Bonnie Wertheim Photograph


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March 13, 2012   

Four days into break, and already, I’m missing Hamilton terribly. Despite the way we parted—midterms, last-minute errands and snowstorms colored our goodbye—I still feel a longing for Clinton, NY. To cope with my Ham-sickness, I’ve been trying tirelessly to bring the Hill to my home in Millburn, NJ. Today’s attempt: D.I.Y. Mango Brie Panini.

It’s a lot trickier than it sounds. For starters, getting the baguette and its contents to heat all the way through in a Panini press takes serious skill. Every time I’ve tried this recipe—and let me tell you, there have been several instances—I’ve either tolerated the sandwich’s temperature gradient (hot bread, cold mango, un-melted brie) or popped it in the microwave for some extra cooking. Also, in the Panini press, the slippery mango tends to slide out of the baguette, leaving you with a dirty grill and an incomplete sandwich. At Opus, they have grilling down to an art that I have yet to master.

But perhaps more troubling than my technical difficulty is the fact that I’m lacking a key ingredient: the sauce. Since freshman year, my friends and I have struggled to place the flavor. It’s not quite mustard or French dressing, but it has a yellow-orange-ish color. And without it, the sandwich is undeniably incomplete.

My Panini wasn’t great. In fact, it was sort of bad. Its inadequacy got me yearning for genuine Opus fare and my home on the Hill.