Saturday, May 26, 2007

Not a Cheese Sandwich Post

We have just slid into what Cranky calls "mayonnaise season."
There will be potato salads, cole slaws, dips for artichokes, and the ever-captivating BLT.
I know of no other sandwich from my childhood that still rivets me like a good bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I outgrew PB&J decades ago. I think I detest tuna sandwiches now, after having taken so many to school in my lunchbox. Grilled panini sandwiches (made on our mini George Foreman grill) can be fascinating, allowing so many combinations of flavors, proteins, vegetables... yeah, I like those. (But I never ate them in my childhood.)
The BLT is my John Wayne, my Little Joe Cartwright, my President Kennedy. It's a criterial, macho, simple confection. Highly emblematic (the beginning of tomato season, the manliness of the bacon), it's also subtle, with gentle feminine traces (toasted bread, soft lettuce, that mayo).
And now, in adulthood, I'm finally finding out that it can be more than a ritual. It can be unbelievably tasty, made with artisanal bread, good bacon, awesome lettuce and serious tomatoes.
I'm still using Best Foods mayonnaise, though.

31 comments:

Jamie said...

I agree there's not much better than a BLT. Divine, even in its simplest forms.

But..."outgrew PB&J"? Cookiecrumb, I am speechless. I rarely go a week without eating one.

Lannae said...

Oh, a panini BLT made with local yummies sounds so good! What a great idea! I am waiting for the local Local Store to get more local bacon, the kind made with real hickory wood. Your Eat Local inspiration has ruined me for eating just passable bacon. I amm holding out for the real deal.

Dagny said...

Lovely sandwich. I remember vaguely being a fan of PB&J many years ago. That love faded once I discovered the joy of peanut butter and honey.

dancingmorganmouse said...

The BLT is a magnificent sarnie - and if you are generous enough (& we are) they make an evening meal rather than just lunch.
But PB&J, ick, not a fan of sweet sarnies at all, even PB & honey makes my teeth cringe.

chilebrown said...

Would you ask Cranky, to tell Chris, We are going to get our last Asparagus from the Temescal market. Sigh!

Leena said...

Aussie bacon = unsmoked ham, which really pisses me off. I haven't had a decent blt in months...I reckon I'd give my left arm for a pound of Nueske's Applewood smoked bacon! But I tend to skip the mayo and throw on a little avocado, arugala, and really good ranch dressing.

kudzu said...

Best Foods rules. I was confounded, trying to find Hellman's when I moved out here only to realize -- doh -- that on the Left Coast it's the same thing (a rose by any other name, etc.) A BLT and an ice cold Coke were breakfast after Friday night sleepovers when I was a pre-teen. I still indulge, and call it brunch. Yummmmmmm.

Kalyn said...

Me too on the Best Foods. I love BLT sandwiches.

Anna Haight said...

Neither local, nor thereby sustainable, I guiltily admit that Kewpie is my favorite mayonnaise. It comes in a squeeze bottle (keeping air out and freshness in) and built in decorator nozzles, it is slightly sweeter and richer than U.S. mayonnaise. Since I don't use much mayo - I justify using it...

katiez said...

I love BLT's and will only eat them in July and August.
Supermarket tomatoes are a waste of time, money and calories (meager as they are - I value them all).
And a good use for a GF Grill - if I had one....

ChrisB said...

You have me drooling after reading that and I want a BLT now -mmm do I have all the ingredients as I think that could be lunch for embee. As for the tuna it's a quick favourite of mine in wholemeal pitta with salad.

Sam said...

Mmmm, we love this in our household too but my psyche is not ready for tomatoes just yet.

I like to add or replace lettuce with avocado for my very favourite rendition which also involves fatted calf too, of course, but you knew that anyway didn't you?

Jennifer Jeffrey said...

"Sliding" into mayonnaise season... how very poetic!

Dagny said...

Oh, and whenever I think of mayo, I now think of Undercover Brother.

cookiecrumb said...

Jamie: Noshit. I don't eat them. I won't bother to explain, because I think the explanation would either be too simple or too complicated.

Lannae: Local bacon. We got that. But to tell the truth, this sandwich was made with bacon of "unknown provenance." So sue me!! D

Dagny: I like peanut butter on stone wheat thins with mayonnaise. Sicko.

DMM: Can I come live with you?

Chilebrown: Chris will be fine. We paid him beaucoup bucks this morning.

Leena: Oh! Ranch dressing on a sandwich. I'll be up all night dreaming about that...

Kudzu: Always a pleasure and an annointment to have you approve of my food choices. Love to you.

Kalyn: Ditto.

Anna: I know that cute Kewpie squeeze bottle. I haven't tried it, but. Should I? Oh, all right.

Katie: I know, we're cheating with the hot house tomatoes. They're pretty good, but they're so not "real."

ChrisB: Just so you know, I do eat canned tuna. European tuna, usually Spanish. Are we pushing summer too quickly? :D

Sam: This bacon was from a butcher in the Richmond called Seakor. Have no idea the provenance of the meat, but the cure was spectacular: not too sweet, not too salty. Very moist. A whole chunk you have to slice yourself.
Anyway. I will grant early tomatoes if they are grown by the lovely ladies from Winters in their hoophouses. But seasonally, yes, it's an abomination.

