Every afternoon -- sometime between 3 and 5 -- I receive an instant message from my husband: "What do you want to eat for dinner?" I stare at the message. I consider possible answers ("chicken," "curry," "beef barley soup"). But I do not really want to have any of those things for dinner. I have two dogs, three children, four carpools and five thousand things I didn't get done today that I should have. What I want for dinner is wine. White wine. Cold white wine. I could stomach a little cheese, too, if it's the stinky, runny kind. Instead, I go upstairs to the kitchen and, resigned to an evening of solids, flip through my collection of wacky, vintage cookbooks (am I the only one who still turns to The Art of Cheese Cookery when preparing for a cocktail party?) in search of something that might be delicious, unusual and fast to cook. Today I ran across a gem in Clementine Paddleford's Cook Young Cookbook, lurking in a chapter titled "MEAT: Spotlight on Thrift." Back in the 1960s, when Ms. Paddleford was known as "America's No. One Food Editor," something possessed her to tout "Hot Ham Buns." The recipe: Combine two cups diced cooked ham, a half pound of diced cheddar, a half cup of sliced stuffed olives, three green onions (sliced), a half cup of mayonnaise and a third of a cup of tomato paste. Spread the mixture on four hamburger buns. Wrap each in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Do I dare?