"I’ve long said that if I were about to be executed and were given a choice of my last meal, it would be bacon and eggs . . . Nothing is quite as intoxicating as the smell of bacon frying in the morning." ~ James Beard
(Vegetarians, look away.)
I’m definitely not a morning person, but for bacon I’ll get up.
One whiff of those divine pieces of pork belly sizzling in a pan, and I’m floating downstairs, dreaming of cozy Sunday mornings and finding my way back home.
Bacon ranks right up there with chocolate as a top-ranking guilty pleasure. We know we shouldn’t have any, but find it impossible to resist. Just one piece, maybe two. Absolutely scrumptious biting into it, eyes rolling back in the head, and then a sense of "man, am I going to pay for this," afterwards.
But hoo boy, this brand of ecstasy is worth it.
Despite warnings about saturated fat and nitrates, bacon is selling better than ever in the U.S. About 2 billion pounds of it is produced each year, 70% of it consumed at breakfast. Over 50% of American households claim to have bacon on hand at all times. Like Emeril always says, pork fat!! You simply can’t beat it for flavor; even a little bit added to a recipe yields a big payoff.
It seems bacon has always been held in high esteem. Back in 12th century England, a church in the town of Dunmow awarded a side of bacon to any man who could swear he hadn’t quarreled with his wife in a year and a day. He was greatly admired for his forbearance, and henceforth was known as one who could "bring home the bacon."
These days, women bring home the whole pig. With or without lipstick.
And right now, this woman is going to share her favorite method of cooking bacon.
Much as I love the crack, pop and sizzle, I hate cleaning greasy frying pans and spattered stove tops. Broiled bacon is equally messy, and I don’t like heating up the whole oven just to bake a few strips.
No, here in the alphabet soup kitchen, we use the microwave. In the past, I used a special ridged microwave plate specially made for cooking bacon. But who wants to wash that thing? The older you get, the more your life is about convenience.
So here, for the first time ever, my favorite method, aka,
BROWN PAPER BAGS ARE YOUR FRIEND
Step 1: Blindfold any pigs who live at your house. Refrain from calling anyone "Babe."
Step 2: Fold two grocery bags in half crosswise, then slide one inside the other. Place two paper towels on top, then position bacon slices. Place another towel over the bacon to prevent spattering.
Step 3: Microwave on high, about 1 minute for each slice being cooked. (Cooking time varies depending on how crisp you like your bacon. It’s wise to test after 2-3 minutes.)
After 3-1/2 minutes (I like my bacon chewy.)
Step 4: Devour the bacon, then throw the greasy bags away. No dishes to wash, no spatters to clean up. Brown bags also absorb grease better than paper plates.
If you find yourself stealing your kids’ bacon, ease your guilt by reading them this book:
picture book for ages 4-8 (Harper, 1989), 32 pp.
If you simply can’t stop oinking, test your bacon and belly fat IQ here.