Friday, 15 April 2011

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)



I'm sorry, I've been very irregular. Unsettled times here, with a death in the family and many comings and goings, largely to the benefit of Michael O'Leary of Ryanair. In the course of them J. brought back from Pret à Manger at Stansted airport a BLT sandwich for me, a rare treat.

Francophiles (and I've lived here too long to call myself a francophile) sometimes drool at the notion of a crusty baguette sliced horizontally and filled with good things, but I've had enough of them now to long sometimes (i.e. often) for an ordinary Anglo-Saxon sandwich. So J.'s gift of a BLT sandwich was wondrously toothsome and so packed with lettuce, mayonnaise, tomato and mini-slices of cold streaky bacon that eating it required close attention and both hands.

So it would never have done for that hardened gambler the 4th Earl of Sandwich (one of those people like Hoover or Cardigan who gave their name to something that has since become quite ordinary, tho' I don't know what the Iron Duke would have made of wellies) who according to legend arranged for a couple of slices of beef (with horseradish) to be clapped between two slices of bread so that he could both eat at the gaming table and hold a hand of cards at the same time.

The best bacon sandwich I remember had everything exactly right. Back bacon, slightly salty, done to a sublety below crisp. Allowed to cool a little, so that the ample spread of butter didn't melt completely. Sourdough bread not sliced too thick. This glorious confection I had at an extraordinary place in California called Desert Centre Café.

It was plumb in the middle of the desert between Southern California and Arizona next door. It was just an adobe-style café with an immense parking area, some petrol pumps and what seemed to be a vast vehicle repair shed. There was nothing else for about 50 miles, it seemed, although the postal address of this Nirvana of the Bacon Sandwich was 44,321 Ragsdale Road. This has brought back such irresistibly droolsome memories that I think I must go and make one for myself right now. But it won't be the same. There's no relish quite like nostalgia.

19 comments:

Rog said...

Crispy smoked bacon with .... French Brie! Entente Cordiale mon ami!

(I was going to wheel out the Ayrshire Bacon routine but didn't want it to get too familiar)

Dave said...

I'll have a word with the catering manager to see what can be proved for next week's match.

Sarah said...

Yum,that's wot Saturday's are for, relishing a bit of crispy bacon on ryvita, butchers best chipolata sausages on Sunday...starve for the rest of the week.

Vicus Scurra said...

Please advise when it is safe for those of us of a vegetarian disposition to read your blog.

patroclus said...

Do you think J. might bring me a Pret sandwich from Stansted one day too? Our nearest Pret is 201km and one whole country away (it's in Cardiff, apparently), and I do miss their mature cheddar and pickle confection.

Christopher said...

Rog: Ayrshire Bacon? You'd better watch your cheek, Jimmy

Dave: Anything that contributes to bowl movement success

Sah: Ssshh! - You'll have Vicus coming round for an earnest discussion

Vicus: That Sarah, she's such a tease, you know

Patroclus: I've passed the word on and we'll see what can be done

Meanwhile if you've nothing better to do you might like to amuse yourself by filling in all the missing full stops in the above

Rosie said...

Runs off to fridge to see if there is any bacon...........................................................................................................................................................................................nope. It's full of green peppers.

Christopher said...

Rosie: It looks as if your fridge is full of dots as well. Never tried a dot sandwich.

Are they pimientos de padrona? I grew them once. Eating them was like playing Russian roulette.

Christopher said...

Erm...Padron. Sorry.

Cynthia said...

Having just read about Desert Center (not Centre) (population 150) on Wikipedia, I think I will add it to my list of must-see vacation destinations. The town was founded in 1921 by "Desert Steve" Ragsdale, who, in addition to building the adobe-style cafe where many years later you enjoyed that Nirvana of the Bacon Sandwich, "frequently retreated to his writing shack near the north tip of the rock formation called 'The Alligator' where he composed bad poetry... to be distributed in booklet form to travelers." Wonder if he had any repeat customers?

Christopher said...

CentER, yes, Cynthia. Sorry. Not concentrating. However no bacon sandwiches on offer at Fleurs d'O, where we ate last night and where your joint spirit hovers yet, and will alight again in a few months' time, I hope.

Anonymous said...

Given wot individually came out of The Crimea how's about dreamin' up some concocted household confection or apparel made up of an amalgam of Raglan sleeves, a sandwich, a pair of Wellington boots and the name Florence?

Christopher said...

Anon: I'm applying myself to it. Meanwhile I imagine the house that appears in your thumbprint and which is altogether worthy of you is to be found at the fashionable end of Alma Lane?

letouttoplay said...

That's a long walk for breakfast if you live at number 1.

Christopher said...

But what an appetite for bacon sandwiches you would have worked up, Mig!

Anonymous said...

Alma Lane? Is that the Alma Lane (of which there are many) where residents are particularly "up themselves"? (Alma Lane, Upham, Southampton) Lol!

Christopher said...

Did you mean Lower Upham, Anon, or the other one?

Anonymous said...

Forget the lowlife of Upham...What about that 'application' as to Crimean dentistry you eluded you would apply?

Christopher said...

Yes, I believe the drill at the time of the Crimean War was even more fearsome than now.