Sometimes, you Just need something Simple.

Brian here…

I recently started an Instagram account just for me (brian_citysteading). It’s of course City Steading related since, that’s what I do. City Steading isn’t just a YouTube Channel anymore, it’s a lifestyle choice. We don’t just make videos on it, we live it, by choice and on purpose.

Sometimes, it gets a bit hectic and stressful, trying to keep to a publishing schedule and other days it’s very easy, and extremely rewarding. During this whole lockdown thing, our lives haven’t really changed all that much aside from not photographing weddings (that’s our “main” business). We’re both learning some things about life we never considered before and seeing things a little differently now than we did in the past.

I say we, but really, Derica was always pretty level headed about things, where I was the one with my head in the clouds.

Ham and Cheese Sammich

The sandwich in the photo above personifies everything about City Steading. It’s just a simple thing really, just some bread, cheese, ham and mustard. However, the impetus behind it and how it came to be are more complex, yet, simple at the same time. Let me explain.

Derica had a rough day yesterday. A headache to end all headaches. Essentially, she was in bed, darkened room, all day. Ate about three mouthfuls of rice and a banana the entire day. Long story short, her migraines are awful.

Me on the other hand, had work to do, so I tried to give her space, let her heal, instead of doting on her every minute which, I have learned, is not helpful. So I spent the day editing video, responding to comments, and making posts for my new Instagram page. Pretty typical for a non-filming day.

When lunch came around… I didn’t feel like putting in a lot of effort, since, it’s just for me. We had filmed this amazing bread video the day before, and I knew we had some homemade ham and cheese and mustard. Sammich!

Well, it all starts with the bread. Some breads need thin slices, some can be thick. This one… thick, but not overly so. Nice and crusty, yet soft inside. Then the ham, thick cut again, but not like a chunk as that just pulls out when you take a bite. Cheese… well, this came from the store as my cheesemaking skills are sub par at this point. So sliced pepperjack it was. Mustard. Gulden’s is my weakness. So a simple sandwich proved to be the culmination of me not wanting to work that hard to eat and the City Steading lifestyle in one. Some things were made by hand, others commercially retained. In the end, choices were made, almost intuitively about how to assemble it, and the result was fabulous. A simpler sammich I could not imagine, yet, look what went into it.

I was moved enough by the experience to post a photo on Instagram, which also went to Facebook. Was I truly proud of my accomplishment? Not really, it was more of a statement, and a teaser for that upcoming bread video if I’m being honest. But it was a simple thing, a very simple thing, and I felt it was a good thing.

Interestingly, someone told me I should have added cheese top and bottom, and toast the bread, then it “might” be good. In that instant, I felt betrayed. Not angry, betrayed. It was as if everything I strived for to keep this simple had been misunderstood. The true simplicity of the thing would be burned in the fires of buttery crunch. Would those suggestions make a good sammich? Of course they would. Would it be better?

No way.

I harbor no ill will to the commenter, instead, I urge them to try the simpler way sometimes. For reasons far beyond making a great sammich, life is usually better… uncomplicated.