I'd hoped to get one more round of tomatoes from our Potter's farmstand. Yesterday as I drove off to Holland on an errand, I passed by Potter's and the signboards still said TOMATOES. But today, despite the lovely autumn sunshine, following a below freezing night, the TOMATOES sign was down and all they had was apples and squash and a few peppers and such.
It's not that the other things aren't good, but one of my favorite things to have in the summer is a tomato sandwich -- and with me on sabbatical, it was practical to have tomato sandwiches several times a week. Yum!
The Dr. Phil Tomato Sandwich
I know I've rhapsodized about tomato sandwiches before, but I guess I've never gotten around to posting about, though I've meant to. The other day I was looking for another photo from the Sony from two years ago and came across this picture:
Dr. Phil's Tomato Sandwich Bread Cheese (Velveeta, Sharp Cheddar, American or other yellow cheese, or Swiss) Peanut Butter (smooth or chunky) Thick slice of tomato (or two if the bread is large enough) Salt to taste Ketchup Mayonnaise (optional)
What is amusing about this 2009 picture was that we'd just discovered the Kraft mayo with olive oil -- really nice stuff. Alas, we don't use mayo all that often and around here, we can't even get a bottle this small anymore, which would be a waste because it doesn't have an enormously long shelf life. So we don't.
I'm sure the food critics out there will have plenty to say. Velveeta? Sure you can use "real cheese", but I eat a processed cheese food stuff slice sandwich every day -- and have since I was a little kid. I like it. Ketchup? It adds a little sweetness and some moisture against the peanut butter. Don't want ketchup? Don't add it. If you're making a tomato sandwich, it's YOUR tomato sandwich, not mine. (grin)
Look, the real taste here is the tomato versus the peanut butter. For many years we bought Reese's peanut butter, but then the local stores stopped carrying it. So we did Skippy again for a while. My mom uses Jif. Lately we've found a really nice Planter's peanut butter -- and a Skippy All-Natural. Grind your own if you like. For my taste, despite the salt in the peanut butter (and the ketchup for that matter), I still need the salt on the tomato slice, too. Again, your mileage will vary.
Anyway, the real tale here is that I had my last tomato sandwich of 2011 on Wednesday or Thursday this week. Alas.
The BLT Factor
But ten days ago we ended up with a bunch of lovely tomatoes, and also had the rest of a package of Smithfield bacon. So what could be more fun for a dinner than B-L-Ts?
Now for many of you, the mere mention of bacon makes you go crazy. Frankly, neither one of us believes the current foodie mantra that "bacon makes everything taste better". Mainly I prefer bacon as, well, bacon. Preferably sitting next to a lovely stack of pancakes, smothered in maple syrup. (Ah, WindyCon and breakfast via the Harry Caray's Steakhouse... coming up on November 11-13 -- you going to be there?) A good club sandwich or BLT will do, though, because the bacon can stay crispy and whole, rather than get lost in the mush.
Dr. Phil's B-L-T. Note the new Hellman's container which can make ribbons of mayo, rather than blobs. It works, sort of, but can get messy and leaves the cap messy. The jury is still out as to whether this is an improvement to either the regular squeeze bottle or a jar-and-a-knife.
After I shot those, Mrs. Dr. Phil piped up and asked, "What about mine?" So here's Mrs. Dr. Phil's B-L-T:
Note the fresh dill on the right side -- and I think there was some spicy mustard under the lettuce on the left side. Also the soup was a Campbell's Select squash soup, I believe. Needed salt -- two words I never thought I'd need to say with a Campbell's Soup product. (double-word-score-grin)
Needless to say, the sliced tomato season of 2011 was a complete success. We won't be trying to duplicate this with the sad and hard and tasteless tomatoes of winter. Some things are best not to speak of.