Few people know that "ham & cheese sandwhich" is a misnomer, and the original version contained no ham at all: a hundred years and more ago, cafes in Hammond, Indiana served simple, delicious sandwiches of a local Swiss-style cheese on rye with a little brown mustard as "Hammond Cheese Sandwiches." Ham was only added later by mistake, when travelers from Northern Indiana asked restaurants elsewhere to make the familiar treat. The combination tasted so good, it superseded the original!
Be that as it may, I was without rye bread, but I did have some "hearty Italian" bread, a little Colby Jack (and a tiny bit of "shredded Mexican cheese," though shredded Mexicans are, to my relief, not anywhere listed in the ingredients) and some nice thin-sliced uncured ham (one presumes it never fell ill to begin with). If you heat up three slices of the ham in a skillet while the bread is toasting, then stack it up ham - half a cheese slice - ham - other half of cheese slice - ham, with some of the shredded stuff in the corners (round ham, rectangular cheese, Archimedes nowhere in sight) 'til the cheese melts, load up the toast with that stack of goodness and cook each side briefly, you get a nice hot sammich in a hardly more time than it takes to make the toast.
I didn't even bother with mustard or horseradish.
* 'Cos I just made it up.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago