Current Affairs

Bewildered by Bacon

I used to eat it.  In fact, I liked it quite a bit.  It had to be cooked extra crispy - not burnt - but extra crispy so that it would crunch each time my teeth bit into the extra salty bits.  At some point it touched the sweetness of maple syrup when they both mingled on a plate years ago, and then I took my bacon with a touch a sweetness.  However, as time went on, I lost my taste for bacon.  And bacon was really the only pork item I ever really liked, so I now stay away from all pork products.  The texture, the smell, the taste... there is really nothing about this particular food item that I find appealing.

Shocking - I know.  Perhaps I am an anomoly.  A one of a kind.  People love this cut of meat - there is truly an obsession around bacon, and I just for the life of me cannot understand it.  I fully understand the allure of all things pork - I mean I do not think that there is any other animal that can offer so many different kinds of cuts.  However recently, there has been a disturbingly high amount of buzz around what can be "done" with bacon, and I know for a fact that I am not the only one who finds this buzz bizarre (Steevy...)

Take, for example, chocolate.  Pure, rich, and smooth.  OK, so someone somewhere thought it would be a good idea to throw in some bacon.  Add a little smokey flavor, a little crunch, and I am all for the sweet/savory thing.  But it has not stopped there.

Next came the cupcake.  There is an obsession with cupcakes, and with it comes the growing need to improve on an already great thing.  So why not add bacon?  Well, because it just sounds wrong.  OK - no, I have not tried it and I have no intention of trying it.  I have already had one open heart surgery and have no plans for another. Bacon, butter, oil, sugar, more butter, flour, more sugar, chocolate, more bacon.  No, there is just something truly wrong with this concept.


(photo from Mr. Baconpants

If sweet is not your thing, I came across a heart stopping (literally) artery clogging dish called "Bacon Explosion".  Essentially it is bacon and sausage all rolled up (or "weaved together - and here I thought weaving was only for baskets and hair) and rubbed down with your favorite BBQ sauce (make sure that you use your favorite, because it could very well be your last meal).  And then it is bake in the oven or cooked on a BBQ.  Not sure why it is baked.  At this point, the whole thing should just be deep fried...

If people love bacon so much, why can't you just eat it as is?  The taste is complex enough that it does not need to be "weaved" into a sausage roll up.  Yes, a good BLT is something to write home about, but why add all this extra stuff with it?  My husband loves the stuff, he loves pork, and I often hear the phrase "Bacon makes it better..." but I really do not buy it.    

But don't be upset with me - think about it - it only means that there is just that much more bacon for the rest of you.

Two for Tuesday

It is time again, the two for Tuesday, that time when I like to pair up two bloggers who, in my opinion, complement each other.  Now there is almost an overload of social media out there, but with all of the information, I still think that people, no matter who you are, welcome the additional attention directed towards their sites (I would anyway...).

So here goes.  Gesine and Julia.  A cook and a baker both of whom have (or are about to have) a book.  They are also both involved in the film industry.

Gesine left her life under the Hollywood lights to head off to the Green Mountain State to pursue a career as a baker.  She is probably best known for her Macaroons, her fantastic sense of humor, and her Owl icon that appears all over the place - even on the gorgeous birthday cake that she made for herself this past March.  Orange owls that decorated a sky-blue fondant covered a dark chocolate cake.  Want to see how cool the cake looked?  Well check it out for yourself!  Gesine recently closed the doors of her Montpelier bakery to open a bakery down in Austin, TX, and between road trips North and South of the Mason-Dixon line, and she managed to write a book:  Confessions of a Closet Master Baker.  Not only is the name catchy (and again, one of those things that I wish I came up with myself) but you see actually see a preview of the book.  Yes, you heard me correctly, you can SEE IT, right here, right now.  The book comes out this fall, but you can pre-order it from Amazon.  And while you are waiting to eat up all of the pages that I am sure are filled with fabulous bits and pieces of Gesine's life as a pastry chef, you can check out her recipes that she has posted on her blog.

