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At Home with Stephanie Smith author of Blog 300 Sandwiches and

Photo: Rene Cervantes/NY Post

I never realized how big of a deal sandwiches are to some men, until a conversation with a group of friends around some drinks. My friend, Tafari Howard, a photographer from Detroit, says that a way to a man’s heart is by making a good sandwich.  I asked what kind of sandwiches are we talking about? Peanut butter and jelly? Tuna? I needed some enlightenment.  But no, he scoffed at me when I mentioned those. He’s talking ciabatta, fresh mozzarella, mushrooms and some cooked chicken breast.

Apparently he’s not the only one that feels a sandwich shows how much you love a person.

Stephanie Smith, the blogger behind 300 Sandwiches and NY Post writer,  is wooing her live-in boyfriend by making sandwiches for him.  300 of them to be exact.  Smith’s bio from her own site tells how she came about her 300 Sandwiches endeavor:

I am a writer living in Brooklyn with her boyfriend of two years, E. Though he is the better chef of the twosome, he is satisfied with her making him a sandwich every once in a while. One day, I made E a turkey and swiss sandwich on toasted wheat bread. E got so excited, he ate the entire meal without coming up for air. Then he made the declaration, “honey, you’re three hundred sandwiches away from an engagement ring.”

I had no idea a sandwich could be so transformative. In turn, I hit the kitchen.

300 Sandwiches tracks the journey between two people in love as they share experiences and emotions through food. The blog chronicles our adventures, arguments, holidays, special times and average days over the course of 300 sandwiches.

I will learn how to cook amazing food, we will learn more about each other, and hopefully my boyfriend will make good on his promise.

Even if he doesn’t, the journey will be tasty enough for me. And I hope for you, too.

In Smith’s own post for the NY Post, she wrote about the various comments she received from friends after she told them about her sandwich making idea. Some felt it was a bit chauvinistic, others thought it was very “Stepford Wives” of her, and her own mother wanted to know if she could actually cook. But it’s not just about cooking and getting that ring in the end:

Making all of these sammies, I’ve learned how much Eric loves sharing cooking with me. He enjoys going to the grocery store with me, picking out ingredients and planning dinners. Though I still want to get engaged and get married and live happily ever after, I’ve also put less pressure on the race to the 300th sandwich and I’m enjoying the cooking experience with Eric.

Today, I’ve made and blogged about 176 sandwiches. Over the months, my creations have grown more complex — lobster rolls, bánh mìs, pulled pork. No matter what’s on the menu, Eric smiles and says thank you. He’s just happy I cook for him at all.

The man on the receiving end of Smith’s, Eric,  sandwiches says women need to keep it simple. “You women read all these magazines to get advice on how to keep a man, and it’s so easy,” he says. “We’re not complex. Just do something nice for us. Like make a sandwich.”

But is it really that simple?

Although 300 Sandwiches and Smith’s endeavors are probably just a cutesy tongue in cheek way to spice up her relationship, many women do feel that there are certain ways to attract, keep a man and hopefully earn an engagement ring.  I’ve heard women say they use a variety of methods, everything from sex, the way they dress, to even food like Smith, but is there really a sure fire way?  If after making 300 sandwiches for a man, and there’s no ring at the end of the 300th,  was it all worth it?

Clutchettes, what do you think Smith’s 300 sandwich/engagement ring challenge?  What methods have you heard women use to “woo” a man, or which have you used? Did they work?

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  • Justus

    Cash Rules Everything Around Me (C.R.E.A.M) dolla dolla bill ya’ll. I don’t know what the true intent was initially for this couple. I do know what this represents. More conditioning. Ask yourself this. If this was a loving black couple would there be all this publicity. A spot on the Today Show. C’mon Son. We are in a system.

  • Jay

    You know, the folks over at Beyond Black & White are criticizing the criticisms of Stephanie Smith, yet they know full well that if a live in, effeminate black boyfriend said the same thing to her, all hell would break loose on their site. These are the same girls who questioned the sexual orientation of Ron Donovan when he started dating Garcelle Beauvais.

  • Joan

    So now women are paying for engagement rings and making 300 sandwiches for gay men (yes, I said it). I heard her on NPR the other day and maybe it was my imagination, but I detected some sadness under the enthusiasm. Or maybe I just felt sad about the whole notion. Why all of this effort to make it easier for the man and/or get his validation? I just don’t get it. Why should a woman have to pay into an engagement as if it is a layaway plan? Either he wants to marry you or he doesn’t. It’s that simple. If he does want to marry you and that is what you want, then cool. If he doesn’t want to marry you unless you do something, then he DOESN’T REALLY WANT TO MARRY YOU. What if 299 sandwiches into it, he has a change of heart? It happens. But you invested so much bread, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sliced chicken, dignity…Did you get it in writing? Maybe I’m vain, but it would bother me knowing that plenty of other women manage to get engaged by just being with the person…they didn’t have to pay into it with sandwiches. And perhaps he was just jokingly trying to give her a compliment but she took it too far? I hope that this is all just a publicity stunt that she wants to pay off some other way. She’s gorgeous and definitely generous..She can do much better.

  • Mina

    Listen. I’m too lazy to be making sandwiches everyday and I wouldn’t be that desperate to get a ring. I’ve read some of the comments E says and he sounds like a jerk half the time. Yuck! She needs a guy who loves football, can cook and would happily marry her on the spot with or without the sandwiches.