Lately, around the office, forks have been disappearing. We’re not quite sure what’s happening, but it seems we buy some silverware from Chicken Alley, and the next day, all that’s left is butter knives and a few spoons. Nelson thinks we should take a page from the bank’s playbook and attach the forks to the kitchen table via chains. Until that day, we eat our monthly birthday cake with our hands, and for those of us who pack lunch in the morning, either we remember to pack a fork, or we make sure to depend on finger food.
Finger food is a glorious thing. There’s something joyful and childlike about it. Plus, in the spirit of Labor Day, which we celebrated Monday, it’s too much work sometimes to wield forks and knives. We deserve some time off from our dependance on tools.
I’d recommend sandwiches as the all-time best handheld meal, but I already wrote about that. I’ve also been required to give up bread these days, which calls for a little creativity when it comes to finger food. You gluten-free folks will dig these meal options. (Carb lovers, don’t worry, I’ve got something for you too).
Breakfast: The breakfast burrito is a tough thing to live without. So if you’re without tortillas for some reason, try simply turning your burrito inside out. Gather your typical burrito ingredients: I like eggs, cheddar, bacon, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Instead of rolling them in a tortilla, buy some really good deli ham (I just got some delicious Boar’s Head rosemary ham from Stop & Shop). Fry a couple slices in a pan for just a minute, and then use it to roll up your eggs, etc. Result: low carb finger food, AND a filling breakfast.
Lunch: Whether you’re brown-bagging it to work, or you’ve got little kiddies who won’t eat cafeteria food, finger food is always a good idea. You never know when the office fork-thief might strike. That’s why the agriculture gods invented lettuce. Because of its mild flavor, you can wrap basically anything in lettuce — burgers, veggies, and/or hummus. Just look for large, pliable, yet sturdy leafs. Morning Glory Farm grows some nice varieties. I like romaine for the crunchy support beam that runs through the center of the leaf.
Dinner: I have to tell you about meatza. Meatza is a creation from Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed paleo cookbook, and it’s the ultimate meatlover’s special, because the meat is the crust! Crazy, right? Yes, but crazy delicious. You season and bake a pound of ground beef (I always get mine from Blackwater Farm), add your toppings (go wild with the cheese if you’re not actually paleo), and pop it back in the oven for a few minutes. It’s totally grain-free, but just as satisfying as actual pizza, mostly because you get to eat a chunk of meat with your fingers.
Eating out is another story. I would not recommend handling spaghetti or ice cream with your fingers, but there’s plenty of spots on Martha’s Vineyard that are fair game when it comes to eating with your hands. Think fried. Sure, you can eat fried clams with a fork if you’re a British princess worried about the paparazzi, but otherwise I say dig in, fingers first, at these Island locales:
Vineyard Haven: The Net Result for fried shrimp.
Edgartown: The Square Rigger for french fries.
Oak Bluffs: Offshore Ale for fried ravioli.
Chilmark: The Bite for fried mac and cheese.
Aquinnah: Faith’s Seafood Shack for fish tacos.
West Tisbury is lagging a little when it comes to the fried food department, but you can always grab a slice of pizza at Fella’s or a cookie at 7a.
It’s also wise to grab a couple of plastic forks when you’re out, and stash them in your desk or lunchbox. Or, if you’re like me, maybe you have an overabundance of forks in your apartment, and you just can’t imagine where they all came from. Do the noble thing, and donate a few to your workplace. Let your co-workers eat cake.