Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Musings on the BLT

One of the other blogs I frequent is Exile in Portales where, the other day, Buck rhapsodised on the BLT, even going so far as to make that for his dinner. Reading that post - or, rather, looking at the pictures as there was very little text to be read - prompted a number of thoughts. I'm not entirely sure now just which was the first thought to enter what passes for my cerebral grey matter, but that, I suspect, is of little interest to my reader. Heck, it's of no interest to me either! So, random thoughts on the BLT - and possibly on sandwiches in general.

[No, I will not be commenting on the Earl of Sandwich (A pleasant little town in Kent, famous for its golf course - or maybe its golf links. I've never known the difference.) slapping a lump of meat between two slices of bread as he was in a hurry and had no time to sit down to a three-course meal.]

I first stumbled upon the BLT as the result of a train strike. At the time, I was living in Brighton and commuting daily to an office in London, heavily reliant on whatever the successor to British Rail was called. My job was general manager of a small newspaper company, which was run more or less as a partnership by the editor and me although we were answerable to a board of non-executive directors. Coincidentally, the editor lived in Hove, known to many as the posh part of Brighton although that's a downright calumny. The employees of the various rail transport companies decided on strike action just at a time when it was important for both the editor and me to be in the office. We decided to stay the night in London. The following lunch time we both went out to a pub and my colleague ordered a BLT. Now the editor was a real stick-in-the-mud when it came to food, although I don't think this was anything to do with him being a Lancastrian, and to hear him order something by what appeared to be a code name, something of which I had never heard, came as quite a shock. (As an aside, I had introduced him to spaghetti the previous evening, which just shows how conservative were his eating habits.)

But a BLT for dinner? That is another of those myriad little differences between us and the US. There may be fewer families sitting at the table to eat together these days, but very, very few English people would consider any sandwich sufficient for the main meal of the day. A sandwich is a lunch-time snack or would be served in a completely different guise for afternoon tea. Little triangles with the crusts cut orf, cucumber or egg and cress as the filling.

Talking of dinner, the Old Bat had, as I might have mentioned elsewhere, taken to her bed last Sunday. Our daughter was with us overnight and expected to be fed in the middle of the day before travelling back to her home in the Midlands. I managed to rustle up roast gammon, roast potatoes, French beans and broccoli followed by fresh pineapple. I'm not sure who was the more surprised - my daughter or me!

I've drifted and need to get back to the good old BLT. Bacon, yep, great. Preferably cooked crispy and preferably back bacon rather than streaky. Lettuce, mmm, OK. I'm not a great fan of salads, but will eat lettuce reasonably happily. But I much prefer my tomatoes cooked. I will eat them raw - if I have to or if they are served that way in a goat's cheese salad among other dishes - but I much prefer them grilled or even fried. And to eat a tomato with a cheese sandwich! Horrible!

One of the best sandwich fillings I have ever come across is bacon and avocado. Now that in itself is surprising as I don't like avocado, but while I was working for the newspaper company I ended up on the council of the Newspaper Society and sandwiches were served after one council meeting for a reason I don't recall. Among the fillings was this bacon and avocado. It wasn't only me who thought it great. Those sandwiches disappeared quicker than a snowflake in the Sahara.

And to think all that drivel was inspired by a picture of a BLT.


Uncle Skip, said...

I like my tomatoes ripe.

Brighton Pensioner said...

Thank you for that deeply philosophical thought.

Buck said...

My first encounter with sandwiches in the UK were those little tea-time things you described, with the cucumber, cress, and the like. And my first thought was "sandwich? those aren't sandwiches... those are hors d'oeuvres!"

Vive la difference!

The Broad said...

I can't get past the fact that you prepared a Sunday Lunch and it sounds good enough to eat! Congratulations and good for you!!!