Hard to believe it’s almost September already! My daughter has started Kindergarten <gulp> and the summer of 2016 is pretty much over. Where, oh where did the time go? I felt a strong mix of emotion when I walked her to class that first day. For her it was an exciting adventure, she couldn’t wait to get started! For me it was the end of an era, an era that I often felt completely overwhelmed in – I recalled how I so often wished for easier times and then to realize that that chapter was forever done, well, I suddenly deeply regretted the lose of it all and kept a brave face until she was in her classroom – then I cried the whole long walk out of the school! Thankfully all the days since then have been great! I’ve gotten to have lunch with her several times in the cafeteria and I also volunteer in her art class one morning a week. She is thriving in school and has the best teacher I could ever have prayed for (and I did!!)! But this whole experience has left me reflecting on my thoughts and even motives at times…. So often I feel I need to do more, be more, strive, strive, strive and I’m trying to put the brakes on that emotion. I definitely think we need to do our best but not at the sacrifice of even attempting something. Today’s post is a perfect example of what I mean. With the tomato-palooza that all my neighboring gardeners are experiencing, we’re blessed with bags and bags of these beauties! And one of my favorite tomato recipes is a good, old-fashioned BLT. It’s simple, but delicious. But then my mind begins to turn and turn. “Is it too simple to share on the blog? Will it be Pinterest worthy” and on and on. Oh, the mental anguish and gymnastics that begin to roll like a train in my mind get going and I’m exhausted before I begin. Do you ever have that happen? I can feel so overwhelmed to the point where I mentally throw my hands up and end up doing nothing in case “this” won’t be enough. I’m trying hard to break the habit which is why I’m sharing the sandwich today. It’s not new, it’s not going to change your life, but it’s good, it’s comforting and sometimes it’s just nice to know that there is still a place for something familiar and good.
I don’t know why “simple” can sometimes be thought of as a negative because when I stop and really think about it, simple is actually my favorite! Simple is straightforward, honest, trustworthy, dependable, and chances are that I can handle simple in my already over-whelmed schedule. I did gussy this sandwich up a little bit but not too much, and I have to tell you the results were seriously scrumptious! So here are my tips for making the most out of any simple recipe:
- Use the best ingredients you can. When you have so few ingredients there is no where for flavors to hide, so make them the best you can.
Here, the home grown tomatoes and lettuce that still had the dirt on the leaves was really as fresh and flavorful as you could find.
2. Bacon is nice, but brown-sugar bacon is better!
My cousin is an amazing, award winning local chef and years ago he turned me on to brown-sugar bacon. My food life changed that day 🙂 Simply crumble a bit of brown sugar on top of uncooked bacon and bake in a 350° oven for a few minutes (watch it closely it can go from amazing to call the fire department very quickly!)
3. Condiments matter! Rather than plain mayonnaise – which is nice, I’m not knocking it – add some minced garlic to it for a quick and easy garlic aioli! As Emeril used to say, it kicks it up a notch!
Assemble, add a few fresh herbs for an even “brighter” flavor, and enjoy! Add avocado if you have one, but don’t wait to enjoy this because these fresh ingredients have a short shelf life – grab the opportunity to savor it while you can! As we enter these fresh new kindergarten days, I’m trying to pay attention to embrace and enjoy these moments as much as possible because the reminder that they really are fleeting (even though at the time they felt so overwhelming and as if they would never end!) is so fresh in my mind.
- Brown Sugar
- Minced Garlic
- Tomatoes, sliced
- Brioche Bread
- herbs for garnish (I used thyme)
- Preheat oven to 350. Crumble a bit of brown sugar onto uncooked bacon. Bake for a few minutes until bacon is done - watch closely!
- Meanwhile, combine ¼ teaspoon of minced garlic to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise to make aioli, add garlic as needed to taste.
- Spread aioli onto sliced brioche buns and toast lightly.
- Place sliced tomatoes, lettuce and bacon on brioche bread. Add a sprig or two of fresh herbs and ENJOY!
In other news, I’ve also been working on photo shoots for the book that I’m working on – it’s many years in the making and the process is slow (especially since I can’t focus on it exclusively) but the work is coming along well and some recent developments are quite promising so I will keep you posted as I have updates. In the meantime, I appreciate your prayers that God will help me to be grateful for the pace at which things are moving, rather than feel so frustrated by them. It’s a hard but valuable lesson, and in the end, I know that everything will be worth it.
Thank you for reading and listening to my wandering thoughts today, if nothing else, I hope you at least got an idea or two for lunch! 😀
Have a wonderful day and as always,