Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Don't mess with my bacon...

I've always prided myself on my adventurous palate and cooking style. Indian food? Yum! Cuban food? Let's find a market in Phoenix to find achiote seeds!

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.

Sigh...

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!

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34 comments:

Theresa said...

Please pass the bacon Chez Jenny! ;)

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Ya gotta love the pig:@) I agree with you, could anything be better than good ole regular bacon-nope!

Kat said...

I know bacon is a big deal right now in the food world. But why mess with perfection? Bacon cupcakes? Really?
And now I'm spoiled. We found this fantastic little family run butcher shop in Marion Texas. They have the BEST bacon I've ever had. Unfortunately Marion is about an hour and a half away if traffic isn't stupid, which in Austin is NEVER. Now I have a hankering for bacon. I foresee a road trip in our future. My husband will thank you. His cardiologist, probably not so much LOL. Kat

J. Kwiatkowski said...

Thank you for sharing this important lesson. Do not think, mortal, that you can make bacon better. Your efforts will tumble down around you like the tower of Babel, your wax wings will melt, like Icarus, and you will fall down into the sea.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Lots of the cooking magazines are cluttered with ways to improve bacon. You are right it should stay plain.

Silke said...

I'm totally with you on the bacon...it's perfect just as it is! Oink oink, Silke

myorii said...

Oi, brown sugar on bacon? That just sounds like a recipe for disaster! I must admit, though, it has piqued my curiosity. However, I learned through many previous encounters with the latest and popular food trends that the original is still better than any of the fancy stuff that people are coming out with.

Oh, We would so kill for some good ole fashion American bacon just about now. Japanese bacon doesn't taste the same and doesn't crisp at all.

Wanda..... said...

Best Bet Jenny, is to keep making the Better Bacon and Boot the Bad Bacon, don't want to Botch Breakfast!

Jojo said...

All this talk about making bacon is making me hungry!!! Who knew there was a life lesson to be learned from bacon, but then again we all grew up counting our piggies and going wee,wee,wee, all the way home!

Terra said...

Sorry about your fancy bacon, but I have to agree...bacon is best just left alone.

Willoughby said...

I like regular old plain bacon, but I have to admit, I'd like to try a slice of your gourmet bacon. What did you put on it? A friend of mine swears by slathering crisp bacon with barbeque sauce and putting it under the broiler to caramelize. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good to me. I'm thinking it would be great topping for burgers.


Our biggest problem with bacon, lately, is finding a brand that is consistenly good. My husband picked up a package a few weeks ago, but we can't remember what brand it was. We cooked it for Sunday brunch and it was amazing! We haven't found anything quite as good since.

Theresa said...

Ahhh the smell of bacon cooking, yummy! I won't try the recipe for the fancy bacon... I agree with your daughter if it's perfect, leave it alone:) Have a blessed day my friend, HUGS!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Thanks! I've been tempted to try some of those myself....whew! Now that's out of my system!

Jeanie said...

I'm so behind the times in the world of food that I didn't even know bacon was being fancified, but I'm pretty sure any change would get the same reaction here that you got.

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

-chuckle- To quote the old saying... "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" >,-)

5thsister said...

Preaching to the choir here! However, I must admit to having adulterated bacon, not once but TWICE! I know, I know, I have a reputation to uphold and I'm not proud of it. The 1st time I made "chocolate covered bacon" because I'm all into the sweet/salty thing. I couldn't taste the bacon so, IMHO it was a complete waste. The 2nd attempt was a PB and bacon sandwich...again...no bacon flavor. If your going to add bacon shouldn't you at least TASTE the bacon. I've since left bacon alone. And it is so much better!

Jocelyn said...

First off....now I want bacon...so I better type fast and then off to the kitchen I will go!!!

I have been seeing tons of these recipes and now I will tell you a dirty little secret.

