A History of My Past Few Relationships, Presented in Recipe Form

N.B.: In addition to the recipe part, this is all written in the second person, for some reason. Sorry.

Hot Sauce Sandwiches

Grad school. People are supposed to be poor during grad school — especially if they’re majoring in something stupid, like, say, creative writing — but somehow, you have taken it all too far. Originally, grilled cheese sandwiches were a food option. But then, the price of Kraft Cheese Singles seemed to magically rise out of reach. So you move down the food chain, and start eating “American Slice!” brand cheese product.

Sadly, “American Slice!” isn’t even officially listed as a “cheese product” or even as “cheese food,” perhaps because it contains 1% cheese, or maybe they just let the finished product sit next to a pile of cheese, in the hopes that it will absorb some of the faint aroma of cheese, in the way that stuff in your refrigerator does, when you haven’t placed that box of baking soda in your refrigerator. “American Slice!” costs only $1.37, though — for a pack of sixteen slices — and is a product that you will only ever see during this time in your life, and which is only ever found in the ghetto supermarket near your very expensive grad school. The problem is, according to the ingredients list on the back of the package, is that it’s mostly made of soy. So when you attempt to heat “American Slice!” to make a grilled cheese sandwich it… inflates. Somehow hot air gets between the two layers of soy and the whole thing inflates, so that it looks like a pillow. A sad pillow made of plastic-y soy. This is never what you want from a grilled cheese sandwich.

It’s time to recalibrate. So you move on, and even “American Slice!” seems a little expensive at this point; stupid grad school. So you begin making “Hot Sauce Sandwiches.” To do this, you toast bread, scrape a little butter onto the bread, and then shake hot sauce onto the bread. And that’s a sandwich, based on the principle that pretty much anything can be a sandwich.

One day, while you are “making” your “sandwich,” your friend Dan enters the apartment. “Dude, what the hell are you doing?” he says.

“Um,” you say.

“I can’t believe you live like this. I can’t believe you actually live like this.”

“Right,” you say.

Dan is so annoyed by the sight of your pathetic sandwich that he won’t stay. Then, he tells his friend Roger. Who tells your girlfriend April. April calls you on the phone.

“You eat bread with hot sauce on it every day?”

“Um…” you say.

There really is no good explanation for any of this.

Hot Sauce Sandwich – Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat bread, because that is healthier.
  • A very small amount of butter.
  • Some hot sauce, preferably “Texas Pete” brand hot sauce.

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    but I do like hot sauce.

  • http://twitter.com/derpcircus miles barney

    Needs more ramen.

    • Oliver Miller

      During this time period, I also ate raw ramen. What you do is, you crunch it up in the bag until it's in bite-sized chucks, then throw out the silver seasoning packet. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EAT THE POWDER IN THE SILVER SEASONING PACKET. Anyway, raw ramen is good; it's like a whole different type of food; a snack food. There was a girl-related anecdote about it, but not one that was funny enough to write down.

      • http://twitter.com/thedavidou David Ou

        i used to do that! except id, open up the seasoning and sprinkle it into the bite sized pieces. anyway, great piece, gives me hope.

      • S&M

        I still do that :D fail. (i’m just starting grad school… sounds like a horror)

  • timmymctooglebury

    man, grad school is like that! i remember having only flour, yogourt and some baking powder, so i tried to make some crumpets or something. they weren't very delicious, but they sure gave me the sustenance i needed to finish writing my thesis! it's like, mom and dad, can i please have some money? i'm starving over here! lol

    also TOTALLY get what you mean by 'sluttiness to wholesomeness' ratio, bro – that's how you gotta pick 'em, because on the one hand, you want someone who's going to be a freak between the sheets, but also someone who's not going to fuck random dudes at one of those keg parties you see on the porn sites – you know, the ones where everyone's standing around with those red cups. it's as rohinton mistry says, “a fine balance”.

    you made me lol so hard

    anyways, nice piece

  • zoe

    Dude, just google it. Google is like a personal chef.

    • Oliver Miller

      But I wanted my dad's recipe. Also, she didn't have the internet at her place, which in retrospect seems kind of cool, in a Luddite sort of way.

  • Tiffany

    I still eat Cream of Wheat three or four times a week for dinner. I also once tried to use iced tea in lieu of milk in a recipe. But remember when you made eggs for that girl you liked, Margarita? Because she was pretending to be anorexic?

    • Oliver Miller

      Dude, you're obsessed with Margarita, get over it. I remember the time you tried to make a pie, and I was like, “No, you can't just make a pie by pouring flour into fruit.”

      • Tiffany

        It really felt right.


      is this the tiffany from the mario article? cool (this message looks a little stalkerish doesn't it?)

  • Brandon Gorrell


  • Monkeyhoe21

    Wow so this is ur pathetic website. Listen I think u have F*UCKIN' ISSUES. Your highly emotional like a little bitch, so damn insecure and ya just have no f*cking life. Go f*ck urself.

    • http://twitter.com/inaccuratemap Morgan

      for some reason using stars to “censor” expletives makes me think you are projecting some personal shit.

    • Oliver Miller

      I have no fucking life? Thought Catalog in general has no fucking life? Confused.

  • Leeann J

    Categories of food… ramen … yumm. Speaking of categories Oliver, what's your favorite tv show of all time?

    • Oliver Miller

      My favorite TV show of all time is “NewsRadio.” Least favorite; “Toddlers and Tiaras.”

      • Bengamin12

        You watch Toddlers and Tiaras?… Who watches that? Are you like metrosexual or gay? You probably have no girlfriend lol.

      • Oliver Miller

        If you look at my bio, you'll see the part where it says “Oliver currently writes for AOL Television,” thus, I get paid to write about “Toddlers and Tiaras,” among other shows. If you read the actual column above your comment, you'll see the part about the girlfriends.

  • Hamilton34

    This is thoughcatalog's site. If you want to yell at him, try thefastertimes.com. Are there other sites Oliver? Any publicity is good publicity, right? lol

    • Oliver Miller

      Um, I guess, sort of, yeah.

  • amjtn

    Ha! Great piece! Have I dated you, by the way?
    Here's one for you…
    As a Capitol Hill intern I lived in a boarding house, which included breakfast and dinner, but not lunch. I would eat ramen for lunch and would “borrow” tea bags from the boarding house for an afternoon beverage (that didn't come out of the water fountain). At some point my coat pockets became full of tea bags, each individually wrapped in all different colors. One evening, when it was particularly cold, I was out with a guy friend, reached into my coat pocket to pull out my gloves, and ended up with a pile of tea bags on the ground. He thought the tea bags were condoms, based on their colors and the size of the packaging.
    Oh, the situations one gets into whilst attempting to eat on less than a dollar a day…

  • Em

    ” You stare at the telephone. …It’s just a telephone. People use them all the time, every day, in all sorts of circumstances. They use them to talk to their family members, even. …Still, you stare at the phone. Sadness comes pouring in through it. “

    So true..Enjoyed it. Thank you Oliver!

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