Can you tell I'm having a difficult time getting back to work? I want to hang on to every last drop of the season. One of my best summer memories, along with fire flies and sparklers, is the tomato sandwiches my dad used to make. The rules of a tomato sandwich are as follows:
1. The tomato has to be home-grown or purchased from a produce stand by the side of the road within the last 24 hours. This was more important when I was a child -- grocery store tomatoes were mushy and tasteless, except in the summer. But, even today, nothing compares (maybe Kumato, but not hydroponic) with red, juicy, garden-grown tomatoes.
2.The bread has to be basic, white, spongy WONDER BREAD. White bread absorbs the juice and turns to a soft paste in your mouth. This is bon pain de-poor-nutrition.
3. Mayonnaise (nothing low-fat or olive oil based will really do here either.) The tomato sandwich is a balance of healing with a hint of angioplasty waiting to happen. If you think one teaspoon of mayo will mess with your cholesterol, or are feeling daring, go with mustard. My dad inherited a butcher shop, and after WWII he made his own brand of mustard in my baby bottles, so I've been a fan of spicy mustard since infancy.
4. Salt and pepper (best if it's freshly ground). There is some debate as to how thick to cut the tomato...several layers or one big slice? This is a decision that each person must make in the privacy of their own kitchen, but do season both sides of the tomato.
The classic tomato sandwich is simple and since the only real calories are in the bread (140 for two slices) and a teensy bit of mayo, it's a great low-cal snack.
If you want to go 20th century, add bacon and lettuce. For 21st century, add fresh basil that you grew yourself.
And, I guess because of the great collective unconscious, in the last 24 hours I received the following information on tomato sandwiches. From Blue Apron (a delivery service for step-by-step recipes along with ingredients), here's a really fancy recipe for BLT's. (Warning: it's 700 calories!)
Second, an illustration from Marcella Kriebel, an artist who who sends her subscribers daily emails with drawings of fun foods, at "Art Every Day//365 Days of Food"
Finally, a crab BLT from one of my favorite Bethesda dives, Freddy's Lobster & Clams. If you are not going to stick to a pure tomato sandwich, you can never go wrong with crab meat.
And since this is a career blog, the career nugget is that I"m not writing a food blog (I don't cook, I microwave) so sharing this with you was a surprise. You can expect to be surprised in the work world too! A Happy Labor Day recipe: prepare tomato sandwich, add a glass of lemonade, stir in a good book, a hammock, and a nap.