We had our Girls Christmas Party and this Brown Sugar Bacon was made by made by one of my friends...the house did smell wonderful and we all loaded the goodies on our plate...including this wonderful bacon...First bite...I thought I was going to die....I want to spit it out on the floor...but being the good friend that I am...I chugged it down with a big gulp of OJ!!! The rest was sitting on my plate and I was hoping no one would notice...but I did notice....everyone's bacon had a bite or two out of it and.....NO ONE LIKED IT!!!! BLECK!!!!

So I agree with the family...don't fix what ain't broken!!

Now off for a Bacon Fix!!! :-)

Judie said...

My BFA,Diane, is always sthe first in line at the Hometown Buffet breakfast bar for the bacon! It has become a standing joke at the Guild meetings. Someone gave her some bacon flavored toothpicks! I don't think I would like those--no cruntch.
The bacon last Saturday was a little too thick and chewy for my taste, but that didn't stop her from eating an entire plate of it!

Deb said...

oh my gosh...messin' with bacon is like messin' with Apple pie...or Mom...or the Flag....glad you learned your lessson.....LOL...Jenny you crack me up...

Mumsy said...

I have never tried any of the fancy bacon and probably won't. I love bacon so I will have to say "Don't mess with the bacon, I will take mine straight."

Pondside said...

We're snowed in and I was going to have a healthy bran buds breakfast, but now, thanks to you, I'm thawing a pound of bacon for pancakes, bacon and eggs.........
Very happy Great Dane!

Sue said...

You are a wise woman, my friend. From now on, it's hands off when it comes to my bacon.

;)

PS. Or bacon in general, for that matter...

Red Couch Recipes said...

Jenny -- I have noticed in your recipes that you are adventurous but this was a funny romp about bacon. Joni

Busy Bee Suz said...

I agree, somethings just don't need to be messed with. And bacon is one of them!!!

MrsJenB said...

Hahahahahah yeeeeeeah just step away from the bacon. I haven't had the fancy bacon yet (nor will I ever if I have anything to say about it), but I do remember eating some sort of maple flavored bacon once. Um...yuck. Seriously. I'm all about salty and sweet together (syrup on sausage? Yes please!), but this is taking it too far. I'm sorry you had to learn this lesson the hard way.

Deborah said...

LOL ... you're a delight!

Holly said...

I rarely even make bacon anymore, unless the family's out of town for a week and won't smell the evidence thus knowing that I made it and ate it all!! What is it about that stuff????
Sorry your gourmet version didn't turn out, but now you know and don't have to get all "fancy Nancy" anymore!!!!

aimee said...

bacon is like potato chips. you can't just eat one! one must keep eating until it is all gone. regular bacon that is :)
blessings,
aimee

Pat Tillett said...

How can we improve perfection? We can't...

Don't be messing with my potato salad either!

I't kind of like when you are waiting for a band to sing one of your favorite songs that you've heard and loved a hundred times before. When they do finally play it, you discover that they have changed it...HORROR!!!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

When we were in Florida we went into a favorite chocolate shop...they had chocolate covered bacon. I just had a chill again typing that! I love salty and sweet together...even like sea salt on my caramels, but chocolate on my bacon?

I always say that I could be a vegetarian if I could still have bacon. We buy ours in Kentucky...nice and smokey, thick and crisp. I'm hungry now.

Bonnie said...

It sounds good to me but I guess some things are perfect just the way they are.. just like you Ms. Jenny.

Ames said...

Dangit Jenny! Now I've got to go fry up some bacon! Talk about power of suggestion. You should put a disclaimer at the beginning of your post. Heck I can even smell bacon right now. Seriously!! I am a baconholic. Last night at BUNCO the hostess made bacon wrapped water chestnuts. It was real hard to back away from the platter so I wouldn't look like a pig (no pun intended here). Arrgghh! I neneneeds me a bacon fix now!. Thanks alot Jenny! :)~Ames

La Petite Gallery said...

Jenny, i am so sick and tired of the Groc. store. They have so many flavors of bacon, maple apple, I have tried them all and love the thin plain bacon. Advertising companys, think we will buy anything new. I have. will not anymore, I'll stick to what I like. yvonne

Pixie said...

MMmmm kinda makes me wonder how those Bacon Chocholate bars taste LOL