Tales From The Cook: What’s With The Deli?


A long time ago, there was a girl who fell in a well and drowned. Sad as it might seem, there was a reason for it. There was only one deli in town.
One day while ordering a pastrami sandwich the girl met a philosopher and fell instantly in love. The philosopher told her of a bigger world and of other delis. He knew of a place where the pastrami was stacked higher than Mount Sinai and that the juices would ran down her chin as the Nile flows. Entranced by the philosopher’s stories she had to tell everyone. Many people said that it was somewhat naff to drool over the drivel from the phony philosopher. “Other deli’s.” they ridiculed.
After spending the night in his car she begged him to show her. The philosopher agreed and took her to go to a real deli.
He recited poetry to her to pass the time.

Pastrami miles high
Old pickle, new pickle, rye
Mustard spicy hot
Disappointed you will be not

The city was bigger than she expected. He showed her the sights. The statue of liberty, the Empire State Building, they rode the subway hours. Hungry. They arrived at the deli and ordered. She could hardly wait to see the food.
When their order arrived, she saw that everything he said was true. She could barely negotiate her first bite. The sandwich was stacked so high. With juices running down her chin she looked to the philosopher to thank him, but he was gone.
For seven days and seven sandwiches she sought him out. Nobody saw nothing. He was nowhere to be found. Deeply saddened she returned home. With an ache in her heart for the philosopher and a good sandwich, she stopped to reflect in the glimmer of a wishing well.
The moral of the story is “Life without a good sandwich isn’t worth a ride on a subway to anywhere”


If you enjoyed this story, here’s the direct link to my book page, where you can sample or purchase the book: http://www.amazon.com/author/authorericjohnson

How to Pastrami your Pastrami in four easy steps.
1 Brine bucket
1 Brisket. The trick here is to cut the meat into pieces that will fit easily into the brining container. Quarter your whole or half your half. 8ths only if necessary, any smaller and you will have stew meat.

2 Gallons water
2 Cups salt
¼  cup sugar
4 heads of garlic smashed
¼  cup of each coriander, black pepper corns, paprika, cloves, allspice, mustard seed

Put the pastrami in a bucket with the brine and cover with a plate to hold the meat under the liquid. Soak the meat for six nights and seven days. Refrigerate the pastrami during the brining process or do it as our forefathers did up the amount of salt by 100% and cure the pastrami in a cool basement.

Remove the Pastrami from the liquid and rinse in cold water or soak in water to remove the excess salt 5 times. Coat the pastrami heavily in fresh ground black pepper.

Soak flavorful wood chips in water overnight. Start up your BBQ by placing coals(15) off to one side in a nice pile. Add the chips to the coals a few at a time and set the pastrami to the grill. The temperature should be 165-180 but don’t worry if you are off, its going to taste great anyway when it hits the bread with some nice mustard and a pickle. Smoke the pastrami for 4 hours.

Using a tamale pot or a steamer set up, one that you would use for vegetables, steam the pastrami until all the connective tissue is gelatinous and delicious and is near falling apart.

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