Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chicago Bacon Takedown

Via Gemma, who should practically be getting co-author credits on this blog at this point: the Chicago Bacon Takedown. September 11th, 1:30 pm at Lincoln Hall. Anyone can enter - you get 15 lbs of bacon and your quest is to make it tasty. For prizes.

Meanwhile, the rest of us can buy tickets to the event here. Curiously enough, they're only $15, even though you apparently get to sample all the recipes. I might actually go, I'm kind of curious.

Friday, August 20, 2010

National Bacon Day

So it turns out that the Saturday before Labor Day (ie, September 4th this year) - EDIT: wow, missing sentence anyone? It turns out that it is National Bacon Day. Kinda. Vicki, who works for the Edwards Virginia Ham company, sent me an email recommending their products as suitable fare for the occasion and describing the different varieties of bacon they have. I have no idea if it's good or not. All I know is that they had the initiative to send me an email. Most of the people who email me because of this blog are resourceful media people for various companies. Sigh.

Anyways. Come to think of it, I may have posted about Bacon Day last year, because I think someone sent me a link to a Bacon Day blog. I note with amusement that it has not been updated since 2009. I note with concern that the last post mentions illness, and I express my hopes that the author is still amongst the living. I put on my cloak and wizard hat...

So, I wanted to give this post some substance, and started looking around on the internet for the history of this alleged national day of bacon. From what I can see, wasn't nobody celebrating it before last year. Curiously enough, however, the internet does seem to have come to a kind of consensus on the date, though there are some competitors out there. More broadly speaking, it seems like the whole "National Day" thing gets started when someone in a specific place (like a city) sets aside a day for something (as with National Pig Day in Lubbock, Texas) and then it spreads and ends up being national. Bacon Day, I'm guessing, was started in a little place called the internet, hence it doesn't have any groundings in a specific geographic location (oh, this postmodern world we live in!) or any specific observances attached to it.

Personally, I think it's kind of dumb. The holiday I mean.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Some recent failures, and my other blog

I know, I know, I haven't been posting much. The thing is - the bacon related things I've tried to make lately have not been very good. And if you're already feeling lazy about updating your blog, it's kind of hard to motivate yourself to tell the world about your failures.

So, right quick:

Bacon Hush Puppies.
These could potentially be good, and I will revisit them. The bacon wasn't the issue here, it was the hush puppies themselves, which were awfully dry and kind of tasted like a mouthful of dust.

Bacon vodka.
I've mentioned, I think, several times that I was working on infusing my own bacon vodka. So, I did do it, but for whatever reason, I didn't feel like actually trying it. By the time I did, it had been sitting in the freezer for over a year. Which may explain why it tasted so ungodly awful. Another potential reason is that while I did skim the fact off the top, there was clearly some still in there. Next time, I'll try to strain it through a coffee filter before I dump it down the sink.
BUT I will say this: it DID taste like bacon. Intensely so, in fact. In a very pleasing way. So I really ought to give this another try. All I did to make it was fry a few pieces of bacon and stick them in a jar with some vodka, which I then stuck in a dark corner of the pantry for a few weeks.

Accordioned baked potatoes with bacon:
This too could have been ok, but for some reason wasn't. I suspect the problem was that I was using small red potatoes, which have a kind of sweetness to them that was really not good for some reason. Those, though, were fairly easy to make. Take a potato, wash it, then take a sharp knife and slice almost down to the botton, every centimeter or so. It fans out as it bakes, and it does look kind of cute. You can do just that (you probably wanna rub yr tater with some olive oil and salt), or you can squish a bit of bacon in between the slices, and that's very nice too. You can do the same thing with an onion, though the slicing gets a little more complicated there. You bake it for about 15 minutes at around 350 if it's a wee potato, maybe longer for bigger ones. When you pull it out, before it cools, you can get some cheese involved too, that's nice.

So those are three things I could've posted about and didn't. I think the real clincher is that I feel like I should upload pictures, but man, that takes more effort.

Anyways, one other piece of news:
I have yet another blog, which I've also been lazy about updating but vow to be better about. It's called Leave Room for Delight, and it's about restaurants. Check it out. Mostly Chicago based, as that's where I live, but who knows.