About Me

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Cedar, Leelanau County, Michigan (near Traverse City), United States
I am a 76 year old (born 7/4/1937) retired Public Radio Engineer from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Happily married to the love of my life, Teddy (nee Teddy Schlueter). Teddy is a retired Medical Records Clerk from Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin. Two children, Michael and Lon. Lon passed away in 1994. Michael is married to his wonderful wife, Toni and lives in Appleton, Wisconsin. For photos click on link below or visit our photo site http://www.flickr.com/photos/igboo NOTE: Click on photos for full-size images.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Tomato Sandwich

One of my favorite summertime treats is a big sloppy, with juice running down your arms, tomato sandwich made with fresh ripe tomatos straight from the garden.
Now this is a "TOMATO SANDWICH" NOT a "BLT" or a "Club Sandwich". Just as a hamburger is not the same as a cheeseburger, they are another kind of sandwich, which I also sometimes enjoy, however, a pure tomato sandwich is sans any flavor detraction such as bacon, lettuce or any other ingredient other than those listed here.
In our family this was a treat shared through the years of my youth by myself and my mother, Donna Page and I credit the invention to her. I don't recall any other members of my family relishing them with as much uninhabited gusto as me and my mom. 

A. The Ingredients

1. Tomatoes: You must start with a summer-ripened tomato. Any color will do, but it has to be dead-ripe, succulent, and bursting with juice. It should never be refrigerated. 

2. Mayonnaise:  You need mayonnaise, NOT ‘Miracle Whip’…Miracle Whip is a nice condiment for making potato salad but should never be used on sandwiches as it’s strong flavor overpowers the other fillings. If you don’t have any mayo on hand, STOP now and go to the store and get some. Mayo is part of the magic of a perfect tomato sandwich.

3. Bread: Two lightly toasted slices of that soft and squishy bread that you never admit buying. You don’t want highly flavored bread that detracts from the filling.  

4. Onion: Sweet onion sliced, preferably Vidalias if in season.

5. Last but not least, salt.

B The Assembly:

While the bread is toasting, use your sharpest knife (if you don’t have a Cutco #1721, you should get one it is the best tomato slicing knife in existance) to slice the tomato vertically in 1/2 inch slices & then cut off the tops of the slices that have bellybuttons where the stem was. Peel the onion and slice it horizontally in 1/8th inch slices. Slather the mayonnaise on both slices of the toast, making sure it flows all the way to the edges, perhaps with an artful drip over the edge. Carefully fit the tomatoes onto the toast cutting it to fit the best you can. Top with a layer of the onion slices, lightly salt, put the top on and VOLA!

C The Eating:

Sandwich in hand, you may now move to the sink and start eating. Grasp the sandwich with both hands, shielding the backside as the tomatoes sometimes try to escape by squishing out the back. Have plenty of napkins or paper towels handy, as the juice will run down your chin or your hands. Optionally put your sandwich on a plate and eat at the table, don’t forget the paper towels.
The first bite is all about texture—the soft bread, the velvety emulsion of mayonnaise, the luscious tomato, bursting with juice – a unique and wonderful sensory experience. By the third bite, be ready for the harmony of flavors in which yeasty bread, creamy mayonnaise, crisp onions and tart-acid-sweet tomato come together, accentuated with the salt. Don’t hurry. Savor the flavors.
Tomato sandwiches are about as basic as you can get, every one of them is delicious. In the summer I eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or in between. And every last one of them is perfect.

1 comment:

Bill and Barb said...

Oh, Larry, you make me so hungry for a real, homegrown tomato sandwich. I agree, Hellman's is the very best!!