I made myself a delicious lunch today.
I woke up with a taste in my mouth for a sandwich, just peculiar enough to
follow, the way a private eye has a gut instinct for chasing trails.
Shopping on an empty stomach is known as troublesome, but on a specific
stomach, or in this case, tongue, is a joy.
I should say that the ingredients remained the same, yet the format shifted.
Back from the market, I began.
Forgotten in the fridge, two thick-cut bacon strips from the weekend,
still full of life, dropped into the small frying pan.
Three red-on-the-vine tomatoes sat on the chopping board.
A small pot boiled beneath a lid. A bowl of cold water awaited on the counter.
A large pan rested above the heat-vent atop the stove, beneath the bread
warmed. Inside the pan one tablespoonful of margarine, one of smartly chopped
The tomatoes were lowered into the boiling water, one, two three. As twenty
seconds passed, a spoon and spatula helped ease them into the cold water bowl.
Safely cooled seconds later, the skin of the tomato peels easily and is
tossed into the sink. The calyx removed with a paring knife, the tomatoes
awaited chopping. I’ve read to remove the seeds, doing so easily by
chopping into left-and-right halves each tomato, then using the knife blade
to pull the gelatinous seeds from the fruit.
Chopped into bits no bigger than the tip of a finger, the tomatoes blend
with the garlic margarine mixture. The bacon now ready, it too is chopped,
any white fat removed, and the half-thumb-sized pieces added to the pan.
A flame lit to medium-high begins to work wonders on the makings, along with
equal coverings of salt and pepper over the tomatoes, then a third covered
in parsley, a third in Italian seasoning, a third in garlic powder.
The pan sizzles alive happily, and the spatula helps to gently mingle the spice
and margarine. This continues some five, eight minutes as I chop chicken.
A roasted chicken serves for the meat of the dish, a chicken breast sliced
from the breast bone, then chopped so that each piece still appears juicy,
bite-sized, and neither too thick nor long. All that goes into the pan.
A bowl wide as my hand, thumb-to-pinky, serves to host the dish. Lettuce
leaves, half-a-dozen palm-sized ones, washed in cool water, edges trimmed
no more than a finger’s width at most and as needed, are stacked, folded,
torn into quarters, then halved again.
The bowl lined with lettuce, I take the oven-warmed bread and separate
by hand the crust for croutons, ten or so pieces added.
Don’t let me forget I added one slice of mozzarella, cut in half again and
again until the pieces could be called large slivers.
Stove-top off, I slide the lot of it from the pan to the bowl.
Lunch, heaven help me, I can still taste it.