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Heavenly summer menu: BLTAs, corn and Arnold Palmers

August 28, 2011

I suspect sandwiches are not served in heaven, but if they were, I think they would be BLTAs–bacon-lettuce-tomato-avocado sandwiches–always served with corn on the cob and Arnold Palmer drinks.

Below are my secret recipes for BLTAs, lazy corn on the cob, strawberry lemonade, sweet tea and Arnold Palmers. Any options offered in recipes are meant to be tasty, not necessarily healthy. (Although we do agree that mayo and butter are both health foods, right?) By the way,  in extreme emergencies, like when people would die from eating bacon, sesame seeds offer a tasty, crunchy bacon substitute for BLTs.

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Recipe for BLTs, BLTAs, BSTAs or BLTACs 

(sandwiches including bacon, lettuce, tomato… and maybe spinach, salad, avocado and cheese)

Bread, toasted or plain (whole-grain or squishy)

Bacon (or sesame seeds)

Lettuce (Romaine lettuce or spring salad or spinach)

Tomatoes

Avocado (optional)

Cheese (optional)

Mayo or Miracle Whip (or hummus or garlic hummus, which is not as sacrilegious as it sounds)

Some recipes explain how to cook bacon in the microwave (Use paper towels to prevent spatters and add some dioxin), toast bread, wash lettuce and apply mayo (What? Only 1 Tablespoon? Must be a typo). But I think you can handle that.

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George’s Lazy Microwave Corn on the Cob 

We eat a lot of corn on the cob at our house. My nickname is Miss Piggy, which works at my house since I’m thin.  I wouldn’t try that term on all corn-loving females.

You may not know the laziest, fastest way to cook corn on the cob. George, an elderly man in Memphis, Tennessee, taught me how years ago, saving me a lot of time and hassle over the years.

1.) Prep: Strip shucks on each ear of corn down to the last one or two layers. Do NOT make this more difficult than it is and do anything else. That’s all the prep needed.

2.) Cook: Place ears in the microwave and zap them on high for a total of about two minutes for each ear, turning the ears over halfway through. Ex.: 2 ears = 2 minutes on one side + 2 minutes on the other side. Adjust the time depending on the strength of your microwave.

3.) Cool and shuck: Cool a little bit to prevent burned fingers and remove the last shucks and the silks (which come off easily now). Use those cute little corn holders if you must.

4.) Butter or don’t.

5.) Salt or don’t.

6.) Have wash cloths or napkins handy. Or lick fingers.

Corn can also be cooked in the husk on the grill or in the camp fire.

Microwaving is time-efficient for one or a few ears of corn. For a bunch of ears, steam them. Read on.

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Julie’s Lazy Steamed Corn 

You do not need to boil corn. It takes a lot less time to steam corn and it’s just as done. Here’s how: Shuck and de-silk ears of corn. Pour about one half inch of water in pot. (Anxious cooks may use one inch.) Place corn in pot. Place lid on pot. (Oops. Can’t find the lid? Use a plate for a lid or find another pot and lid.) Cook on fairly high heat. Steam corn for just a few minutes. If steaming lots of corn, shake the pot a bit after a few minutes to redistribute the corn. The corn is done when the kernels are hot and tender. Note: Southern cooks tend to cook things longer than Northern cooks.

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How to apply butter to corn on the cob

Different families have different methods of buttering corn and different tolerances for messiness. Below are two. Discussions on the use of squirt bottles of fake butter are banned in dairy states.

My mother, better known as Mama Lil, buttered bread and then rolled all the kids’ corn in the buttered bread. My husband’s family had a butter dish dedicated to corn on the cob. Each person rolls his or her ear of corn on the top of the stick of butter at our house.

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Julie’s Lazy Recipe for Strawberry Lemonade 

Lemonade

Several strawberries, smushed

Use your favorite recipe for lemonade. Frozen lemonade is fine. Just don’t use that disgusting powdered mix. Smush the strawberries with your hand, toss it in the lemonade and strain the lemonade when you pour it. Or find some daintier way to create strawberry juice, like pureeing. Lazy hint: If you use frozen lemonade and toss in a few lemon wedges, people think you’ve made lemonade from scratch. I don’t know why, but the cheaper lemonade sweetened with corn syrup beat out the costlier sugar-sweetened lemonade in our family taste test. (Reminder: This is not a health column.)

I invented my strawberry lemonade recipe one day when our lemonade was watery and we didn’t have any more lemons or frozen lemonade. We loved it.  I’m sure you could use other fruits.

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Julie’s Iced Tea (also known as “Sweet Tea” in the South) 

Iced tea

Maple syrup

Sugar or stevia

Make iced tea your favorite way—make sun tea or use cold brew bags or regular tea bags or loose tea. Just don’t use that awful mix stuff when I’m coming over. Sweeten partially or entirely with maple syrup.  Stevia is also a nice and healthy sweetener for tea.

To make “sweet tea” for a crowd, I like to pour boiling water over quart tea bags and let it steep five minutes, then add the sugar to the hot tea (sugar dissolves better in hot liquid), then add enough water and ice to make the proper amount of tea. Maple syrup adds a nice taste. When serving Southerners, please don’t be stingy with the ice like Northerners are.

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Arnold Palmer Drink

An Arnold Palmer is half lemonade and half iced tea. That’s it. If you and your friends are teetotalers and your friends aren’t familiar with this drink’s name, play a joke on them. Next time a waitress asks what you want to drink, order an “Arnold Palmer.” Then watch your friends’ faces when they think you’ve just ordered alcohol. The expressions are priceless.

Happy summer!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. waynenjo permalink
    August 28, 2011 4:00 pm

    mmmmm, sound delish!

  2. August 29, 2011 6:24 am

    I like your the added “a”. I’ll have to try and add that to ours. My mom-in-law taught me a little secret with corn and I rather like it. She adds sugar to the water. I think the key is not to overcook. We’ve been loving our corn on the cob, too! It’s such a great time of year for eating. Yum.

  3. August 29, 2011 6:25 am

    I like THE added “a”, rather.

  4. Jo Ann permalink
    August 30, 2011 11:05 pm

    What a linguistically amusing summer treat! Waaay better than the traditional recipe blog! Thank you! And now, of course, I am going to have to go out and buy some sweet corn, because I have only had it once this year.

  5. Jill permalink
    September 6, 2011 10:22 am

    BLT’s are my favorite sandwiches also. I rarely add cheese but it does sound good along with avocado. I always micro sweet corn just 3 minutes wrapped in saran wrap. Then I spread the butter on and enjoy!

  6. Gwen permalink
    February 14, 2012 5:47 am

    Our typical corn on the cob taste is with butter/salt/pepper. But we occasionally honor south of the border taste with mayo instead of butter and lime juice instead of salt and red pepper instead of black pepper. I think we will honor south of the border tonight.

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