Mom has rules about lots of things: No elbows on the table, and BLTs must be toasted. With mayo.
In my Mom Food universe, there are a lot of rules. Now, they’re good-natured rules, generally speaking, and Mom won’t force you to follow them, but you can expect some ribbing or an outright “Now, that’s just WRONG!” if you put, say, ketchup on steak (which gets just salt or a teeny bit of steak sauce). Or ketchup on latkes (which get applesauce or sour cream). Or ketchup on meat loaf (which gets nothing).
Hmm, ketchup seems to be a particular rulebreaker in my family. It’s fine on fried potatoes, but not much else.
The rules of a BLT are fairly simple. White bread. Toasted. With mayo, bacon, lettuce (it was always iceberg in my family), good summer tomatoes, and optional salt and pepper. That’s all. Avocados don’t go on BLTs. Neither does fancy stuff like pesto, or trashy stuff like Miracle Whip*. I don’t make the rules; I’m just reporting them.
These BLTs mostly follow the rules, though there was no iceberg at the store, so I bought romaine. Also, my mother would not pay four dollars for twelve ounces of uncured organic bacon, but really, that was the cheapest thing at the store (and it’s a good sale price!), and I wasn’t going to travel halfway across town to find cheaper bacon, so that’s what we got.
Do you see the mayo? It’s what my partners would probably call an obscene amount. Me, I call it just enough. The kid and I are agreed in our opinion that the mayo should cover the bread so that you can’t see bread through the layer of mayo. MMmmmmm, mayo.
One thing about these pictures that makes them different from one I might have taken in my childhood is that there are only two sandwiches on the plate. My mom never made fewer than twenty at a time. My dad alone would kill off a loaf of bread for his portion. My brothers, when they were teenagers, could demolish their fair shares, too. I have never been a big meat fan, so as often as not, I would have one BLT and then leave the bacon off any remaining sandwich(es) I would eat, leaving the smoky stuff for those who love it. An LT is a beautiful thing to me; want my bacon?
(There are only two ways I really like bacon. By itself, and in a BLT. This is a standard summer thing for me, and was even when I was a vegetarian, because it works just fine with smoked tofu or tempeh bacon, as far as I’m concerned. There are a couple excellent vegan bacon recipes in Jo Stepaniak’s Vegan Vittles, if you’re interested.)
* Before the Kraft people try to skewer me, Miracle Whip is trashy, but it’s not bad. I like it, in fact. It’s yummy in some things. But it’s not mayo, or a good substitute for it. I have spoken.
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