Nothing says summer in the south like fresh tomatoes. I grew up with grandparents who farmed and now that many of them have passed away, we don’t reap the benefits of their farm crops any longer. It certainly puts things into perspective when I go to the farmer’s market and have to buy tomatoes as opposed to getting them for free. When I make the rounds at my local farm stand, I always buy from the grannies and pas even if I don’t necessarily need what they are selling. There is something about going home with a sack full of still-warm from the sun heirloom tomatoes that makes me feel connected to all the wonderful folks who have loved me in my life.
One of the standard dinner fares that I make during this time of year is BLTs, a real southern staple. Everyone seems to have his or her own method to this particular madness, but I think mine is pretty basic. I toast 2 pieces of loaf bread, spread mayo really thinly on each and sandwich an ungodly amount of bacon between as many tomatoes as I can cram on there and as much lettuce as won’t fall off (some still does and I eat it too!).
The special thing about these recent BLTs is that they could actually be called BBLTs, as in Benton’s Bacon Lettuce and Tomatoes. Mr. Allan Benton is pretty famous around these parts (and really around lots of parts), but his bacon speaks for itself. Tragically, I had never eaten any of it until last night. I’ve wanted to make a pilgrimage to his store in Madisonville, TN, but just haven’t gotten a chance. I was able to get some of his tasty pork at a store in my area, but I plan to try and order directly from his site in the future to avoid the hefty mark-up. If you are ready to view some of the most delicious bacon I’ve had in a long time, scroll down.
As for pictures of the sandwiches themselves…sadly, there are none. I needed both hands to eat my BLT and couldn’t risk putting it down to pick up the camera. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend! And don’t forget to give your favorite veteran or armed forces member a big smooch of thanks! I know I sure will!
Happy Memorial Day!