My name is Trish Watson and I am a tomato sandwich binger!

Yep, this ole Southern girl was raised on them and crave them to this day.  I often wake up to the bright summer sun streaming in the window and begin to plot when and how I am going to eat my first, second  and sometimes third tomato sandwich of the day. So there you have it- my true confession of my one addiction. Lock me up if you will-just be sure to bring me at least one tomato sandwich a day.
One of the most delightful garden gifts of summer are tomatoes! I have thoroughly enjoyed them since I was a four-year-old.  My mama taught me to eat my veggies topped with chopped tomatoes, onions and a slice of cornbread. I am so spoiled to garden-grown tomatoes that when the end of the season comes, I can hardly bear it. I refuse to buy winter or hothouse tomatoes because, in my not-so-humble opinion, they are a desecration to the Creator’s original intention for that delectable fruit.
The wise and entertaining Southern writer, Rick Bragg, dedicated his  July column in Southern Living Magazine to the humble tomato sandwich. If you can get your hands on a copy (and if you are as big a fan as I of the crimson, voluptuous orbs) don’t miss reading his column. Mr. Bragg sums it up by describing anyone above the Mason-Dixon line as being ignorant of the delights of the simple, bread, mayo, tomato, salt and pepper culinary concoction. Rick says his “guilty pleasure is eating a tomato sandwich with barbeque potato chips and a cold glass of whole milk”. I concur except I like my chips plain, low salt and ruffled.
I heard a guy from Michigan say that he “was just about over tomatoes he’d had so many this summer”.  Bless his heart- we’ll just consider where he’s from . . .
Ever now and again I will deviate from the purist version and slip a piece or two of cheese or bacon or avocado on my sandwich. Below is a very tasty way to dress them up if you are serving sandwiches to guests for lunch. Check it out and enjoy.  Bet you’ll go back to the pure thing though!

2 very ripe avocados
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 slices bacon, preferably nitrate-free, such as Boar’s Head
8 slices whole-wheat bread ( or my fav, organic Ezekiel bread)
8 medium leaves romaine or butter lettuce
2 ripe medium tomatoes, sliced ( a combination of red and yellow makes a nice presentation)

Peel and pit the avocado. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning two or three times, to the desired doneness, about 8 minutes for crispy.
Drain on paper towels.
Toast the bread.
To make the sandwiches, spread 1 tablespoon of the avocado mixture on each slice of toast. Place 2 pieces of bacon on half the pieces of toast, then top with a folded lettuce leaves and 2 slices of tomato. Add more salt and black pepper to taste.Top with the remaining toast. Cut in half and serve immediately. At least once you should take Rick Bragg’s advice and add chips and a glass of cold moo juice -or at least a glass of tea!

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