Speaking of films and books, by now you have probably heard of Julie and Julia.  No?  Really?  Are you KIDDING ME???  Well, not that I will do this any justice at all, but there is Julie Powell, who cooks.  In fact, she channeled all thing Julia Child related and cooked, I mean why not?  Why not wake up on a Wednesday morning and cook up Brandade de Morue: A Multi-use Extra, Trout Meuniere, Duchess Potatoes, Duck Pate Baked in its own skin, Rhode Island Johnny Cakes (one of my favorites by the way!) or Gateau Paris-Brest?  Why not try it all?  Well, that is exactly what Julie did, and she wrote a book about it.  She wrote and wrote, and in fact, the book became quite noticed.  So noticed in fact that it is now a movie.  That being said, before you decide to spend your week's savings on heading to the big screen to see the film, buy the book.  Sit down, and read.  Open your mind, and see what Julie did, read about how she spent all those days, weeks, months.  Then, only then go and see the movie.

So there they are.  My two.  My two for Tuesday for this week on this day.  16 June 2009.

Two for Tuesday

Yes, it is that day...Tuesday.  One  day closer to Friday, which means the weekend is that much closer.  Several weeks ago I started pairing up bloggers on Tuesday and writing about them in a few paragraphs.  These tends to be bloggers I follow, ones I admire, and hold to a high standard.  They also have something in common with each other.  So for this week I chose two people who are not new, not unfamiliar, and not unknown.

Eric Ripert reminds me of a few GOs with whom I worked when I was at Club Med for several years.  He is known around the world for his cooking and his restaurant Le Bernardin.  His piercing blue eyes, his smooth French accent, and his boyish smile are all infectious - in a good way.  However Eric has so much more than that.  His blog offers delectable recipes, images, and video as life as it should be - celebrated in the moment.  And one of those people with whom he lives in the moment is Michael Ruhlman.  Michael has worked with some of the greatest chefs in the world and is great in his own right: a graduate of Duke and an author of numerous books including one with Thomas Keller and another with Eric Ripert, Michael Ruhlman is nothing less than genius.  He is also a frequent judge on the Iron Chef (which I would really like to judge one day as long as the secret ingrediant is not pork...) He recently came out with Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, which has a spot on my night stand and I pour into page after page on a nightly basis.  It will reteach you how to cook and break down the principles of just about everything.

These two just work together, and they have. 


Two for Tuesday...

There are a lot of blogs out there.  A LOT.  How is a girl to choose?  Well, there are several that keep me company on a regular basis.  Each and every morning I click on my browser and then the link to the blogs in anticipation of a new post.  Some of my favs post all of the time.  Others, like a good mystery, keep me waiting in anticipation for what is to come...  But none of them ever have let me down.  From the colorful photos, to the abundant descriptions they all please the senses.  Sometimes I will try to go a few days with out opening the blogs and then when I do, it is like a birthday - receiving all of your cards at once, the most beautiful cards in the world that your eyes do not know how to take it all in.  You quickly go from one to the next without being able to fully comprehend every single letter.  But you know that they will still be there for you.  Just waiting for the moment that you take to savor them all just a little longer. So I have decided to put two of my favorite blogs out there every Tuesday.  I cannot put them all out there in one sitting, that would just be too much!  And this are in addition to Hector's and the original Queen of Hearts of course!

Food, stories, life, and love, here are a few of my favs:

Chocolate&Zucchini - Clotilde is joy and beauty all over the pages of the internet.  Even if you have never been to Paris, you will feel as if you have spent a month's holiday there as she guides you through French idioms, recipes, and stories. 
David Lebovitz - Not only can David cook, but the man can write!  Like the lovely Clotilde, he too lives in Paris, and reminds you quite often that he is an American in the City of Lights.  His posts are laugh-out-loud funny, and the pictures are stunning.  As for the recipes, well, WOW is all I have to say!  I mean who wouldn't want to hang out with a guy who write about everything from Showgirl cupcakes to Pimping my crepes...???

Next Tuesday I will give you some more!