Jennifer: Ew, slippery! XXX

Dagny: Do I have to go learn more stuff to be hip? Well, thanks.

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear cookiecrumb. Mmm BLT - these weren't too common growing up in Australia but I've had my fair share of snazzed up versions in Cafes and they are delish. And seeing as I'm currently living in Ukraine - AKA the land of Mayo - you've just given me agreat idea for lunch.

El said...

Okay dear CC you and Cranky must now dip your toes into the realm of DIY mayonnaise. It's really not hard. It is a little surprising how very much oil goes into this precious condiment, but it's a great use of our good friend, The Egg. Do try. Then whip up some aioli for those very last asparagus.

Dagny said...

CC, I first saw Undercover Brother at the Parkway after one of my credential classes with some of my cohort. OK, like half of my cohort so there were 20 or so of us in the audience that night. Most of us are people of color. We had a long discussion after the movie about the mayo comments in the movie. Seems a lot of the folks of color were not that down on the mayo -- except in potato sandwich. Condiment of choice for a sandwich? Mustard, followed closely by Miracle Whip. Which makes sense in a way. Because my folks make potato salad with sweet pickle relish. You have to use mayo in this dish because the Miracle Whip would be overkill on the sweetness factor.

It's not necessarily a hipness factor. It's more a ghetto fab factor.

Stacie said...

the yen and yang, the zen-most sammy, the perfect melding of the masculine
and feminine... the meal i will make next time i'm in the doghouse!

Anna Haight said...

Well, I deeply suspect the Kewpie mayonnaise that I buy in the U.S. is manufactured in California at:

http://www.qbfoods.com/id17.htm

Not quite 100 miles, but still within the state! It is worth it!

Sean said...

I have a mayonnaise problem. Not in the sense that I can't get enough of it -- quite the opposite. I have always had a deep mistrust of the stuff. And learning quite recently that Best Foods et al are shelf-stable and require no refrigeration sealed the deal. I mean, it's supposed to be made with eggs, right?

But oh, who am I kidding? There will always be a place for the creamy (if mysteriously indestructible) white stuff. Still, I'll always reach for mustard, first.

cookiecrumb said...

Little Miss Moi: Ukraine is the land of Mayo? As in Mayoland? Wow. I never knew that.
It's such fun learning food cultures. Like the fact there are no BLTs in Australia! Go! Make lunch!! :D

El: Oh, I make homemade mayonnaise from time to time, really I do. But there's always a jar of Best Foods in the fridge.

Dagny: Again with the food culture! It's fantastic. I don't have an inclination towards Miracle Whip myself; not only is it sweet, but there's a chemical tang (why, in fact, the very chemical tang I so love in Doritos!).

Stacie: Nah, you're never in the doghouse. He's shorter than you. Kapow!

Anna: OK, OK! Ha ha. I'll try some. I'm about due for a trip over to 99 Ranch.

Sean: As you no doubt already know, you're not the only one with a mayonnaise problem. It's a texture thing, I suspect. But, goodgod, I didn't know it was shelf stable without refrigeration... you mean after you open it? No, I don't think so. (See, Sean. There's this monster called the Food Industry. Shudder.)

Stacie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacie said...

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! hee hee hee...oh...
just commenting on your commenting on my commenting...
kapow! oh man...

tracespace said...

must be a southen thing, but i can't use anything other than Duke's mayo. i dont even like or use mayo much, but if i do, it has to be Duke's.

cookiecrumb said...

Tracespace: *Totally* a southern thing. The only way I could get Duke's mayo is to order it off the Internet.
I've heard so much about it's mystique; maybe I will!

cookiecrumb said...

Stacie: Yes, but play nice. :D

Pam said...

Two suggestions: 1. To get over your being so over tuna, try your next tuna sandwich made as usual except add chopped raw broccoli to the mix of tuna, celery and mayo. I have no idea why, but it's so good it's wunderbar! and 2. I do love a good BLT but since you have ripe tomatoes now, one of the best sandwiches of all time is toasted wheatberry bread topped with (in ascending order) Best Foods mayo, a thick slice of ripe tomato, slices of ripe avocado, a sprinkle of lemon juice and a generous grinding of black pepper. Savor. Life is good.

farmgirl said...

OMG that looks good. That bread! Mayonnaise Season--I love it.

kim said...

I'm just discovering your blog, so I'm sorry to be posting so late here. However, I had to laugh at the mayonnaise season!

I'm bringing a mayo-free slaw to a friends' tonight, and you inspired me to include it in my blog.

Thanks for the great site!

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, Kim! I'm answering ASAP, because I just had an egg salad for lunch (stuffed into homegrown tomatoes), and it was made without mayonnaise. It was superior.
I'm sure your cole slaw will be all the better for having forgone the goop.
Now I will "slide" over and take a peek at your blog!
Thanks for the nice words.