This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Bacon makes everything taste better. If there’s a meal that’s bland or boring, just add bacon. Guaranteed the taste will improve. Bacon has rescued many a soup, salad, rice, and veggie dish in my kitchen.
I love the smell of bacon, pork bacon to be exact. I love the salty taste even more. The feeling of biting into a crispy yet juicy strip of bacon is hard to describe.It takes me to a happy place. I feel an instant connection with anyone who can appreciate the chewy fatty ends of bacon.
Bacon was the peacemaker between me and two once-hated foods. When I was a kid, I hated avocado, but came around in my twenties after being peer pressured to taste guacamole at a cousin’s get-together. The apprehensive taste test led to my scooping gobs and gobs onto chips.Wanting to give avocado a chance in its natural state, I started ordering avocado turkey and chicken clubs and wraps…with bacon. Baby steps, people.
I grew tired of the same greens in my diet. Spinach, broccoli, peas and string beans. Repeat. I drank the Kool Aid during the kale craze and added it to the rotation, but if it weren’t covered in bacon grease and had bacon bits in it, I didn’t want it. Instead, kale makes it way into my diet via smoothies. Its bitter taste is masked by the sweetness of the fruits.
Kale wasn’t the once hated food. Brussels sprouts were. Fried as an appetizer at restaurants, they’re delicious. Of course, because they’re fried! Much better than the broiled introduction I had to them, which caused me to swear it off. Brussels sprouts smell funkier than broccoli and have a metallic taste. I’m a grown up and didn’t have to eat them if I didn’t want to. So I didn’t.
That is until my cousin in L.A. called and raved about sautéing them with onions and bacon. I wasn’t 100% convinced, but was intrigued. When Fresh Direct had a sale on Brussels sprouts, I added them to my cart. Along with a pack of bacon.
As much as I love bacon, I don’t buy it often. Having bacon in my fridge or freezer means trouble. It’s enough of a struggle to eat healthy foods and exercise on a regular basis. Bacon with one fell swoop can and does destroy my hard work and determination. I have it as a side with everything or by itself any time of day every day, until the pack is done.
I can’t think of one time I fried strips of bacon, put the pan in the sink and didn’t end up washing it so I could fry another batch right away.
It usually goes like this: as I’m patting my 2, 4, 6 or 8 strips of bacon with a paper towel to soak up excess fat, I know they won’t satiate my appetite, so I reach into the fridge for 2, 4, 6 or 8 more strips. Repeat 2 or 3 times.
Before I know it, the pack I purchased to last a few weeks is done on the same day I opened it. That would be okay if I were cooking for a family. I’m single, live alone and rarely have guests.
When I exercise self-control, I freeze the remainder of the pack. Most of the time, by the next day and during the rest of the week, I continue to crave the taste of bacon and fry strips as I prep dinner. Sometimes I saved the fat to cook my my veggies so they’d be bacon flavored.
My body rebels when I overindulge in bacon. My skin gets less soft, my face appears greasy and breaks out. My midsection gets bloated, I’m guessing from retaining water from the high salt content. I tried to compromise by switching to turkey bacon. While good, it just isn’t the same. So now, I rarely buy it unless I stumble across a recipe that calls for it, or if I just feel like treating myself. Small pleasures in life matter, you know.
I encounter plenty of Buzzfeed food videos that call for the use of bacon. I simply watch, careful not to let the drool dribble down my chin,then continue my day. My favorite recipe was a bacon-wrapped grilled cheese sandwich. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will one of these days. Thanks to Buzzfeed, I also know of some ridiculous bacon products that I’m not sure about, but curious nonetheless. One year I do want to attend the Bacon and Beer Classic.
Just because I don’t buy bacon for my home doesn’t mean I shy away from ordering it when dining out. Best believe I get a side of bacon with whatever I order for breakfast or brunch. I prefer bacon over sausages, even though they’re just as salty and have more fatty, meaty goodness. What the hell is a burger without cheese, and what’s the point if it’s not a bacon cheeseburger? Whether I’m at Overlook or Wendy’s, that’s what I want. At a deli, give me a BLT with extra bacon, please and thank you.
I used to work for a publisher that ordered lunch from Lenny’s for all editorial staff every Wednesday for our meeting. I made it my mission to sample nearly every sandwich on the menu with bacon, in case I didn’t like my order. It was a foolproof plan. Bacon is the reason I will never eliminate pork from my diet.