When you marry someone, you not only marry their family and traditions; you marry their salad dressing choices. That, I tell you, can be a burden and one that newlyweds ought to discuss instead of the less-life-altering details of floral arrangements or music selections at the wedding.
Those once-in-a-lifetime, angst-ridden decisions pale compared with real mayonnaise versus Miracle Whip preferences, fat-free versus light, squeeze bottle versus old-fashioned chunky bottle.
None of which really matters until the time comes to put the mayo to the bread.
I'm talking about the art of the summertime tomato sandwich – made the right way.
• One fresh-from-the-garden tomato. It can't come from the grocery store where it was delivered by a truck from a farm across the country. When you sniff closely, you can smell sunshine, rain, and wind, and even hear a bird sing.
• Two slices of white bread. It used to be that only Wonder Bread would work, but I will bow to the anti-Wonder crowd and allow deli-sliced Italian sourdough bread – if you must.
• Real mayonnaise, chilled; coarse salt; ground pepper.
Directions: Wash tomato in warm tap water. Pat dry with paper towel. Slice the tomatoes as thick as your thumbnail. Allow the red juice to drip on a paper towel.
Slather globs of creamy mayo on both slices of bread. Gently lay sliced tomatoes on one piece of bread, overlapping edges. Generously salt and pepper to taste. Cover to form sandwich. Cut horizontally.
May accompany with sweetened mint iced tea, bowl of fresh-washed blueberries, and Lays potato chips.
What? Are you a Frito person? I'll ignore that for now.
Variations of the tomato sandwich include adding crispy slices of bacon, provolone cheese, and a wedge of iceberg lettuce, all perfectly acceptable ways to enhance the original.
But, of course, one must master the basics first.