This week’s wise words of advice: when offered bacon, never turn it down.
I mean it. I know, I have friends who are rolling their eyes as they read this whilst running on their treadmills. Yes, I actually know people who can roll, read, and run at the same time! I, for one, am not one of them. But back to the bacon…
The stuff is good. I’m not talking about turkey bacon: that impostor cardboard slice spayed silly with smoke flavor fails to recreate juicy, fatty, meaty reality. I am in no way trying to scoff the attributes of turkey here. It has many. Roasted turkey happens to be one of my family’s favorite meals, actually. Just don’t try and pass it off as a pig, for God’s sake!
Oh, and speaking of God. I’m so sorry. So, so, so sorry. As a Jew, I struggle with the dietary laws that restrict certain things from my diet that are not kosher (like pig) and confess that I eat bacon.
Dream in bacon.
However, I’ve managed to work through my bacon guilt and try to maintain some control. I visit treadmills occasionally and compensate for my spiritual anemia by doing mitzvahs (good deeds) every day. I have to: my family sits around the dinner table each night to report on our positive contribution to this world. So you see, I gotta keep up on the spiritual goodness. It’s just when bacon comes in play I lose my north and become a puddle of weakness and readily indulge, replacing my healthy and theological consciousness for my culinary compass.
My kids are equally passionate about bacon when the topic arises. That’s just a polite way of saying they beg for it…ALL THE TIME. My twelve-year old proudly sports her “Bacon is a Vegetable” t-shirt in a passionate attempt to redefine the food groups. Even my self-proclaimed eight year-old vegetarian pleads for the addictive crispy flavor of bacon. (When questioned on ethics, he feigns ignorance as to its source of origin.)
If I try and implement the theory of moderation, they rebel and get creative as to when and where bacon can be enjoyed. They know how to get to my weak spot by becoming proactive in the kitchen, and, the two of them (normally aiming swords at each others jugulars) miraculously come together to get their bacon way. Here’s how it goes down:
The Girl (known to be manipulative and incredibly smart):
“Mom, we want to help you cook dinner tonight.” (Mom’s radar is beginning to activate, but, aw, mom is turning to mush here.)
The Boy (an irresistible charmer (have you seen the eyelashes?) and frightenly good liar):
“Yeah mom, you always do so much for us. We want to do something for you.”
I know what you are thinking right now: I am a sucker with this stuff. And I am so not a sucker normally. I am a hardcore, don’t mess around, no-B.S. type of gal. You want to barter down the best price on that jalabia in the Khan El Khalili Cairo souk? I’m your gal. Need to sweet talk your way into Sir Richard Branson’s exclusive Kasbah Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains? Then you’ve come to the right person. But pair food, the kitchen and my kids and I go soft, Brie-left-out-in-the-sun soft.
In minutes they put together a quick excuse to eat lard: creamy boiled fingerling potatoes, Normandy butter, shredded Wisconsin cheddar, Turkish black pyramid salt and crumbled bacon. It’s not brain surgery, but it is slathered with manipulation and plenty of worthwhile calories.
How, or why, could I say no to that? We sit down to dinner with their new creation, which they have decided to call Dajopo (Daniela Jonathan Potatoes) and commence reporting our mitzvah for the day: Dani shared her materials with a classmate that was ill prepared. Jonathan used his allowance to buy a newspaper that supports the homeless.
The treadmill waits patiently for me tomorrow and the rabbi would smile if he could hear us share the ways we helped someone else for that day. I want my mitzvah to be that I’ve created these two awesome children that are smart, assertive, caring and exceptional culinarians. After all, they make a mean bacon.
1 lbs fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
6 ounces bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup shredded cheddar
1-2 teaspoons salt (if you aren’t privy to black Turkish salt, click over to Mark and Jennifer’s amazing shop, The Meadow, now!)
Boil the potatoes in salted water for ten minutes. Drain and slice into halves or quarters.
Combine other ingredients and enjoy!