The extra B is for Bbleu d’Auvergne.
I came to the realization the other day that for once, the stars had aligned properly and I had all the components of a BLT sandwich in the kitchen at one time (well, except the bread, which takes all of 3 minutes to run down to the corner and buy). Nick’s been hankering for a BLT for a while, so when he called to let me know he was on his way home, I fired up the stove and started cooking bacon.
While I was getting the bacon out of the fridge, I noticed a hunk of Bleu d’Auvergne that had somehow escaped my notice for the last couple of days and was therefore untouched. Bacon and bleu cheese being a natural pairing in my book, I grabbed the cheese as well.
There were also a couple of artichokes lying around in there, and I thought they would make a good side dish, so I got a big pot of water boiling. Then Nick arrived home and announced that since it was such a nice day we should take our dinner to the park. I agreed, and then I remembered the artichokes, which are not exactly the world’s most picnic-friendly food. We decided to stick them in our biggest tupperware and bring along a small one of melted butter. Problem solved!
For the sandwiches, I split lengths of baguette and spread one half of each with butter. The other half I smeared with Bleu d’Auvergne before stuffing the sandwiches with 4-5 slices of bacon each, and the requisite lettuce and tomatoes.
We packed up our picnic and headed up the canal to a nearby park. We had just enough time to find a spot, open our wine, and take a few bites of sandwich before we heard the telltale whistles of the park police. This meant that it was coming up on 9:30, closing time. Which seemed very odd, considering that the park was full of families playing and large groups having picnics in the early evening sun.
Yes, sun. The sun officially sets just before 10 pm, but these days, it seems to stay light until nearly 11 o’clock. Here’s a picture from after we had relocated to a spot beside the canal, set up, and eaten our way through the better part of our sandwiches and one of the artichokes. (It had to be at least quarter past 10.)
The artichokes actually caused quite a stir among the group next to us – one guy couldn’t help but gape and exclaim gleefully to his friends that we had brought artichokes on our picnic. The friends apologized and explained that he was absolutely crazy for artichokes. Then we lent them our corkscrew and were deemed “des touristes très sympas” (very nice tourists). I jumped to correct the error. “Nous ne sommes pas des touristes, nous habitons ici.” It still feels awesome to say that.