Friday, September 2, 2011

Prosciutto and Plums Wards off Playwright Dementia

 I was going to post small bites every Thursday - in fact even develop a "Small Bites" day. Sigh. It's not Thursday anymore, is it? I am bingeing. With plays not food. (Although I have had my share of gnawing on pretzel rods and popping delectable McElrath dark chocolate-toffee medallions into my mouth - artisan chocolate - local - worth getting out of bed for - remind me to do a giveaway.)

 After two days of the binge, my husband comes home and I serve him an assortment of small bites. (My favorite way to eat, "I'm not hungry, honey - I'll just pick." Decidedly not his favorite way to eat.)


But when you spread creamy goat cheese over a fig spread on thick bread and top it with prosciutto, thinly sliced plums and a touch of arugula - he doesn't argue.

And when he sees the pile of manila envelops ready for the mail - he knows I'm in "business mode." And one of these days he will come home to the words "takeout, please." I belong to a marketing "playwrightbinge" website where every six months we pledge to send out a play-a-day and share the opportunities with others. Playwrights don't market well. The binge helps. And the daily e-mails from playwrights reminds me that there are humans out there. My days seem to consist of a cat and an errant mouse.


You may think sending out a play a day wouldn't be too stressful - but they have guidelines. Guidelines that cross your eyes and send you crawling through your cabinets searching for chocolate. After 30 days of guidelines you start to crave raw meat.

Guidelines
1. No contact info. Send in separate cover contact info.
2. Name on every page
3. No name - only your e-mail (only.... my e-mail IS my name)
4. Must be of Irish descent and live in PA, NJ or CT.
5. Must address human misery in a heightened, poetical neo-classical theatrical manner.
(True guidelines; I decided not to post the improbable ones out there; some guidelines are a treatise.)

Guidelines sneak up on playwrights. Have you ever found in your work that there is always a gorilla in the room? And you found out too late?

Writing the play is the satisfying part. Having different versions of the play (contact info, where the page numbers go, which has headers, which has footers) and keeping them straight for submitting  is a test of surviving "playwright guideline dementia.".

That's where small bites come in handy. I can "cook" this in five minutes and then return to my deconstructed, poetically sturm and drang play that addresses the diaspora of growing up in Queens, that has a header stating my name and a footer stating the title of the play with pages arranged in a sequential order where you need to guess the sequence.

From Cooking Light and you need:
Some grand, thickly sliced bread - toasted
goat cheese at room temperature
Your favorite jam
thin slices of prosciutto
plums
arugula

Toast your bread. I used a dense, seven-grain, thickly sliced bread. There was joy in that bread. Spread some jam (fig jam or date jam is particularly good with this) on the bread. Spread your goat cheese over it. Top with prosciutto and arugula leaves. One slice satisfies. During a binge - five slices retain sanity.



Don't you love this? No amounts, no emulsifying, no pots, no oven temperature. It's sane. It's a buffet - it's the perfect small bite. And somehow with this open-faced sandwich at my side, I finished a short play - Before the Gathering - about 3 sisters sneaking shrimp toast and sorting shoes ten years after their mother's death on 9/11 (I know - upbeat). It fits none of the guidelines beyond having my name on every page. But I have sent out 8 submissions already. And received word that Under a Midsummer Moon took 2nd place in a contest - which only strengthened my resolve to make it better. And pop another chocolate and make another open-faced prosciutto sandwich. And maybe pour a glass of wine.

36 comments:

Lizzy said...

Oh, how fabulous! I love your idea of small bites once a week...I could do it every day, but the meat and potato fans that I call family might object.

PS..congrats on your 2nd place :)

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely post and presentation

Pegasuslegend said...

I love the photo WOW you really captured that prosciutto no mistaking it for anything else! Love this would be welcome on my table right this minute! have a safe and happy labor day!

The Culinary Lens said...

Delicious Tapas type dish. I love eating this way

Proud Italian Cook said...

You're going to have a play on Broadway one day, I know it! In the meantime keep munching on those small bites, it looks like it's helping with your inspiration.
Awesome photos, new camera?

ARLENE said...

I am drooling; love your small bites. Keep writing; it's going to happen.

tasteofbeirut said...

I love it! My mom used to do this when we'd ask what's for dinner? make yourself a tartine!
Hey, I can relate to this stress, take it easy~

Stephanie said...

Love this!! Keep the faith with your writing!!

The Mom Chef said...

