We booked one of those little boutique hotels (thanks, Groupon), and found ourselves a short walk away from the marble and brass and holiday windows of the city's best stores.
I don't know how we decided on lunch on the seventh floor of Macy's (formerly Marshall Fields'), but there we were, and hungry. And there it was, the Frango Cafe.
It jumped off the menu right at me, the Cobblestone Sandwich. When it showed up and I began to eat, I made noises ladies shouldn't make in public. I vowed to come back and eat it again.
Was it the second trip back, or the third? Doesn't matter. I grew covetous and proud as I chewed on that delicious bread. I grew sure that I could make this sandwich at home.
I had no idea how many tries it would take. Mr. Nesquik, licking cinnamon off his lips, said I probably needed another research trip. I took him up on the idea so fast, the wheels of my suitcase possibly left skid marks across the floor.
Up there on the seventh floor, I asked the waitress, "Do they do this? Do they do that?" She didn't know, but she sent the chef out, who explained things nicely. (She also left out a couple key steps, but I caught on anyway.)
When I finally made the last refinement, the universe twanged. The sandwich smelled right. It looked right. It felt right. It tasted . . . uh-oh, here we go again, making noises ladies shouldn't make in public.
May I present:
THE COBBLESTONE SANDWICH
It's a lot like a Monte Cristo. Just in case they copyrighted the name, maybe I should call my version the Monte Kristen, ha!
2 TB milk
¼ tsp. sugar
dash of cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 slices Cobblestone Bread (1 3/4 oz. each) *
1/2 TB lite mayonnaise
2 thin slices Swiss or provolone cheese
2-3 oz. deli-sliced turkey
1½ slice bacon, cooked crisp
Whisk together the egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
Spread mayonnaise on one side of one slice of bread. Dip the opposite side in french toast batter. Place on a lightly buttered griddle. Top with one slice cheese, half the turkey, the bacon, the remaining turkey, and remaining cheese.
Dip "outside" of remaining bread slice in batter. Top sandwich with undipped side of bread.
Grill on medium heat. Enjoy! About 730 calories, but so worth it.
2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115')
2 cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
3 TB sugar
3 TB shortening
1 TB salt
7 to 8 cups flour
2 TB water, divided
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Butter, melted. (1 TB)
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, shortening, salt and 4 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)
Punch down dough; divide into halves. Roll each half into rectangle, 18x9 inches. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Sprinkle each rectangle with 1 TB of water, then spread half of cinnamon-sugar mixture on each rectangle. Roll up each rectangle into loaf. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Place loaves seam sides down in 2 greased loaf pans, 9x5x3 inches. Brush lightly with melted butter. Let rise until double, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 425'. Place loaves on low rack so that tops of pans are in center of oven. Pans should not touch each other or sides of oven. Bake until loaves are deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately remove from pans. Makes 2 loaves, enough to make sandwiches for a crowd, or eat yourself silly.
Over on the Finished Book Pile, I can now say good-bye to the Patrick Melrose novels, in which unhappiness abounds. We've already talked about them enough and we're ready for something different.