National Bacon Day, Another Day (and Great Recipe) for Bonding!
We all know December is dedicated to the Christmas holiday, and rightly so. (Although in this politically correct day and age, we can no longer legally impose or foist Christmas on the non-believers out there. Folks that like and believe in Christmas and all it includes, can now celebrate a HOLIDAY. I could really rant on this situation, but I’ll save you.)
Anyway, as I was about to say, with the “holiday” past, I was curious to see if December was noted for other things. Turns out, there are a few interesting designated days in this month. And since it’s the last day of the month, how about we talk about National Bacon Day? This crucial observance was founded Dec 30, 1997 as yet another great day to bond together. (Who knew?)
Oh yeah. Everything is better with bacon. Someone said that once. Within my research, I have found very little to dispute this assertion. A poll taken not long ago confirmed the fact: Bacon is a very popular food in the USA. People are nuts about the stuff. It’s popularity is so strong that many manufacturers are flavoring or scenting their products with bacon—everything from ice cream, popcorn, soap, candles, air fresheners, and lots more.
According to the founders of Bacon Day, Danya Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard, we are encouraged to:
Eat a variety of bacon while watching Kevin Bacon movies (who can get enough of either one?)
Or eat a variety of bacon while watching all movies with bacon in the title (think a bacon-bacon marathon).
Or go one better and watch John Candy with bacon (and candy).
Give gifts of bacon, such as an actual package of bacon, or a floral arrangement made with bacon and fresh herbs.
Give gifts of foods made with bacon. A spinach and bacon quiche is always a nice gift. Take it to someone unbaked, with baking instructions attached, and your lucky friend can pop it in the oven when they’re ready to eat it while watching their favorite bacon movie.
Or give gifts that look like bacon.
Other suggested traditions such as bacon toasts and kissing under pork fat mistletoe are mentioned as well. Use #BaconDay to post on social media.
All this bacon talk is making me hungry. So let’s wind this discussion up with a tutorial on an easy way to cook bacon. Of the 3 common methods (on the stove, in the microwave, in the oven), cooking bacon in the oven is my favorite and most reliable as far as end results go. Bacon-cooking pros agree on this, especially for cooking a pound or more. It's easy, convenient, leaves your stove top free, and leaves you free for other food prepping.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Then rinse your each bacon strip under cold water; this reduces shrinkage by 50%. Next, lay the bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet. I place a cookie sheet (one that’ll fit inside the first baking sheet) atop the bacon to flatten it and to prevent spatters from coating the insides of my oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your bacon, and use tongs to transfer it to a paper-lined platter to drain and finish crisping. (For even crispier bacon, set a metal cooling rack over the foil-lined baking sheet and lay the raw bacon over the cooling rack.)
And in closing, how about a great bacon recipe, one you’ll feel confident in giving to your bacon-loving friends. It’s a win-win combination; everyone loves apple pie and everyone loves bacon. Meanwhile, Happy National Bacon Day!
BACON APPLE PIE
1 ready-made pie crust
2 ½ cups apple pie filling (approximately)
1⁄8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
10 -12 slices uncooked bacon
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Mix apple pie filling, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice in a bowl and pour into pie crust (in a pie pan or tin). Smooth with a spatula.
Create bacon weave on top of pie: Lay two strips across the pie so that they intersect in the middle and are at right angles. Turn the pie so that the lower strip points toward you. Continue adding more bacon to the left and the right, creating an alternating over-under pattern with the single strip that runs side-to-side.
At this point, there should five or six strips of bacon pointing toward the front of the pie and one strip running side-to-side which weaves over and under the other five or six strips.
Begin laying a strip of bacon next to the on running side-to-side. Start at one end and create an over-under pattern opposite the first one by lifting up alternating strips, laying this piece down, and replacing the strips you lifted. Continue on both sides until the pie is completely covered in a bacon lattice with an alternating over-under weave.
Trim the ends that hang over the sides. Save these trimmings for use in recipes that call for diced bacon (you can freeze them).
Bake 45-60 minutes, or until bacon is crispy and completely cooked. You may want to bake this over a baking sheet in case apple or bacon grease ooze over the sides.
Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with caramel praline, dulce de leche, or similar ice cream. If desired, you can cook up the bacon trimmings and garnish the ice cream with them.
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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