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Having grown up in Long Beach, California, I spent a decade in Seattle and currently live in England, originally in Kent and now in Yorkshire. I have 28 years of experience in computer graphics programming and website design and 19 years of experience writing about coffee and beer.
I have contributed articles to local CAMRA publications, Tramlines, and SmellTheCoffee.Com. I have also written music reviews and blurbs for tourist attractions. I have appeared on local radio as Sheffield's resident American coffee aficionado. Among my many jobs I have worked on a research project on the Sheffield Flood of 1864. I have also been a digital photographer of antiques and of tourist attractions. I currently work in a university library.
Besides writing I also play piano and keyboards and cartoon a bit, and I'm pretty good at table tennis. I have a degree in Radio, TV, and Film Production with a minor in Music Composition and a diploma in Computer Programming, and I can speak a bit of Spanish, French, and Russian. And, of course, I am fluent in British, American, and Yorkshire English.
on Sep. 15, 2013 :
My sandwich life was in a rut. Workmates critiqued my lack of creativity with respect to lunch. I’m not a morning person, and everything I do during the first hour of consciousness must be scripted. So, while my tastes over the years have improved to demand higher quality and more flavor from the basic ingredients – bread, mustards, cold cuts – the robotic assembly instructions haven’t varied: throw together with slices of cheese from the Swiss-or-cheddar spectrum, add a bit of romaine. The half-dazed morning drone couldn’t get it together to demand new ideas from the evening shopper; and my lunchtime self, uninspired with the product, tended to swallow it with equal mindlessness. The shopper knew that the specialty cheese section held a wealth of alternatives but usually passed by, not knowing where to begin.
That’s when JC Mitchell’s Adventures in Sandwichland came to my rescue. First the captions caught my eye. Short motivational essays on the “Zen” and the “Improv” of sandwich making made it clear that this is more than just a collection of recipes. It required me – and gently urged me – to unite the elements within myself and to achieve the mindfulness necessary for a satisfying sandwich life.
And the sandwich titles piqued my interest when I had scarcely glimpsed the ingredients. I began to foresee the scenario at work when my mates would gibe, “What are you having for lunch today,” and to anticipate answering, smugly, “Weninromesleydale, today” or “A Kandinsky – why do you ask?” And “Blue Suede Shews” would really leave them wondering. And in level of imagination the ingredients exceed the punchy titles. Caerphilly with raspberries, tarragon, lemon zest and black pepper. Delicious! I wouldn’t have come up with that combination in a million years. This book opened my mind and my taste buds to new possibilities. The focus on specific cheeses is a godsend. The vegetarian options are so amazing that I haven’t yet moved on to the fish and meat sections. The recipes are so simple, so perfect, so ingenious.
The book has a handy appendix that unravels the many differences in the terminology of sandwich ingredients between UK & US English.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
on Sep. 12, 2013 :
The wit and humor of JC Mitchell tossed together with some recipes for truly unique and tasty dishes. I especially liked the translation of English specific terms to allow me to figure out how to make this stuff!
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)