For the past year, I’ve packed my own lunch every Monday through Thursday so I can get my belly full with food I like, keep to the budget, and make my half-hour limit at the Liverpool Public Library.
On Fridays I call out and drive quickly to pick up my takeout Chinese as a treat, but that’s another story.
Today I’m talking about how any little thing can upset my creature-of-habit existence.
Last week Nichols changed its Own Hot Ham.
It’s been months now since my tastebuds told my brain that this lunch meat is my favorite. Each week I buy a pound sliced for three lunches. (The fourth is split between turkey or bologna or Genoa salami.)
The ham is rectangular. I fold it half, place a bunch of slices on top of Split Wheat bread, top it with a slice of white American cheese and a squeeze of dark mustard, and place it into a plastic baggie. That goes into my lunch pack next to a baggie of Cheetohs and an apple.
And it is very, very good.
Constructing my masterpiece last Monday morning, I discovered the Hot Ham was round. What The?
Yes, I decided at my desk, the Nichols Own ham-makers had used some sort of Virginia ham, or a Ham-Off-the-Bone as the base for their hot spices instead of the boiled ham. Now either of those on their own are fine for a deli sandwich. Stewed in Nichols Own Hot recipe, not so much, my tastebuds told my brain.
I used the pound for my three days’ worth of sandwiches anyway. They weren’t awful. Just different. Plus, see lunch budget above.
So this weekend on my trip to the deli counter, I asked the worker about the status of Nichols Own Hot Ham.
Yes, he admitted, they’d run out of the regular base ham the week prior. But a shipment had come in. The ham-makers had whipped up a bunch of my familiar favorite, he promised. He turned to the slicer. He held up the first rectangle for my approval.
I smiled and gave him the thumb’s-up.
What might your go-to lunch be? What’s your favorite type of ham? Are you a change-it-up or stick-to-a-favorite type of eater?