Is this what it takes to get engaged these days?

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and once again, this belief has been proven to be true. Except he's not looking for pasta infused with truffle oil.

A sanga will do.

Sandwich #174—”Michael White’s Forbidden” Mortadella and Ricotta Cheese on Focaccia

Meet Samantha and Eric. They are young, in love and approximately 130 sandwiches away from getting engaged.

It was a random, off-the-cuff comment that led this couple to a sandwich-inspired countdown like no other. After taking a bite of one of her delicious creations, Eric - who is a chef by trade - said, "Honey, you're 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!"

So Samantha decided to take up the challenge and created a blog called "Three Hundred Sandwiches". She has been documenting each and every sandwich she's been making for her beloved.

She explained the challenge on her site:


“Make me a sandwich.”

That’s what my boyfriend,  E,  asks without fail every morning. Not “babe, where are my keys?” Not, “honey, where are my socks?” And no, not even,  “c’mon, just the tip?”

Sandwiches. Doesn’t matter what kind. Two pieces of bread, some meat and cheese and he’s in heaven.

E is a lovely cook. He can whip up breakfast, barbecue or a dinner party for 10 without much thought. I’m still working my way through ‘The Joy of Cooking’,  but I can make a few meals at random. I am much better at cleaning–after E cooks.

Things are fairly serious between E and I. We’ve been dating for more than a year,  and recently,  we moved in together to a lovely Brooklyn apartment. We talk about the future—-getting a dog, buying a country house, we’ve even talked about having a family without him breaking into a cold sweat and changing the subject. But I didn’t know when E would be ready for marriage. And like every woman in her mid-30s in a relationship,  I wondered if we were going to go the distance.

I realized what it would take to get him to commit after the first time I made him a turkey on whole wheat bread,  with mustard,  lettuce and swiss cheese.

“Honey,  this is the best sandwich ever!” he exclaimed in between bites so rapid in succession,  the sandwich was gone in minutes. And then,  he dropped a bomb me: “You’re, like, 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring.”

That was it—a proposal hinged on me making him sandwiches.

Sandwiches meant more to him than nice gifts, regular sex or any other incentive I could use to get him closer to putting a ring on it. I’m not sure how 300 became the magic number. Perhaps because it would take me about a year to make that many sandwiches, if I produced one Monday through Friday. That seemed like a long enough time in the future to seem far way. It also seemed like a lofty enough goal,  out of easy reach,  to set without complete confidence that I would accomplish it.

And so, I got cooking.

Sandwich #92–”Staying Skinny” Egg and Asparagus Sandwich

Not surprisingly, the blog has sparked a feminism debate. Samantha has been accused of being 'desperate to get engaged' and Eric's been accused of being sexist, but as anyone who enjoy cooking knows, watching someone you love - whether they be friends, partners or children - really enjoy something you've cooked, can be immensely satisfying.

However, we do find it a little troubling that Samantha's partner would decide their future happiness should be contingent on her making 300 sandwiches for him. Surely proposals are about love, not lunch.

Here's an alterative proposal for Samantha - why not take those sandwich recipes and turn them into a book or a cafe menu and tell Eric to take a hike?

Samantha Smith is a writer for the New York Post. You can follow her sandwich journey at  the Three Hundred Sandwiches blog or via her Facebook page. 


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