The Mason-Dixon Club just might be the food-thing I’m most proud of creating. As a friend and former chef put it, “You could build a restaurant around this sandwich” and I can see it. I can see this sandwich gracing the menu of any highfalutin sandwich shop in the south or in the north.
An aside: I fantasize about opening a little hole-in-the-wall, to-go joint in Maine selling southern-style biscuits. Or maybe it will be a food truck. Hell, I almost have my menu planned. There will be sweet biscuits, and savory biscuits, and bacon. Tons of bacon. And after trying this sandwich, maybe there will be sandwiches there, too.
I already have the name chosen for my little hole-in-the wall, but I can’t share that because I’m superstitious and I fear if I share it, it will jinx the dream.
So why the Mason-Dixon Club? If you recall from the deep recesses of memory from your high school American History class, the Mason-Dixon line symbolizes a cultural and geographical boundary between the northern and southern part of the US, most popularly referencing the Civil War (in researching this, I learned it was the physical boundary surveyed in 1763 and 1767 by its surname-sakes in the resolution of a border dispute involving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware—maybe I learned this in history, too but there is no recess with that fun fact—it was completely dead to me.)
If you’ve been with me a while, you know I play tug-of-war with my ties to the north, south, east, and west. Sometimes it feels like less of tug-of-war and more like being quartered, but that’s nearly here nor there. When I’m missing one place, I connect with it through the food I make in my kitchen. This sandwich is a mash-up of several of my favorite places, particularly the effervescent, sweet honeycrisp apples from the north and the sharp, creamy pimento cheese from the south.
Smokey, thick-cut bacon, a generous amount of bitter baby kale, and a healthy smear of poppy whole grain mustard (I just made up the word poppy as an adjective– as in, the mustard seeds pop in your mouth as you chew) make one of the most perfect, simply complex sandwiches you will ever eat.
I can’t possibly forget about the northwest, wholly represented by Dave’s Killer Bread—the nutty, chewy, perfectly toastable, whole grain bread that is my favorite sandwich bread of all time. I literally squealed in the grocery store when I saw the primary colored bags gracing the shelves of my local grocery store a couple weeks ago. I proceeded to buy 4 bags in fear that it was temporary or by my squealing, it would jinx the dream. Again, I’m superstitious!
- 1 pound of thick sliced bacon, cooked
- 1 pound of pimento cheese
- 2 Honeycrisp apples, thinly sliced
- 2 cups of baby kale or spinach
- Whole grain mustard (I like Maille Old Style Mustard)
- 8 slices of whole grain nutty bread (I like Dave's Bread
- -For the Pimento Cheese-
- Mix 1 One pound block of grated cheddar, 1 four ounce jar of drained, diced pimentos, 4 Tbsp. mayonaise, a couple pinches of sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper. Let sit for at least an hour for flavors to marry. If you like your pimento cheese creamier, stir in more mayonaise a Tbsp. at a time.
- To assemble, toast bread. On one side, smear a generous amount of mustard. Top with baby kale.
- On the other side, smear a generous amount of pimento cheese (recipe above). Top with sliced apples.
- Add several pieces of bacon to either side and bring together.