Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 28, 2014: Trader Joe's News, and more Pulled Pork

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week great news from Trader Joe’s, and with another pulled pork shoulder.


Tuesday, December 30 is National Bacon Day.  Quick Pulse Blog posted a great recipe for chocolate-dipped bacon, found here.

And now, for the best news of the year, Trader Joe’s is now selling Sriracha bacon jerkey!  Great article here. I’ll be checking it out soon! Nice picture of the product in a Blood Mary above.

THIS WEEK’S BACON IS PULLED PORK from Heinens Grocery in LakGo here for the site.
e Bluff, IL.  Nice cuts of meat; great price.  I prepared the pork according to the recipe from the site “how to BBQ”. 

Of course, I used my home made smoker, using the kit from Big Poppa Smokers, about which I write previously.  This week, I modified it to include a hinge and clamp, which proved to keep it from leaking smoke, and had the additional benefit of better temperature control.

Finally, just some recent breakfast bacon - this one from the North Country.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 21, 2014: Gift Bacon, Chili and Dud Products of 2014

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week with some gift bacon from Pennsylvania, and some bacon news.


An interesting news website listed the biggest dud products for 2014 on this site.  They include the Pumpkin Carver, the Bacon Wave and the Bacon Griller, among other products.  It’s worth a read!

Des Moines, Iowa is having its bacon fest at the end of January (picture above); get your tickets now if you’re interested.  Sounds like a lot of fun:
The eighth annual festival — which includes bacon sampling, bacon-inspired wrestling, bacon lectures and a bacon queen — will be held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines on Jan. 31.


FIRST, I STARTED WALTER MCILHENNY'S CHILI, which I've been making for many years.  It's a recipe by the eponymous Walter, who was a U.S. Marine.  When his friends visited him on Avery Island, he would always make this chili.  It does not have any bacon, so no further mention right now.  This link has the recipe.

PALEO MAGAZINE HAD A CHILI RECIPE that looks great.  Here it is:

Son Sam Murphy and I cooked it up.  He chopped the veggies, shown here, and we used heinen's bacon, directly below.

I'll tell you how it tasted in the future.  Double chili weekend, with daughter Caitlin and son Sam home for the holidays, with other son Jack hanging around with friend Mead.  Other two daughters Jill and Jenn will be back after Christmas; then we'll have even more fun!

THIS WEEK’S BACON IS KUNZLER BACONfrom Pennsylvania. My friend Rich Braden, with whom I work, was gracious enough to send it to me, just in time for the holidays!  The only thing is, that all of it will be eaten before Christmas (and I think it already has as I write this).

The first one I cooked was the KUNZLER ORIGINAL SLICED bacon, which was packed as 16 ounces of goodness, sliced very thinly.  The only downside of thinness is that I often cannot cook it all in one batch on my large flat skillet.

The package says 16 ounces but it weighed in at 14.6.  Their quality control leaves something to be desired as I lost a couple of slices.  Post, it weighed 4.4 ounces, which isn’t bad.  It produced 130 ml of bacon fat.

Upon opening, the package had a meaty scent, not bacon-y at all.  The smell wasn’t altogether pleasant. The bacon didn’t stick when cooking, which was pretty cool, and had minimal curling.  Classic appearance.  Great flavor, and my son Sam, home after graduating from University of Denver, called it “outstanding”.  I felt that it had a slightly oily, petroleum-like aftertaste; Sam called it “oily woody”.  Good, solid bacon; 3 on flavor; 3 on crispness, 3 on succulence.  Very good in all respects.

The second bacon was the KUNZLER “AUTHENTIC SELECTS” CENTER CUT coated with coarse black pepper.  This one was labelled at 12 ounces and weighed in at 10.7; altogether between these two packages, I’m out a total of 2.7 ounces of bacon bliss!   A problem.  Post cooking it weighed 3.1 ounces and 115 milliliters of bacon fat.

I’m not generally a fan of peppered bacon, but this one was pretty good.  Classic aroma out of the package with non-overpowering pepper scent and flavor.  This was clearly better than the traditional bacon, and crisped up nicely.  Thicker sliced with a great finish, this is highly recommended.  I give it a 3.5 in flavor, 3 on crispness, 3.5 on succulence.  Excellent bacon. Thank you, Rich Braden!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 14, 2014: Bacon in Baltimore, Army /Navy

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week from Baltimore, where the extended family attended the Army/Navy game.

Unfortunately, Army was defeated.  But we will get them next year.

We stayed at the Lord Baltimore hotel, where they serve Nueske's pecan smoked bacon!