It's not a mystery that I love books. My office is so inundated with them, I'm starting to lose track of the titles because that they double stacked on the bookshelf. Along with my beautiful collection of classics and modern fiction, I am also an avid collector of cookbooks. I have sixty eight at last count. With fabulous titles like New York- Authentic Recipes Celebrating the Foods of the World and The Italian Chef's Encyclopedia. And I use every last one of them. But my favorite title today is Seduced by Bacon by Joanna Pruess and Bob Lope. That title just makes me giggle. A cookbook devoted entirely to one specific kind of cured meat!
Actually, I am not a huge fan of bacon .
I do like the taste. It just doesn't like me. I can almost feel it slowing my heart as it settles on my arteries. It whispers (Yes bacon whispers. Just go with it.) "Tomorrow's long run is going to KILL you because you ate me." So I don't eat a lot of it.
My husband on the other hand actually believes pork belongs on the food pyramid somewhere between Moosetracks Ice Cream and Cherry Twizzlers. He believes that bacon is the key to longevity because his grandma ate a bacon sandwich every day for eighty one years. Is it just me or does everyone have a relative who ate bacon daily for eighty one years?
Being married to such a devoted bacon lover, I learned along time ago that bacon is a religion with a devoted mass of followers. Apparently, I'm agnostic. I don't deny the existence of Pork but I don't feel the need to worship it. But that didn't stop my indoctrinated husband from buying me Seduced by Bacon for Christmas several years ago. And it didn't stop me from reading it. I can be open minded on matters of religion.
By the time I read the section ominously titled Baconology I knew I was dealing with something larger than personal belief. We're talking a major cult here. Every single recipe in that book includes bacon! Yes, there are the old standbys like Bacon Cheddar Biscuits and Classic BLT's but there's also a dessert section! How does Pecan-Brown Sugar & Bacon Ice Cream sound? *Gulp*
I am not even kidding.
Who knew bacon had so much versatility?
But for the love my spouse and my bacon eating children I have tried to embrace bacon. Okay, so it's more of a handshake kind of relationship. But I'm learning to adjust. (Do you want to know a little secret? Sometimes I still serve Turkey Bacon to the kids. They never notice. My husband calls foul every time. Curse his pork sensitive pallet.)
I think the biggest thing I learned from this family treasured cookbook (aside from what happens when you combine bacon and peanut butter) is that there is a right and wrong way to cook bacon. You are not supposed to pan fry it. Did you know that?
No. No. The correct way to cook bacon is to lay it on rumpled aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and oven bake it at 400 degrees for 18- 20 minutes. This prevents shrinkage and makes for long beautiful strips of bacon. I am a huge fan of this cooking method. It eliminates grease spatter and if you use two cookie sheets it's actually much faster. I can cook an entire pound of bacon at once with minimal clean up. Just toss the foil when your finished.
I'm still not completely converted to the Church of Bacon but I'm much more respectful of those who are. If you can swallow a peanut butter and bacon sandwich, more power to you.
Who knows, maybe Bacon lovers married to health nuts are really the ones who suffer.