Monday, February 14, 2011

Bacon = Love

On this day of love, Valentine’s Day, what better time to salute the man I love? Now, I will get around to telling you how to make those little nuggets of joy you see pictured at right (it’s SO easy), but first, you have to read this …

For some couples, love “grows” on them over time and they learn to admire the not-so-annoying characteristics of their life partner. Not for me. From the first day I realized I love my then boyfriend, now husband, Hank (or Oscar Henry, more formally), I adored everything about him. A real man, through and through, he can change a tractor tire in the middle of a blizzard just as easily as he can whip up a Texas-style chili and cornbread dinner (as he did last night). He can build a home addition (our new mudroom) like a professional (even applying the Pythagorean theorem to the roof pitch!), just as he will steam clean the carpets when the two puppies have gotten a little out of hand. He goes to work in town every day, because that’s what must be done, but he will rush home at a moment’s notice when an animal is in distress and must be put down. He will build fence all day long in the summer heat, and the next day, scythe grass for our pigs—because the pigs love fresh greens, and because scything is good exercise, of course! I have a great man by my side, and he inspires and motivates me to be a great woman.

Now, about the bacon … what better way to say “I love you” to a man than with bacon? Chocolate-covered bacon, of course! I saw a segment on Cooking Channel (my new obsession, but thankfully hardly anything calls for “crème fraiche”) the other day about “pig candy” made by some business somewhere. It was simply bacon dipped in chocolate. The way you make it is:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bacon on a rack, on top of a baking sheet (so the grease will drip down and not drown the bacon). Start checking for doneness after 20 minutes, but I cooked mine for about 35 minutes (this will depend on the thickness of your bacon and your oven). You want the bacon to be crisp and curled—not so crunchy it shatters, but not limp at all. Let cool for a few hours—you want all the grease to be dried.

Heat some semi-sweet chocolate chips on top of a double-boiler and stir until thoroughly melted. Dip the bacon, one slice at a time, into the melted chocolate and thoroughly coat. The chocolate will be a little thick, so just use your rubber spatula to scrape away the excess. Place the dipped slices on a clean drying rack and cool. When your sweetie comes home from work tonight, the chocolate-covered bacon will no doubt put a smile on his face. Now there’s no need to run to town for a box of Russell Stover. Happy Valentine's Day!