Part of my daily routine at work is receiving breads for my sandwiches. There are all kinds: mini baguettes, pull-apart potato rolls, squaw bread rolls, pretzel bread rolls and a medley of ciabattas… some are grain-specked, some have caramelized onions and others are just plain ciabatta bread rolls. I provide slider size sandwiches all around that are alternately filled with the classic turkey slices, tuna salad, roast beef, salami or mortadella for variety. The latter is my favorite paired with ciabatta bread.
Nothing extraordinary really happens. I slice the bread, slather some type of flavored Mayo in it and fill it with lettuce, tomato, cheese and respective “meats.” Making sandwiches can be equated to pushing paper at the office. The kitchen is my office and trying to create the perfect combination of sandwiches to offer up our special high-end clientele is the goal everyday. So once in a while, I’ll slip in some brie cheese or leftover prosciutto from another banquet party, if allowed. And only if allowed because there’s such a thing as food cost and ,in the kitchen, a wheel of brie cheese and a slice of prosciutto, to put plainly, ain’t cheap. So if allowed, I’ll compliment this with whole grain mustard mayo, arugula leaves and a slice of tomato.
However, before this whole process of sandwich making even begins, sometimes, there exists a moment where an anomaly reveals itself. Today, whether it’s an anomaly or irony awaiting discovery among the pile of breads received each morning, there was one piece of bread that caught my attention. As I was slicing through each caramelized onion ciabatta, one kicked me wi th a case of the giggles. It was a ciabatta roll shaped like a child’s foot. I picked it up, held it in the air for a while and thought how the size of it looked like my niece’s foot. And then the irony clicked… ciabatta is also known as the slipper bread because it resembles a slipper as it is usually flat and caved in the middle when it bakes up. Ciabatta is Italy’s answer to the French baguette.
Finding this peculiar ciabatta among dozens worth of bread, I can’t help wonder whether this is similar to those other sightings like finding a donut made in the image and likeness of Christ or one’s that looked like Mother Teresa or Princess Leah from the early Star Wars? Well, no, not exactly. But a ciabatta looking like a child’s foot, perhaps the irony that ciabatta is known as the slipper bread is a foodie thing, but it was also enough to break that particular ennui of a day filled with the same processes and actions, flanked with seemingly endless repetition of the mundane. No, it’s not a donut, but it came close to a miracle gifting me early with laughter right around the holiday season.