Who’s John Montagu?

May 8, 2012

There are games to play on sunny days with balls in parks and there are games to play when the weather is stormy or the road is long and conversation has been exhausted.

Among the latter, my favorite is the top 5 ingredient game. In case you were wondering, mine are: olive oil, garlic, chiles, mushrooms, and apples. Salt and water are free (I made the rules). You could also play the namesake game, that is, what would you like your eponymous legacy to be? Honestly, I haven’t given this query too much thought. Jemma’s Lemma has a nice ring to it, and there is something charmingly Cinderella-ish about Lemmas in general. But I’ll have to spend some more thought on this (which goes to show what a wonderful game this is).

Speaking of things named after people, have you ever tried a ham and cheese montagu (and no, it isn’t a gross flavor of endurance nutrition)?

As the picture above might suggest, John Montagu (1718-1792) is better known by his title, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. All his potential cultural and political contributions are wholly obscured by his far more lasting legacy of having put bits of things between bread. There is some debate as to whether the convenience of this mode of eating was occasioned by his gambling or his working habits. As someone with a crumby keyboard, I can certainly appreciate his forethought regardless of the motivation.

This particular sandwich was fashioned for my father who eats things like ham. Mine had mushrooms instead, although if you had asked me twenty years ago for my top five ingredients, ham would certainly have made the list. At least ham and cheese croissants, which happen to be my mother’s favorite breakfast pastry. But that is another game altogether.