I love the look of the sandwich, but I'll think I'll have mine without the helping of stress as a side, ok? Wow, I feel for you. This looks incredible though. Fig jam? I'm in heaven.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You're on your way - don't be discouraged by the entry guidelines, insane as they are. one day, we'll be able to say "we knew you when." You've created the perfect small bite. I could make a dinner out of these.

Jeannie said...

Guidelines make my head spin too but I love your prosciutto open sandwich a lot!

Beth said...

Congratulations on the contest! It would be such a thrill to see one of your works produced. Will you let me know if any of them come to Toronto?

I love your idea of sending a manuscript out every day for a month. It's difficult to explain to non-writers how time-intensive the submission process is, isn't it? I laughed when I read the guidelines you posted; I've been there too.

Also, you've given me a great idea for those fig preserves in my fridge. I love it with soft brie on crackers, but your variation looks wonderful.

Wanda..... said...

'Small Bites' would work for me! The sliced plums in your photo, looked capable of dripping on my keyboard, great photos, Claudia!

Rosemary said...

Congratulations on winning a prize and on finishing another play! You've been hard at it! And my, oh, my that's a perfect sandwich for me. Just have great ingredients and everything come together beautifully.

Jill Colonna said...

Cheers to you with that glass of wine and wonderful sane looking procuitto pick-me-up on your contest! Fabulous news. Craving raw meat and chocolate guidelines? You are wonder woman! Bravo. J xo

Hutchinsons said...

Looks like great inspiration to me! Keep on writing, and keep on sharing your small bites (even if it is not Thursday!).

Mister Meatball said...

I were you I'd slip one of them sandwiches in the envelope w/ the other stuff.

Capeesh?

Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris said...

Your idea will be very popular with my family...And the photos? I feel like eating one (five better?) right now!

Reeni said...

This would get me through the craziness you are going through! I'd get up every time the clock struck the hour and make a slice. Delectable. Congrats on 2nd place! Hope you can take a break and enjoy the holiday!

5 Star Foodie said...

An awesome combination here with goat cheese, fig spread, plums and prosciutto. Congrats on second place. I hope you are having a great weekend!

SKIP TO MALOU said...

Claudia,
It's funny whenever you comment in my blog, I proudly announce it to my husband: "Hey Love, Claudia dropped by!" Then my hubs will say: "Claudia who?"
"Claudia the playwright" Haha I'm so proud of you and knowing someone like you!

Keep writing... and yes Congratulations again!
xo,
Malou

Miri Leigh said...

The sheer amount of color here is fantastic. I can't even imagine what the taste is like!

Susan Lindquist said...

Fabulous medley of flavours! Write on, MacDuff!

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

great snack meal packed with flavor hope i can watch one of your plays one day hugs thanks for well wishes

Mary said...

That is a glorious looking sandwich. I have the feeling that your voice is one we'll hear. Be of good cheer and just keep at it. I hope you have a great and restful weekend. Blessings...Mary

Sandra said...

Congrats sweetheart I am so proud of you, and second place is great accomplishment!
Your sandwich look so good..what a great combination! Thank you for sharing, will have to try it soon!

Angie's Recipes said...

Prosciutto, plum, arugula...all my favourites!Love your open sandwich, that is delicious, quick and fuss free!

girlichef said...

Before the Gathering sounds like a good one. You are just so darn talented. I know Midsummer Moon will be taking top honors before long. I think with a lovely meal like this to fuel me, things would be just a bit easier (at least while I was eating). Sounds lovely, Claudia!

Catherine said...

I love proscuitto and so does my daughter. The goat cheese and arugula are a nice contrast together. Good Luck with the plays. I am sure with this delicious food your creative senses are soaring! Blessings, Catherine xo

Barbara GF said...

A toast to you, Claudia. You are an artist of word and small bites. Best of luck to you!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Best of luck on your 8 play submissions, Claudia! I know you have talent and they will be a success. "Before the Gathering" sounds like an especially timely theme.

I love small bites, and I could eat Many of your proscuitto, cheese and plum bites!

I came home on Sunday and I'm still trying to catch up. It was a fun trip!

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

Nice blog! That prosciutto ad plum combo sounds delicious... you made me hungry!

That Girl said...

And now I want pretzel rods!

Joe@italyville said...

Your blog is always a trip that makes me hungry Claudia! Prosciutto makes everything just a little better:) Hope you're well.

Andreea said...

I love that, I never tried it with plums, only with apple. That looks absolutely lovely! :X

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Beautiful and so appetizing! It must taste wonderful.

Cheers,

Rosa