BLT from scratch????

“Home made BLT” anyone?

Yes, you read that right – “home made”. But how do you “home make” a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich? From scratch, of course! This is the challenge chef Michael Ruhlman has put to his readers this summer on his popular blog

The basic premises of the challenge are simple: Make a BLT literally from the ground up. You don’t have to go as far as raising a piglet for the bacon or growing wheat for the bread; simply grow tomatoes and lettuce (or other greens), cure your own bacon or pancetta and bake your own bread. Photograph it, blog about it. Ruhlman and his wife will judge the entries at the end of August according to three categories: best photograph, best overall preparation, and best interpretation of a classic.

Neil and I will be participating in this challenge. My recent experience in culinary school has taught me that I can do a lot more in the kitchen than I thought and this is the perfect opportunity to see if this extends to the garden as well…. (well with Mr Green Thumb’s help, of course – that would be Neil!)

The evolution of the BLT is noteworthy for its length. Most BLT ingredients (bread, lettuce, bacon) can be traced back to Roman times, tomatoes appeared in Europe around the 16th century and mayonnaise was an 18th century invention of the French. Sandwiches as we know them also appeared around this time. The BLT is a true tag-team effort across the centuries!

Join us this summer as we chronicle our (perhaps failed but certainly humourous!) attempts to grow our own lettuce and tomatoes (we will be calling on our neighbours for their help as we trek through Laos in July…). The curing of the pork will only start in August when we return from our trip as apparently, it only takes a couple of weeks, according to Ruhlman, who is also the author of Charcuterie (hmmm – maybe some reading for the plane, Neil?)

NB: Photos for this post courtesy of

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7 thoughts on “BLT from scratch????”

  1. i too am really looking forward to seeing how you home-cure bacon! i've never heard of anyone who didn't have a smokehouse doing that. love the idea of the ground-up meal!

  2. Bacon is one of the major food groups. I know a friend who is a vegetarian – with the exception of bacon. 🙂

    A smoker may indeed be in the works…I have an idea that I'd like to do, but is complex. Someone in our George Brown class offered to lend me a smoker (she has two, inexplicably) – might have to take her up on that.

    I think the challenge would be far more interesting if we had to grow our wheat – or at least slaughter little Wilbur.

  3. Hoping I can sample the final product. Some of the details of the process I can easily skip though.
    That would be all things concerning Wilbur, Mr. Neil.

  4. I always order my veggie burger with bacon, and people look at me funny for doing so. Hey, bacon is bacon!


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