Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bacon Bit: Bacon Bonanza

We're feeling very random today--we stayed up to 3 a.m. knitting, watching the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, and eating Pocky. Wild children, we. Anyway, to reflect our mood, here's a bunch of random thoughts. We're only calling it a "bonanza" because that's an awesome word that makes our lazyassedness seem cooler--although the "Lazy Sunday" connection would make that label all right, too.

1. Baking bacon. We know you probably grew up making bacon in a skillet. You might even have had one of those splatter shields, which looks like a badminton racket from outer space. At BDJ, we hate splatter, and our meager budget doesn't allow for repeated paper towel and Formula 409 purchases, so we bake our bacon in the oven, whether we're doing bacon experiments or just enjoying pure, unadulterated strips. Some packages (Hormel, for instance) direct you to bake your bacon at 425 degrees for about 10-12 minutes--we find that slow and low is the tempo, so 350 degrees until the bacon looks as done as you'd like it (we personally prefer the crisp-chewy, medium-rare stage). We also recommend spraying with non-stick spray before baking.

2. Safety first. If you insist on frying in a skillet, for God's sake, don't cook naked--at least wear an apron. Also, this tip from Head BDJ Labs Tech Jenni S.: If you smoke your own bacon over a charcoal grill and, when moving coals from the coal-starter chute to the Weber, accidentally drop one, DO NOT STEP ON IT. It hurts. Better yet, don't grill barefoot.

3. Leftover bacon? We've never had that happen--we're the type of people that, after the pile of bacon strips is gone, find ourselves going back to the cookie sheet and looking for tiny morsels of bacon leavings. However, if you do have a strip or two leftover, here's a few suggestions on what you can do with 'em:
* Bacon pancakes--either crumble the bacon into the mix, or place the strips onto the skillet,
then immediately pour the batter over the strips (looks kinda neat)
* Salad--a nice BLT salad, with bacon bits, tomato, and a light ranch dressing makes for a delicious summer meal
* Mac 'n cheese--stir that crumbled bacon right in there; it wakes the nuclear-orange concoction right up
* Pizza--put it on top of frozen pizza before you bake it, or sprinkle on top of homemade
* Muffins--get some sweet-savory akshun going on by tossing a handful of bacon crumbles into your blueberry, apple, or any kind of muffin batter
* Cottage cheese--remember when this stuff was a part of every "dieter's plate" in every family restaurant across the country? Turns out it's not that healthy, so you might as well make it taste good with some bacon.
* Bacon mary--bloody marys are great in the morning or any time of day, and they're made even better (as we've said here before) with a Bacon Salt rim and bacon swizzle stick

4. Fake bacon. BDJ Labs is evenly divided regarding turkey bacon--some regard it as a pale, yet somewhat acceptable, substitute for the real thing; others among us think the words "turkey" and "bacon" shouldn't appear right next to each other, ever, except in the case of delicious turkey-bacon club sandwitches on a menu. Vegetarian bacon...well, we're not even going to dignify that with a response.

5. Bacon accoutrements. We can't get enough of Archie McPhee and all of their crazy bacon gear. Being loyal, hearty baconeers, none of us have ever had much use for a belt (our bacon bellies keep our pants up just fine, thanks), but we might just lose a few pounds to loosen our trousers, just so we can justify this purchase.

That's it--we've been up for a whole 90 minutes now, so we're exhausted. Naptime!

1 comment:

  1. I know we all love bacon, but this article that takes a look into the bacon industry really caught my attention.

    -Jessica, NYC
    Bacon as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

    By Arun Gupta, The Indypendent

    Among my fondest childhood memories is savoring a strip of perfectly cooked bacon that had just been dragged through a puddle of maple syrup. It was an illicit pleasure; varnishing the fatty, salty, smoky bacon with sweet arboreal sap felt taboo. How could such simple ingredients produce such riotous flavors?

    That was then. Today, you don’t need to tax yourself applying syrup to bacon — McDonald’s does it all for you with the McGriddle. It conveniently takes the filling for an Egg McMuffin, an egg, American cheese and pork product, and nestles it in a pancake-like biscuit suffused with genuine fake-maple syrup flavor.

    The McGriddle is just one moment in an era of extreme food combinations — a moment in which bacon plays a starring role from high cuisine to low. There’s bacon ice cream; bacon-infused vodka; deep-fried bacon; chocolate-dipped bacon; bacon-wrapped hot dogs filled with cheese (which are fried and then battered and fried again) ... bacon mints; “baconnaise,” which Jon Stewart described as “for people who want to get heart disease but [are] too lazy to actually make bacon”; Wendy’s “Baconnator,” six strips of bacon mounded atop a half-pound cheeseburger, which sold 25 million in its first eight weeks; and the outlandish bacon explosion, a barbecued meat brick composed of two pounds of bacon wrapped around two pounds of sausage.

    It’s easy to dismiss this gonzo gastronomy as typical American excess best followed with a Lipitor chaser. Behind the proliferation of bacon offerings, however, is a confluence of government policy, factory farming, the boom in fast food and manipulation of consumer taste that has turned bacon into a weapon of mass destruction.

    To read the entire article exposing how the pork and food processing industry have teamed up to spoil our environment and ruin our health by becoming the "manipulator of the consumers’ minds and desires," visit