29 July 2009

Mayo Playo Hato: In Which I Finesse The Dogma

Pagans have long memories. Or at least, they pretend they do. A short while back in these here Gumbo pages, there was a discussion of mayonnaise on sandwiches and other tasty treats. In that post I may have given the mistaken impression that I am some sort of “mayo hater”. If so, I humbly apologize, and herein seek to offer some clarification. A pulling back of the veil, as it were.

A careful reading of my previous white paper on the subject does show that my quibbles with mayo were more about application rather than classification. I certainly harbor no ill will towards the humble condiment itself, or against the multitudes of fine folks who enjoy a dab or spoonful or bucket of mayo on their food item of choice. Even if sometimes it does make me shudder. Mayo on bologna, My eyes! My eyes! O, Lawd hep me , hep me… Sorry. Got a little sidetracked.

As with any good question of theology, the asking of it causes one to think, to ponder, to wonder about the mysterious underpinnings of life. Life, really, is in some ways, all about sandwiches. Don’t we all just want a good, simple sandwich now and then? One that doesn’t make us quail before the infinite awesomeness and terrible beauty of the Universe? The answer to that is yes.

So the question of mayonnaise returned to me, this week, whilst I was trapped in the fever dream side effects of an un-static life. Things swirling about my head as I struggled to keep the nose above the waterline, clinging tenaciously to the bronco as it kicked and bucked. It was a synchronistic collision of a scribbled grocery list, too many deadlines and a smart-ass comment about my so-called backsliding regarding mayonnaise. Brothers and sisters, I am here to tell you, offer some testimony for your taste buds: there are some cured pork products that mayo does go well with, and I have to say, it goes quite well on a simple BLT. Doesn’t sound like much of a revelation, now, does it? Many of you probably already knew that. But I was sort of backed into a corner on it recently. I was hungry, stressed and tired. I needed something easy, quick and took very little thought.

Hence, the BLT. All the ingredients at hand…except mayo. I toyed with the idea of making it without the condiment, but then, what would replace it? Certainly not oil and vinegar!* In the interest of fairness, balance and gastronomic equality, I did it. I crept down the condiment aisle, and lo! A jar of mayonnaise in the cart! I didn’t exactly feel like Martin Luther and his 95 Theses, but I did have this absurd image in my head, of a monk nailing something to my refrigerator door. Besides, I felt I had to answer the clamoring hoi polloi. Honor was at stake!

To understand a thing, is to know the manner in which it may be destroyed.” I heard that somewhere, I can’t recall where. While I certainly did not intend to destroy anything**, I wanted to be able to understand the thing. I cooked, I tasted, I enjoyed. It was good. Never let it be said that I was afraid to wander amongst the sinners, looking for goodness.

*See? I’m not a complete reprobate.
**Although it could be said that eating is destroying. But that’s another post.


  1. Apparently I'm more of a pagan than I thought. Thanks for the clarification.

  2. I'm good with mayo, but only real mayo.

  3. And tell us. . . how do you feel about Miracle Whip????

  4. I hope it was Hellman's Real Mayonnaise.
    Are you planning on eating those Okra pickles on that plate? Or can I have them?

  5. BLT without mayo? Oh so glad you went and purchased a jar. I'm loving those okra pickles, not something you can get over here.

  6. You're killin' me with the Pickled Okra!!

    ...and, @lizspin - Miracle Whip should be served only to Convicted Collie Molesters. That stuff is, nor will it ever be, a "Miracle". It's the complete antithesis of the word Miracle.

  7. Yeah, so, I put mayo on my bologna sandwiches. But I've NEVER denied being a pagan.

    I'm glad you bought the mayo, but you know in a pinch (and a blender), mayonnaise can be made from eggs, olive oil, vinegar, kosher salt and a pinch of sugar.

    Okay, now I'm hungry.

    *trots off to find some good whole wheat toast, hickory-cured bacon, lettuce, tomato and homemade mayo*

  8. Oh, my.

    Was that a pickled okra?!

    BLTs are one of the simple joys of life.


  9. Mayo is Gayo. Sorry. Unless it's in macaroni or potato salad.

    It's all about the honey mustard on my sandwiches (and french fries!)

  10. BLT. I'm dying here.
    And to even things out, let's just imagine a BLT on my bread.
    Thank God it's tomato season.

  11. I'll be honest with you, with the world even, I have been for most of my life a “mayo hater”. But I then realised that I like it in a burger bun, or with chips. So I guess I'm not a “mayo hater”, just very selective!

  12. I put butter on the toast when it's hot, then add the B,L, & T. Perfect.

  13. What the hell are those green things? For a long time I didn't realize there was a difference between Miracle Whip and mayo. Then I tasted mayo. I'll stick to MW.

  14. Only YOU could make reading about a BLT sound like a well-written novel.

  15. The most important thing is that you have not forgotten the main ingredient in your Gumbo...

  16. haven't had homomade mayo in years!

  17. The best BLT in this city has cheese on it; shredded cheese, to be precise. And it is damn good. But they make you wait for that sandwich...reminding you that first this establishment is a bar and beer comes first. You'll get your sandwich when they are ready for you to have it.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...