I prided myself on being the first in our group of family and friends to make risotto instead of rice in the rice cooker.
Most attempts at cooking 'different' have resulted in praise and lot of satisfied chomping.
But this trend came to an abrupt halt when I messed around with the bacon.
I've been reading recipes and seeing pictures of bacon all dolled up with brown sugar and cayenne, black pepper or chili powder. Some blogs, famous chefs and cooking shows call it 'candied' bacon. Others, like Martha, just call it 'brown sugar glazed' bacon.
Saturday I was making a carmelized onion, creme fraiche and bacon topping for pizzas and I had extra bacon. I decided to WOW the crowd with the newest trend in bacon.
Now here's the thing about bacon around my house. If I make it in advance at all, I have to hide it. And when guests arrive I still have to hide it because people make ... well... pigs of themselves with bacon. Not me, of course. I would never eat more then 7 or 8 slices myself.
I baked the plain bacon for the recipe first. The house smelled dreamy. I drained it on paper towels and put it in the fridge. Then I made the 'fancy' bacon. It looked good! I was just putting it onto paper towels when Mr. Jenny wandered out to the kitchen. "Something smells delicious," he said and then he grabbed a slice of the 'fancy' bacon and started down the hall to his office.
He was back a millisecond later. "What did you do to the bacon?" He asked with a horrified look on his face. I explained how this was a huge food trend right now. "It's stupid," he said, "It's terrible. Where's the regular bacon?"
I told him I didn't have any. He put the half-eaten piece of bacon in the trash.
I tried the bacon.
It was OK. I got a piece of the plain bacon out. Yum! Fancy bacon. Ummm... OK. Plain bacon. Yum.
After a few of these taste tests I realized I would need to stay out of the plain bacon or there wouldn't be enough for my recipe.
For an hour the fancy bacon sat on the counter. Neither of us ate it.
When my bacon-obsessed family showed up, they sniffed the air and were drawn magnetically to the bacon platter immediately.
Howls of dismay filled the room. "What did you do to the bacon!" they all cried.
I explained that this was gourmet bacon, the hottest trend in blah, blah, blah. There was a lot of half-eaten slices in the sink.
My daughter explained things to me like this, "Mom, when something is perfect just the way it is, you DON'T MESS WITH THE BACON!" My daughter-in-law, grand-daughters, son, son-in-law and Mr. Jenny expressed the same thoughts more than once over the course of the evening.
At the end of the night we actually, gulp, threw bacon away. I was certain the world would end with such sacriledge.
But it didn't.
I think the whole bacon thing taught me a valuable lesson about life, too.
When life gives you bacon...
just leave it the heck alone.
PS. I'm pretty sure this is how the 'life handing you lemons' saying started. Feel free to use the bacon analogy with wild abandon!