Introducing Pleasure Practices with Sami Schalk

This “weird, cheeky, and heartfelt” new column kicks off with a bacon sandwich.

This “weird, cheeky, and heartfelt” new column kicks off with a bacon sandwich.

It started with a sandwich. (Well, a couple of sandwiches actually. I was on a real sandwich kick for a while.) As a person who lives alone and loves good food, but doesn’t really like to cook, the pandemic has encouraged me to put more care and effort into my meals at home because, well, every meal is at home now. Like any good millennial, I shared my modest culinary achievements on social media. John McCracken at Tone Madison contacted me inviting me to write about “Sami’s Sammies” and while I rejected the title, I accepted the offer to write.

So what exactly is this column? It’s a space to explore how I am practicing pleasure as a means of emotional survival through the pandemic, particularly through food. I’m a pleasure activist, a person who believes that my pleasure as a fat Black disabled queer woman is political and that pleasure is the point of being alive. Pleasure activism, as articulated by adrienne maree brown in her book by the same name, seeks to make pleasure part of our liberation work. So this column will be a place to share what I’m eating in a way that hopefully spreads a little politicized joy. Nothing feels predictable—let alone normal—anymore, so promising you a normal, predictable food column seems like setting us all up for failure and disappointment. I’d rather promise you something weird, cheeky, and heartfelt.

Anyway, John told me to keep this under 600 words, which it very much is not because I hate men telling me what to do. Here’s your first recipe.


Badass Bitch Bacon Breakfast Sandwich


-4 slices of bacon
-2 slices of bread
-Pepper jack cheese
-2 eggs
-Spinach (optional)
-Mayo and/or avocado (optional)

Cook 4 (or more, I’m not judging) slices of thick sliced pepper bacon. Put aside.

Toast two slices of bread in some butter by melting a tablespoon of butter in a pan on medium then placing the bread in the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until it looks as brown as you want it, flip the bread and get the other side toasted too. You can add more butter for the flip. When you flip the bread place a slice of pepper jack cheese on one piece. When both toasts are ready, remove from the pan and put on a plate.

While your toast is going, cook one or two eggs as you like them (maybe in the same pan as you did the bacon with some bacon grease leftover because it’s delicious and also less pans to clean later. You’re welcome). I do scrambled eggs because I don’t know how to do anything but scrambled eggs. Sue me.

When your toasts and eggs are ready with toast on the plate, add the bacon on the cheesy toast then top with your eggs. Put some spinach or other greens on there for a little crunch and fiber.

Take the non-cheesy toast and add some spicy mayo. You can buy a spicy mayo or make one by adding a little hot sauce to plain mayo. If you don’t like mayo, don’t add mayo. Maybe add mashed avocado instead. Or add nothing and eat a dry ass sandwich. It’s your mouth. Put your mayo/avocado/plain toast on top of the cheesy-bacon-egg-greens toast. Cut that thing in half to make it more manageable if you want. Serve with some fruit or a smoothie, maybe some tater tots or hashbrowns because potatoes are comforting AF.

Sit at a table or counter, look at that plate and say “I’m a badass bitch” (or another affirming thing about yourself) before you eat it. It tastes better that way.

This is our newsletter-first column, Microtones. It runs on the site on Fridays, but you can get it in your inbox on Thursdays by signing up for our email newsletter.

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