Josh Mack blogging at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts, and occasionally on; bicycles, politics, Brooklyn, parenting, crafts, and good reading. Currently helping to build a new NYC neighborhood news site - nearsay.com, that celebrates the voices that make our city. Subscribe to the daily newsletter it gives you what you need to know.
Recently the NY Times ran an article about lower sales of children's picture books as parents worried about their children's performance on tests pushed them to read chapter books at an earlier age. Naturally this has caused heated conversation in our household and also among our friends here in Park Slope, the breeder capital of New York City. Because we want Willa to be as prepared as possible we've decided to skip chapter books and have her start reading catalogs to better understand merchandising, product presentation, and outfit matching, so she can outperform her peers in what is sure to be stiff competition for sales associate and retail concierge service jobs. Recently she has been concentrating on learning the names and likes of the models in the Boden catalog, and we have friends whose slightly older child is reading the descriptions and watching product videos on the B&H site to get ahead with electronic retailing. But even this type of reading requires the same kind of dedication that young Laurence Gignac's mother showed when she said, “He would still read picture books now if we let him, because he doesn’t want to work to read," so when Willa starts making up tales about young Jana and Isadora we steer her right back to the item descriptions, material lists, and prices. By the way if anyone has any catalogs in Mandarin to spare think of us.
Some date the club sandwich to a "gambling club" in Saratoga Springs in 1894 where the potato chip was also born, others think it originated in the "club cars" of the NY to Chicago rail line. (These same people proffer that Wallis Simpson was "proud of her ability to prepare" what is essentially a blt combined with a turkey sandwich and mayo. It was her first husband's insistence on having it with roast beef that opened her up to her daliience with the then King of England.) They might be right about what we've come to think of makeup of the sandwich but the act of using three pieces of bread far predates the Edwardian era. In fact it predates clubs by hundreds of years to origins in Germany. As anyone who has seen the Russell Crowe opus Gladiator knows the Huns lived in the forests. Their black bread was thick and their knives dull. They were savages whose nature was to pillage and eat more than they needed to. Not content to have just two slices of bread they ate three. So when it came time to create a boar, fern, and tomato sandwich combined with pheasant they needed to make it thinner.They created a klub (club) specifically for this sandwich (though there is some evidence that it was also used to flatten dagwoods). Nothing fancy here just common sense to get it bite-sized. Therefore, we have from Germanic origins the term Klub Sandwich. Ironically it may have been during a visit with Hitler when the Duke and Dutchess first tasted the Klub Sandwich which they then could have brought back to Saratoga.