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Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

100_1821

This one, ladies and gentlemen, is a keeper. One of those recipes that go in the mental repertoire to serve as a reliable fallback for any occasion, provided all the hungry mouths in need of feeding eat bacon.

And there are certainly plenty of people who can’t, don’t, or won’t eat bacon for plenty of very good reasons, and it is a point of pride for me to accommodate the dietary needs of the people I cook for.

But that just makes for all the more enjoyment when I do get to pork it up a notch.

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bacon and onion tart

Twelve boxes for my movers, a couch, a bed, a rug, a chair, and 6 boxes of books totalling 180 lbs for the post office later, I am officially back in Berkeley for May and June. As this blog seems to spread news of my life more efficiently than I can in person, and as many inquiring minds seem to want to know: I am back in Berkeley for May and June, traveling in July, and moving to Minnesota (!) in August for grad school. So there’s the big reveal.

And what better way to kick off a few months in Berkeley than with food politics, art, and a return to buying packages of bacon? (more…)

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bacon-fat-spice-cookies

About a month ago, I shared my consternation at that least evil of all evils: having too much bacon fat stored up in my freezer (now I store it in the fridge). But after some thorough research into just what bacon fat is, along with some prodding by bacon-fat-hoarding friends, I came to realize just what liquid gold the stuff is.

Still, I had too much to use it up in sautés and frying. I had a lot. I was still flummoxed. And then I found the Bacon Fat Spice Cookie. (more…)

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Chili Today!

There are two kinds of bean people – those for whom beans are good for the heart, and those for whom they are the magical fruit. I am the former kind. They’re not a fruit! And they’re obviously good for the heart. And in a recession, nothing is more nourishing and less expensive. I’ll always remember the day I was buying bulk grains underneath the Port Authority bus terminal and a homeless man came in to haggle over the price of a pound of navy beans. He ended up getting them for 80 cents– not so bad, compared to the 99 cent slice of pizza offered next door. It was then I decided that in the face of poverty, I must start cooking on the cheap. Beans are the answer. And what a delicious answer they are.

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bacon-fat-two

Last week, I threatened to throw out my incredible store of bacon fat, and was (properly) chastised for my irrationality. I began investigating and couldn’t really find a satisfactory explanation of the great enigma that is bacon fat online. So this week, I thought I’d devote my post to trying to explain exactly what this bacon fat is, what I’m supposed to do with it, and, perhaps most importantly, how I’m supposed to keep it without it going rancid. Without further ado, I present to you, the Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions (in my head) About Bacon Fat, answers according to me (corrections and further explanations welcome):

1. What is bacon fat?
Believe it or not, there are several types of fat you can get from just one pig (pigs being the most multipurpose animals ever). “Lard” is the general term for rendered pork fat; depending on what part of the pig the fat came from, it can be either back fat/fatback (from the back/shoulder/rump of the pig), leaf lard (from around the kidneys), caul fat (from around the intestines), or belly fat (from the belly). Bacon fat is from the belly. (more…)

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brussels-sprouts

I’ve noticed that a lot of people decide to teetotal during the month of January. Seems it’s a kind of cleansing; a kind of New Year’s resolution; or maybe it’s just the kind of crowd I tend to hang out with. Well, I am not abstaining from alcohol for the month, but I did give myself an almost equally difficult challenge: stop buying so much bacon.

There was no time limit set on this goal, nor any real teetotaling (I’ll still eat bacon, I just want to stop buying so much of it). I realized, though, that if I buy a package of bacon on a Saturday, I feel the need to put it in everything – both because I want to use it up in good time and because it makes everything taste better. Which means that I end up eating a ½ lb. of bacon a week. Which can’t really be good. (more…)

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open-faced-dandelion-greens-sandwich

From approximately grades three through five, I was an avid reader of Redwall, a series of books by Brian Jacques featuring mice, weasels, beavers, frogs, etc. in a kind of medieval world, mostly concerning warfare between the animals (the mice are the heroes) and quests of one sort or another. But though the quests and battles are the main focus of the books, every quest and every war has to end with a feast. And oh what feasts they were. The burgeoning foodie in me even made plans, at the tender age of nine, to make a Redwall cookbook (alas, someone beat me to it).

Back then, I simply thought the food sounded delicious. Now, looking back, I think those clever little mice may well have been the first locavores of children’s literature. The animals are, of course, vegetarian (for the most part); they also, being mice and frogs, etc, don’t have access to modern methods of refrigeration or shipping to produce dishes like Otters’ Shrimp n’ Hotroot Soup, Strawberry Summer Fizz, and Mole’s Favourite Deeper ‘n’ Ever Turnip ‘n’ Tater ‘n’ Beetroot Pie.

I can think of no item that feels more Redwallian than dandelion greens. A hearty and robust plant, dandelion greens still feel amusingly whimsical — after all, they’re basically weeds, the leaves of the ubiquitous flowers that also bring me back to my childhood, when I would pull any dandelion in sight so I could blow on it and make a wish. (Here is a helpful diagram of a dandelion’s anatomy, if you need a little refresher on what they look like.) (more…)

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