Bonding Over Bacon and BLTs

It all started so innocently. One quick 140-character quip about bacon on Twitter, and I had a lunch date with my new friend, @CherylTan88, who lives in New York.

OK, a cyber-lunch, but still.

Here’s what happened. Last week, @Cheryltan88, tweeted that she was tired of bacon, because she’d been testing recipes with bacon all day. “Tired of bacon? Is that possible?” I said, then mentioned that I was in the mood for a BLT and that I had the L and the T, but no B. @Cheryltan88 said that she had the B but no L or T, and invited me over for lunch.

Since she’s in New York and I’m in Paris, a real lunch date was impossible, but she suggested a virtual meet-up instead. Then @PinchMySalt from San Diego chimed in and wanted to come, too.

Hey, why not? There’s no limit to the amout of chairs at a Twitter lunch.

Then an interesting thing happened. More people wanted to join. They wanted to make their BLTs and share their recipes on their blogs. All of which is really, totally, cool.

Who cares if it started to sound a bit Bobby Flay Throwdown? (Someone was going to make a BLT with fried green tomatoes; another with pancetta. People were dusting off recipes and baking their own bread, for god’s sake.) It was all in good fun, for the purpose of getting together, at least in cyberworld.

See? Much of what’s written about social media and what a great business tool it is, blah, blah, really misses the mark. It’s social. As in sociable. Being part a community. Which actually is the point of it all – connecting with others virtually who have similar interests as you do – which is not unlike what we seek out in the real world.

Main thing is it’s a helluva lotta fun. Check out all of the yummy BLT recipes posted by the bacon-loving lunch bunch by going to Twitter and searching #BLTlunch. @Cheryltan88’s already posted a crazy-good looking BLT with focaccia, with bacon that’s fried, lattice-style, on her website, A Tiger in the Kitchen. Now this is a girl who knows her bacon.

I just have one question. When can we do it again?

Here’s my Cowgirl BLT.

It’s oh-so-simple.

First, I went to Poilane, the famous Paris boulangerie in St. Germain-des-Pres that’s been making its large, round sourdough loaves in wood-fired ovens (still in the basement) since 1932, and picked up a few slices of bread…

Then I hopped back on the metro and went to the market at Ternes in the 17th arrondisement for some bacon. There, I popped into my favorite little boucherie, Divay, where all the men have crystal blue eyes (this place is run by a set of twins and their son, and they’re all adorable), and they love to flirt, like all the butchers in Paris…

I also picked up some beautiful lettuce and tomatoes at Ternes, and was ready to make my BLT.

So, all I had to do, really, was make the mayo, which I figured I’d cowgirlify a bit.

This is Mark Bittman’s recipe, with chipotle, and lime instead of lemon, which seems to make much more sense anyway, now doesn’t it?

Chipotle Mayo

1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Squeeze half of a lime
1 chipotle (from can with adobo sauce)
1 cup grapeseed oil
sea salt (to taste)

Put everything but the oil and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Slowly drizzle oil into the mixture. Taste and add salt as needed.

I hope that y’all like this little BLT as much as I did. I have enough bacon for another one today, and this time, I’m going to lattice up my bacon, just like @Cheryltan88 does.