hopefully your internal compass operates in the casinos themselves to the point of navigating you to all the right slot machines and tables, thereby making you loads of money. In which case, who cares if you get lost on the East Coast! Your chauffeur can figure it out for you!

      If not, I do hope that you enjoy the sandwich–even if it isn’t being served by the butler you’d have in the above scenario.

      February 6, 2012
  5. Camille #

    You know…I have been meaning to comment on how much I like the new look on your blog but have been so very busy this week having open heart surgery. KIDDING! (Got you going there for a minute). Actually, it was more in line with having a Plantar wart removed from the bottom of my foot, but I must say, that sucker really hurt. By the way – I never get lost…more than two or three times a week. Following Mars makes perfect sense to me.

    February 3, 2012
    • Hi Camille! I’m so glad you like it–thanks for saying so! I had fun wrestling with it last week. I hope your foot recovers soon, and that it was at least an excuse to rest on the couch with your feet up this weekend. (I say that because I am ALWAYS on the look-out for reasons to occupy my couch–even the corner of it that Thunder chews the stuffing out of.)

      February 6, 2012
  6. Angela #

    Your plates are very pretty. Hope all is well.

    February 3, 2012
    • Hi there, Angela! Thanks. I love poking around in antique stores for plates and things. The cabinet is a nonsensical mix of unmatched things, but oh well. I always thought if I had a coffee shop, all the cups and mugs should be unmatched. More fun that way when you order your drink, right?

      February 6, 2012
  7. I love your new header but a photo of Thunder actually holding the whisk would be adorable as well. Perhaps if you cover the handle in peanut butter?

    February 4, 2012
    • Stacy, that’s a good idea. If I cover the handle in peanut butter, that’ll be way more peanut butter than she normally gets, and she’ll think she did something super awesome to deserve it. She tends to wiggle her butt when she feels like that, which could be pretty hilarious if we videoed the photo shoot as well!

      February 6, 2012
  8. MJ #

    That looks delicious. (I’m also a fan of havarti + roast beef + onion jam, grilled.)

    Unfortunately for me, I got the sense of direction in this relationship. Which is awful, because R thinks he got the sense of direction in this relationship. Driving cross country? Thank god for Andriod GPS and a car charger. New layout looks great!

    February 4, 2012
    • I cannot imagine driving across country without a GPS. Even when I played “Oregon Trail” as a kid, it told me where to go. I would officially suck at driving across country. Good thing that my car (blue book value $1100) would not make it, so it’s not an issue until I get famous and have to move to L.A. Then, obviously, I’ll be able to afford a new one that drives itself to L.A. while I sit in the back and eat ice cream.

      February 6, 2012
    • Also, your sandwich proposal sounds delicious. I will take that to the board over here and see what they say about trying it very soon.

      February 6, 2012
  9. Last time I used the GPS on my phone it kept telling me I was in the local lake. I wasn’t anywhere near the local lake. Haven’t used it since. I call some of my expeditions mystery tours. The rule for those is if the tar road stops – turn around and go back. Learnt that lesson in the wilds of Tasmania. Don’t take the road from Ross to Interlaken with out a 4 wheel drive. the views are amazing the road, more of a track really, is not.

    February 4, 2012
    • Wow– I bet you learned A LOT of lessons in the wilds of Tasmania. Tell us more! And I promise to consult you about a lot of things before I take the road from Ross to Interlaken. We’ll have to block off some serious time.

      The peach and nectarine jam you recently posted about looks just delicious. Nectarines are one of my favorite fruits ever–along with fresh figs and avocados.

      February 6, 2012
  10. This makes me very concerned about how you’re going to find your way to Canada.

    February 4, 2012
    • Don’t worry. We’re just going to free one of the North American caribou who come to the Space Center here every Christmas. We’ll just follow it in the car as it migrates back to you. Easy peasy.

