For a minute there this morning, as my alarm blared, I couldn’t move. Buried beneath my warm blankets, the sleepiness of sheer exhaustion tried to lure me back to sleep, if only for a few minutes. But the violent, loud bleeping was annoying and today wasn’t a day to give in. I had to wish and will my muscles into action, mentally reminding myself that it’s Valentine’s Day and I had to rise. There were heart-shaped lunches to make and special muffins to serve to my little Valentines. So, I turned off the alarm in a herculean effort and forced myself out of the bed, stumbling to the kitchen where Paige was nursing a hot cocoa and Shawn was getting ready for work. Will had yet to rise, but followed soon after me.
Don’t worry, I’m not ill (that was the first question a friend asked when I told her how tired I was this afternoon). No, this is just the result of too many late nights. I’ve been working long hours and taking on a lot. I have to — it’s how I ensure that our family remains comfortable. But the less I sleep, the longer it takes to do things and the more time it takes to get to that end point when I can crawl into my warm, soft bed and relax. Sometimes, I feel like I will never have a lazy day or full night’s sleep again. But I also know that it won’t always be like this. This is the ebb to the flow, the part that I have to push through to get to the good times again. And I will get there (I hope that made as much sense to you as it did in my head.)
Today, it’s just caught up with me — the weeks of pushing myself to do more and stay up later to ensure everything is completed just so. All I want to do is collapse into bed without a laptop, camera, Blackberry or anything else. Today, I just need to rest. So, once I finish this post and hit publish, you can guess where I am headed. I need to do this for myself so that I can continue at the breakneck pace that my busy freelancing life runs at right now.
Do you ever feel like this? Am I the only one who goes for weeks without getting more than a few hours of sleep a night?
Now, about this sandwich. It’s my favorite. My absolute, hands-down, want-to-treat-myself favorite. A crusty, slim baguette is drizzled with olive oil and then layered with creamy fresh mozzarella, salty draped prosciutto, bright basil and sweet sundried tomatoes.
It smells of summer days and backyard picnics — even if you are eating it at your desk while working on a blustery winter day. It’s the kind of thing that I will make this summer in mass to share with my cousins and children on the beach. I can almost feel the sand between my toes. (Is it summer yet? I love and miss the beach so much.)
Perhaps the best aspect of this sandwich, which hits all the right notes of soft, creamy, salty, sweet and crisp, is that it takes maybe four minutes to make — including the time it takes to get everything out and put everything away. Something’s to be said for a sandwich that delivers high flavor on super-low time.
Make it. Really. It’s that simple and delicious.
- 1 12- inch baguette, (or 12-inch portion of a thin baguette)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 slices fresh mozzarella, (as thick or thin as you please)
- 2 oz whisper-thin slices of prosciutto
- 3-5 big basil leaves, (or as many leaves as it takes to place them down the length of the sandwich)
- 5 dry-packed sundried tomatoes, (as fresh as you can get)
- Slice open the baguette. Drizzle one side with olive oil. Layer the mozzarella, prosciutto, basil and sundried tomatoes on top. Close the sandwich. Cut in half. Devour.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.