So many here in Louisiana are helping feed those affected by the Great Flood of 2016-families and new families made up of volunteers and strangers coming together to help each other out. There have been new words inserted in vocabularies here, words we all could have done without learning. Some words when said mean more than the word itself, for all are grateful to have someone say they will come help “muck out” your home. (Mucking out a house is not easy work, especially not in 90 plus degree temperatures and daily rain.) Conversations rally around remediation, debris pick-up, and mold. It is not a pretty sight here at all, except for the beauty in the community. The beauty of people helping people.
Friends who want to help have asked me for a hearty long lasting sandwich that they can put into lunch bags to deliver to mucking crews. This one is not only my favorite, but one that I have been delivering as well. A few of the recipients have asked for the recipe so that they could make the hearty sandwiches and pass on the lunch bags to others.
NEAPOLITAN SANDWICHES: Easy as 1-2-3
Spread hearty rolls or ciabatta bread with olive oil and pesto. Layer with turkey, provolone, spinach, and roasted red peppers. (jarred or fresh-get help for roasting peppers here http://wp.me/p57UhS-3U ) Wrap. Press down with heavy object-a cast iron pot, foil wrapped brick, or a bacon press overnight in the fridge or up to 48 hours.
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: It’s a sandwich so the possibilities are endless! Try it with ham, pastrami, or roast beef or with mozzarella, Swiss, or muenster. My little something extra favorite-goat cheese! The spinach can easily be substituted for lettuce or left plain. Have any olives? Chop them and add them to the pesto before spreading. Not a roasted red pepper fan? Add sun-dried tomatoes instead.
FOOD FUN: There is certainly not much fun going on around here, but typical of our Louisiana heritage, food is at the heart of healing. There have been food drives to replace flooded food from the food bank, free food pick-up destinations, special dinners held with proceeds to benefit flood victims, plenty of cook-offs to feed those in need, and so many volunteering to feed as many as they can. Mother Teresa said if you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one. Even now, it doesn’t even take food to bring comfort, just drive down any street with an ice chest of cold water and drinks to hand out and you will be a hero.