Having spent my entire adult life as either a coach, a coaching widow, or the mom in the stands/on the field/with the good snacks, I know better than to waste a single moment of sweet, sweet freedom. Life is divided into seasons. No, not spring, summer, fall, and winter. That’s weather, y’all! Life is divvied up into chunks of the following, starting in August—the true beginning of the year when the cycle resets itself:
- Back to School/Cross Country/Marching/Football Season
- College Football Season (We’re on the Crimson side of that equation, with degrees to back it up)
- Basketball Season
- Indoor Track/Get Ready for the Spring Musical Season
- Track/Testing/Banquet Season
- Summer Workouts/Camping Season…no, not the kind with tents. I’m talking the you-name-your-kid’s interest, get him off the game console and out of the house before he eats everything we own, marching band kind of camping. We once sent our kids to an alpaca camp, just on principle. They had a blast learning all about those curious critters!
Smattered in there are the mini countdown seasons of Please Lord Get Me to Christmas Vacation and the Take Me to Spring Break Long Haul. So, imagine my delight when I found myself sans teen girls/duty/game/show/concert/rubber chicken celebration on a Friday night in April! Granted, my husband was taking the track team across the bay for a big meet, so any ideas for a romantic date night (on a Friday…do other people even live this way?) were stubbed. I could mope about it, motor over to the meet, or make the best of this rare and precious gift of solitude in April!
I chose to make the best of it, and by make the best, I mean make bacon! That’s right, 6 thick slices of salty, brown sugar-kissed happiness…all for me. 4 of those piping hot rashers were nestled up on a slick of mayonnaise, topped with a fresh-sliced mater, some Romaine, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I prefer the honey-wheat “we put a little caramel coloring in our white dough so it looks healthier” bread, soft and fresh, not toasted. Some salt and vinegar chips and a handful of green olives balance the meal, because, well, SALT!
What, you may ask, of those other two slices of bacon? If you were keeping up with the bacon slice count, you’re “my people”. Here’s where I go off the bacon charts…I added a little more brown sugar and put them under the broiler to char. Yes, char! One is for side nibbling, but the other slice becomes dessert. Crumble a little over your scoop of vanilla ice cream. Heaven.
Now, not all my Gentle Readers are from around here, so I feel I must name a few names that most of us Lower Alabama folk take for granted. Brand matters and a BLT is just too fine a thing to go cutting corners or using inferior products. I’ll start with the bacon. If it ain’t Wright’s, it’s wrong. If you want to be transported to Granny’s porch on a summer day, you need to use Duke’s mayo. You need a sturdy, leafy lettuce. Don’t you dare pull out of that silly bag of “salad” with a Star Wars character on it. The mater matters, too. A beefsteak tomato is a solid bet this time of year, but if you want tomato perfection, you have a small window in high summer when the Sand Mountain tomatoes are ripe. Sand Mountain tomatoes are so good, you don’t even have to use bacon on those sandwiches! Please don’t ruin a BLT with artisan bread. This is a loaf bread kind of sandwich. And, of course, when I mention ice cream, I mean Blue Bell.
I spent a glorious Friday evening all by myself! I curled up on the couch with a meal so perfect it’ll be a contender if I ever do something bad enough to have to get hooked up to the Yellow Mama up in Atmore. I yelled at that underqualified fellow in the middle spot on Jeopardy, watched Gordon Ramsey make an 8 year old cry, and laughed as some crazy designer stapled thousands of tacky fake flowers to a poor couple’s bathroom walls on Trading Spaces. It looked like they robbed the cemetery! I did turn off the Idiot Box after that, being well-rested and sufficiently dumbed-down, so I could do a little reading to wrap up the evening. No bacon was left over for my beloved track coach.
Note from Rocky: Hey, you didn’t miss out on my big announcement, did you? My new horror novel (yes, I write horror AND humor…go figure!) is ready to creep you out! It’s called A Gathering Misery. We have the worldwide release in a couple of weeks, but you can get yours NOW! I can’t wait for y’all to read it!