So this is the first week of homeschooling for us. There is still a part of me that can’t believe I just typed that. Never would I have thought homeschooling would feel like the best option for our family. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t wait until our kids were school age. FINALLY I could get a bit of my old “normal” back. A few hours that were mine.

I didn’t have too lofty of ideas of what I would do with that time, it’s often the mundane solitary tasks that I miss the most. Using the restroom without interruptions perhaps, or taking a leisurely stroll through the market without little hands reaching out of the cart at brightly colored packages. Or maybe I would just sit. Yeah, that sounds nice.


But age five came more quickly than I had anticipated and as the time to really think about the decision for school came it was homeschooling that seemed the most appropriate for him and for us.

We’ve found a great group in which we are surrounded by support, lots of other children, and one in which Baron will get the opportunity to learn from others, rather than just listening (or not listening) to me all day.

We remind ourselves that we are taking it a year at a time. In times of increased anxiety and nervousness, I tell myself it’s a day a time.

As they say, never say never. For here we are. Another year with all three at home and I am thrilled. There will be more noise, more laughter, more wrestling, more glitter, and glue. More tears, more messes, more time, and there will be warm, home-cooked lunches.

On this particular day our timing was perfect as we grabbed a just-out-of-the-oven baguette from a local bakery on our way home. Gabe came up from his garage office and we all gathered around the table to enjoy this hot sandwich slathered with sweet apple butter, topped with smokey ham and aged Gruyere. The broiler melted and caramelized the cheese. I topped mine with arugula, the others didn’t but we all dipped our sandwich in mustard.

This time is sweet and this season is short in the perspective of a lifetime. So right now here we are and with this hot sandwich by my side I’m thinking this is one of the best seasons yet.

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Love sandwiches as much as I do? Check out the sandwich game going on over at and vote for your favorite.

Disclaimer: Hillshire asked me to create a recipe using their product. I was compensated for this post. The content is original and Rodriguez family approved.


The perfect Fall sandwich

Sweet and salty, tangy and fresh this sandwich epitomizes Fall.

⅓ of a baguette, sliced in half
¼ cup apple butter
3 slices each Hillshire honey and smoked ham
2 ounces gruyere
arugula (optional)
2 tablespoons good mustard (our favorite is Maille)

Pre-heat your broiler to high.
Divide the apple butter between the two pieces of baguette. Spread evenly then top with thin slices of ham. Finish with the gruyere then place on a baking sheet under the broiler. Broil for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted, bubbly and golden in places.
Carefully remove from the oven and top with arugula, if using. Serve with mustard.

66 Responses to “Fall’s sandwich”

  1. molly

    aw, ashely, way to go! one year/day/moment seems like the way to take it, exploring and learning as you go. and yes, warm lunches i think must be one of the highlights :)

    as for the apple butter, that’s just plain GENIUS. love love love apples and cheese, but sliced apples on a sandwhich never quite seem right. but now apple BUTTER… and since we just picked fifty pounds of apples this afternoon, I dare say the timing is perfect.

    happy weeks two, three and four of your journey :)


  2. Mary Johnson

    I just stumbled on to your blog, and I must say three things:
    1) LOVE IT. Your writing is lovely and thoughtful.
    2) Your pictures are gorgeous.
    3) I am now starving. I love a good baguette with salty ham, dijon, and either some Brie or Gruyere.
    4) Okay, this is four things. Oh, well. We are homeschooling, too; and while there are days where I think I’ve had it, the good days obliterate any negative thoughts I may have previously had. Keep it up! I really feel it’s worth it.


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