Bacon apron! Bacon apron!

No calories! And vegan! The Queen did an amazing job, didn’t she? These photos show the end of the tale I told in my latest Sunday Dinner column, which, if you missed it in The News & Observer last Sunday, you can read here. Now, to fry bacon while wearing it…

pocket with a fried-egg applique

pocket with a fried-egg applique

modeling my new apron in bacon-print fabric

modeling my new apron in bacon-print fabric

Bacon each day keeps boredom away

It was like Christmas in March. (well, March Madness is also like Christmas in March, but I don’t get gifts.) I found a forgotten holiday gift in a cabinet – and how could I have misplaced this one: the “Bacon Love” 2012 calendar (Andrews McMeel Publishing). With every day, I get a dose of bacon love, lore and goodness. Except for weekends. I guess the researcher had to have time off to cook his own bacon.

There are quotes about bacon from TV shows, websites and books;  bacon products and tips for purchasing bacon; and, or course, tales of extreme bacon love. Like the entry for March 1: “Foreign & Domestic in Austin, Texas is famous for The Ripper sandwich: a bacon-crusted sausage on toasted brioche topped with mustard and relish and served with potatoes, deep fried pickles and onions.” I can start my days with bacon cocktails, bacon-and-egg ice cream, or grilled cheese and bacon. Unless I chew on the little calendar sheets, they’re all calorie free.

It’s a very educational calendar. I have found out that a sounder is a small group of pigs or wild boar foraging in woodlands, according to Jan. 9. And, according to Feb. 3, Anthony is the patron saint of bacon. All hail.

Bacon doesn’t make everything better

I love bacon – who doesn’t, except The Hub’s vegetarian co-worker. And I have embraced the juggernaut that is bacon-everything. Bacon peanut brittle, sublime. Bacon crunchies on ice cream, divine. But apparently there is a limit.

A friend sent me this link to reviews on Amazon for a brand of bacon-flavored jelly beans. Among the comments: “Sweet Jesus, why didn’t I read the reviews?” and “If bacon tasted like these, I’d be a vegan.” The review that begins “Putridness that lingers” goes on to compare the flavor to that of a dead possum soaked in wolf urine. Makes me wonder what that reviewer’s usual diet is.

On the upside, a lot of people liked the tin they came in.

As corny as Kansas in autumn

You people think you know something about excess corn. Over on Facebook (yes, I’m over 50 and use Facebook, which means it must be passe) people have had a lot to say about my recent Sunday Dinner column. By the way, I will not load up a cooler and distribute excess frozen corn to people just because they ask for it.

I received several suggestions for creamed corn, despite the fact that I clearly stated that I needed non-dairy uses, thanks to the Hub. And to Bill D., I did force the Hub to undergo food-writer premarital testing, but he must have faked the results. Happens on “All My Children” all the time.

Bacon is non-dairy, which makes this recipe offered by Mark Hutchinson suitable, provided I use non-dairy margarine. Here it is, exactly how he wrote it.

1. Fry a rasher of bacon until crispy.
2. Set the bacon aside to dry.
3. Add one large (29 oz) or two regular size (15 oz) cans of drained whole corn to the pan with the bacon grease – in this case, Debbie would shuck enough ears to equal this volume. If the bacon was particularly fatty, you might pour off some of the grease before adding the corn.
4. Add 1/2 stick of butter
5. Keep stirring the corn as it fries.
6. When the corn has caramelized, drain excess grease.
7. Move the corn into a bowl/dish – helps if it is microwavable.
8. Crush the bacon and stir in the bits

Pork and corks

Bacon and champagne – why didn’t I think of this? But 3CUPS in Chapel Hill, N.C. has. Ari Weinzweig, author of “Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon,” will talk about bacon and host a pairing of bacon with French champagnes on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. In his book, Weinzweig talks about the history of bacon, which he calls “the olive oil of North America.” For reservations or information about 3CUPS, visit here. Tickets are $35 per person in advance, $40 at the door.

Weinzweig will also be at a six-course bacon dinner at Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Dec. 8. The menu will feature a plethora of pork, from bacon by Allan Benton to acorn-fed Ossabaw pork belly. (And what chef Andrea Reusing can do with a pork belly will make you swoon.) The dinner is $75 per person, and will benefit Table, a Chapel Hill-Carrboro organization which feeds hungry children. More information here.