February 9, 2009

good ole country BLT

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with my mom. When our schedules allow, it is wonderful to have time together to do a couple of the things we both love: cook and talk. It's always therapeutic to go home, and now that my mother's garden is flourishing with every variety of vegetable that can grow in black Texas dirt, the therapy is even stronger medicine.

My mother also has a wonderful knack for buying things at ridiculously low prices. I'd call it thrifting, but it seems so much classier when she does it that I almost want to assign it a more glamorous name. After I went on and on about how much I love my bread machine, she insisted upon getting one, in her own way. Not two days later, she called to tell me she'd found one at her favorite shopping venue, St. Vincent de Paul's Thrift Shoppe, and was curious to see if it worked. But for $3, really, not much would be lost. So part of my mission that day was to coach her on bread machine basics (on a dime). Since her bread machine was still in question, I brought a loaf of warm white bread to her house that day. She crisped up some bacon, sliced the last of the winter tomatoes, and had me go out to the garden to pick a spiky-leafed lettuce with a very peppery flavor (it wasn't arugula...). She whipped up some garlic aioli and warmed a pot of turnip soup (also from her garden), and oh... my...

Nothing--I repeat--NOTHING is better than a BLT straight from the garden, with extra-crispy bacon and crusty homemade bread and homemade garlicy mayo. Yum. I wish it weren't lunchtime as I write this, because I am beginning to drool.
To make the perfect BLT, here's what you need:
Thick slices of homemade buttermilk bread
Garlic aioli (try this recipe, but feel free to sub pasteurized egg whites for the eggs)
Fresh lettuce mix (a variety of crispy lettuces will bring more depth to your sandwich)
Thick slices of farm-fresh tomatoes
Several slices of crispy bacon
Salt and pepper to taste