      February 6, 2012
  11. Which one is Mars? Seriously, I tried to take a shortcut once from Atlanta to Huntsville and wound up in Gainesville, GA., not even close to where I was hoping to be. My sense of direction is also on the invisible side. Yes, thank goodness for the GPS. My, are we spoiled!!! Fortunately, my christmas tree farmer husband knows where he is at all times (at least he says he knows).

    February 4, 2012
    • Hi, Pat! We kept our tree from Schwerman’s for so, so long because it was the loveliest one ever. Can’t wait for the day after Thanksgiving to come again.

      You and your husband seem pretty capable at most everything (um, running a successful Christmas tree farm? Raising baby goats LIKE TATER TOT into upstanding adult goat citizens? Hello!) so it makes me feel better that you’ve gotten lost around here too. 🙂

      February 6, 2012
  12. mallory #

    LOVE the new site layout! But that is really besides the point, when you were all up and lost in rural Georgia. Honey, that is just not safe, and I’m not even talking about the wildlife here.

    See, now this is why your blog is awesome. Real people make turkey and cheese sandwiches for dinner sometimes. They just do. (I do!) But hey, it doesn’t have to be a gas station turkey and cheese! It can involve some grilling, a lovely fruit-and-wine sauce, some stories about leisurely drives in the country. Zero to hero!

    February 4, 2012
    • Mallory, I love your comment. It cracked me up AND what you said about the sandwiches was great– Scott and I actually talked about the simple versus complicated recipes a lot the other day, after I tried FIVE TIMES to get a complex cinnamon rice & lentil recipe the way I wanted it. Eventually I had spent an entire day and like a billion dollars on cinnamon sticks and tofu and 35 other ingredients but still wasn’t happy with the finished product. The only thing I wanted to eat at that point was this sandwich! And there we have it!

      February 6, 2012
  13. Sandra R #

    You need a GPS. And it is so much fun to switch the accents! Which you probably couldn’t do with a chauffeur. Probably. I don’t blame you for getting lost. Was it dark? Oh, wait, Mars. Yes, it is very easy to get lost in the dark. In a wildlife refuge. You need a GPS. So you can get home to great sandwiches.

    February 4, 2012
    • Sandra, are you telling me that I can make the GPS talk to me in various accents? Can I make it the voice of a man from Venezuela? Can I make it be a man from New Zealand? This is a game-changer. I had no idea. I would pay good money for that option. It would be like Javier Bardem is IN THE CAR WITH ME.

      February 6, 2012
  14. a #

    That sandwich sounds delicious!

    Have you heard of this marvelous invention called a map? You can keep it in your car. If you get a road atlas and don’t drive into the ocean (Or Mexico or Canada), you could pretty much go anywhere in the US and figure out where you are…

    February 5, 2012
    • Hello, there! Theoretically, you make an excellent point. BUT I’ve tried the map idea. Specifically, my mom put approximately 27 maps in my car to precisely to prevent things like this from happening. However, the problem I have with maps is that they don’t tell you what exit to take to get onto the road you’re looking at on the map. This is problematic for me. I can read a topographical map when hiking–no problem. But road maps are not my strong suit, which is why they remain in the back of my far for mopping up soda spills and killing mosquitos. (Wouldn’t want to waste a perfectly good map.)

      February 6, 2012
  15. lol! this is such a funny story. Awesome blog!

    February 5, 2012
    • Why thank you! I hope you’re getting some good responses to your rooibos caramel cupcakes over there– they look delicious!

      February 6, 2012
  16. ONE TIME I found my way home by looking at the sun and determubing the cardinal directions. That was in about 2002. I spent the next EIGHT YEARS driving around Houston in circles, trying to find my way home by following the sun.

    In 2010, I got shunted off a road by a detour and found my way back to Familiar Territory by examining the sun.

    Once might be luck. Twice is a skill. TRIUMPH!

    February 7, 2012
  17. Natasha #

    Love your blog! Awesomely funny!

    March 1, 2012
  18. You are a talented writer and photographer! You can make me laugh while I’m still half asleep!

    March 2, 2012

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