NaNoWriMo Alternative: Day 4, How to Make a BLT

Music may be the food of the soul, but my stomach needs other nourishment. What’s your favorite meal ever?

So yesterday I raved a bit about my current favorite band. Today, I’m going to talk about my current favorite food.

I’m in love with BLTs. I used to think they were the most boring sandwich ever. I also used to hate raw tomato. I now know that a BLT is beautiful in its simplicity and tomatoes are only gross raw on a taco. For some reason, raw tomatoes and Mexican food still don’t mix for me.

So, here is how to produce the perfect BLT. I also kind of feel like practicing my first person writing (I generally prefer third-person for fiction) and present tense (huge proponent of past tense because it’s the invisible tense).

Here's Bon Appetit magazine's take on the BLT, in case my instructions aren't good enough.

Here’s Bon Appetit magazine’s take on the BLT, in case my instructions aren’t good enough.

I pull a skillet out of the bottom cabinet by the stove. The handle wobbles dangerously, and I wonder if this is the day the screw finally comes out. But I manage to set the pan on the stove top without it crashing to the floor to disturb my downstairs neighbor. I turn the dial to 3 and let the pan heat while I grab the plastic container with the blue lid that lives on the bottom shelf of the fridge and contains the all-important bacon.

Two slices of thick-cut dead pig hit the pan and start sizzling. The smell of cooking bacon actually makes me a little nauseous, but I love the taste.

When the meat is halfway cooked, I put two slices of honey-wheat bread in the industrial-sized toaster that my grandparents gave me when I moved out on my own. It matches the unnecessarily large microwave that consumes a third of my cabinet space.

While the bread is crisping, I pull out the head of lettuce encased in a gallon freezer bag and the tiny plastic Tupperware with half a tomato. Somehow I juggle these enough to grab the squeeze bottle of real mayo and close the fridge door without dropping anything.

The bread pops up as I grab a scratched plastic plate from the cabinet. It is dark blue, much loved, and probably shouldn’t have gone in the giant microwave last week. Bread goes on the plate, and I turn the bacon over in the pan and turn off the heat before the difficult part begins.

There is an art to putting mayo on a BLT. With too little, it doesn’t quite bring out the subtle music of fresh veggies and greasy bacon. With too much, all I can taste is mayo. The fact that squeeze bottles are actually incredibly difficult to control does not help. It is also very important to use real mayo and not miracle whip. If I have to explain why, you’re childhood was probably very similar to mine.

Somehow I manage and it’s time for the veggies while the bacon is finishing its sizzle in the fading heat. I give a quick rinse to the lettuce leaves before I break them into small pieces. Then, I lay them in a thin layer of perfectly proportioned bits on one piece of bread.

I grab a neon green knife from the equally lime block and try to slice the tomato on top of the Tupperware lid without cutting myself. This is to avoid creating too many dirty dishes and/or needing the cheap bandaids that tend to tear my skin. The operation is a success; the tomato joins the lettuce. I’ve done it perfectly, so that I have one circle of tomato and two semi-circles to give maximum bread coverage.

I grab a paper towel from the bar. I use a fork to lift the bacon, give it a couple shakes to get rid of some of the fat drippings, and wrap both of the pieces in the paper towel. It’s important that I do this quickly so I don’t burn my fingers. I let the bacon cool in the paper and lose some of the excessive fat (just because I hate wet bacon, not because I’m even remotely health-conscious).

While that sits, I open an old pickle jar and set it over the drain for the garbage disposal. This is another delicate procedure wherein I must tip the bacon grease from the skillet into the narrow opening without spilling it everywhere. All goes well, and the skillet goes into the sink to replace the pickle jar.

I tear the bacon strips in half and lay them in a grid on top of the tomato and lettuce. I bring the other piece of bread to rest on top of the bacon, and I am now ready to enjoy my so simple yet so delicious BLT.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Now go make yourself a sandwich.

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