Recipe for Disaster: Sandwich Night

September 23, 2010

Just in case you didn’t know, Freshly Cleaned Hamster Cage + Open Cage Door Overnight =Disaster.  We woke, early in the morning, to discover that Twinkle, our beloved Russian dwarf hamster, had made a jailbreak. Twinkle is a curious little dude and decided to do himself some explorin’. At first, I worried that Harryboy the cat had eaten Twinkle, but then I remembered what a lazy jackass Harryboy is and decided that in that regard, Twinkle was safe.

Still, I put Harryboy outside all day, just in case Twink decided to show his little furry self.  Harryboy paced outside the entire day, wailing to be let in,  looking incredibly annoyed. I do believe Harryboy will be pissing on some beloved item of ours soon in retaliation for this little insult.

I set out little trays of sliced apples (Twink’s snack of choice) all around the main floor of the house, and all day, I kept my eyes peeled for a little white flash. No such luck. I looked in the back of every cabinet, under every door, behind every major appliance. I pillaged the couch cushions. Riffled through the pantry (aside: nothing motivates a gal to clean out her pantry like a lost dwarf hamster). I even checked the grates underneath the oven and refrigerator, because Twink is so small that he can squeeze in there (please do not ask me how I know this. What can I say? We are irresponsible douches).

To no avail. My husband (the cleaner of the hamster cage) felt awful and called several times during the day; all I said was “NO” and hung up on him.  I hold a mean grudge. Because not only did we lose Twinkle because of hubs’ negligence, we lost Twinkle on picture day. That’s right folks, my kid went to school sporting pink, puffy eyes and a  snot-stained shirt. Can you say re-takes?

I was so busy making zero progress at hamster catching that I neglected to plan dinner. Thus, it was Sandwich Night.

Open-Faced Sandwiches with Ricotta, Arugula and Fried Egg

adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

serves 4 (unless your bereaved children refuse food)

4 (2 ounce) slices whole-wheat country bread (I used olive bread)

cooking spray

2 cups arugula or mixed greens

2 tablespoons of your favorite vinaigrette

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 large eggs

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

4 slices prosciutto, crisped under the broiler

Preheat broiler.

Coat both sides of each slice of bread with cooking spray and broil until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

Toss greens with vinaigrette, set aside.

Place prosciutto slices on a baking sheet, broil until crisp and edges begin to curl, about 1- 2 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn. Drain on paper towels.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano and thyme; spread over bread slices.

Place prociutto on top of bread slices.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan; cook 2 minutes. Cover the pan and cook another 2 minutes or until whites are set. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Top bread slices with salad and each with a fried egg.

ps: In case you are ever faced with such a predicament, the Internet recommends luring your hamster to safety by doing the following: Place a bucket in the middle of the room. Place several fluffy paper towels and hamster’s food/treat of choice in the bucket. Make a “stairway” up to the bucket, using a stack of books. On a step or two, leave a piece of food or a treat to entice your hamster up to the edge of the bucket. With a little luck, your hamster will jump into the bucket to nosh and then be unable to escape.

pps: Update on the Hamster Debacle. We didn’t need our MacGyver-ed hamster catcher after all. Around 10:30pm, hubs heard a little noise and upon investigation, discovered Twinkle in the mudroom, happily frolicking among the tennis shoes.  When hubs tried to catch him, Twink-man took off, and he’s a fast little sucker. Luckily, he ran straight for the homemade hamster staircase, and was so confused by it that our little felon got snatched. He did get to eat the apple slices, though. Both Twinkle and Harryboy slept the entire day afterwards; Hamster Drama was tough on us all.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

ck September 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Twinkle, twinkle little rat…

Sorry. I know he’s not a rat, but hamster had too many syllables. My hamster, Sneakers, escaped on a regular basis when I was a kid. My mom didn’t make kick-ass sandwiches when it happened, though. She was too busy freaking out every time she hear it nibbling on something in the walls.


gew September 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Well, as least you didn’t set Twinkle outside in a temporary container during the cleaning, leaving him to be baked (thoroughly) by the sun (which is what happened to my husband’s hamster when he was a kid).

BTW, your sandwich night dinner outshines my “gourmet” night dinner (I used the word “gourmet” loosely).


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