Monday, June 22, 2015

June 29, 2015: 100th POST, Oldest Person On Earth, Pig Statue Stolen

MY LIFE WITH BACON CONTINUES this week with an upcoming celebration of a bacon-eating 116-year-old, who is the documented oldest person on earth. What better way to post my 100th blog post than with a centernarian!

THE OLDEST PERSON ON EARTH, pictured above, is Susannah Mushatt Jones, of New York, who is turning 116 on July 7th. Wow. And her favorite food is bacon, eggs and grits! Except for the grits, that's pure health food. Summary article here.

NEW TREND: PULLED PORK IS THE NEW BACON! At least that's being touted by one pundit. Pulled pork has been selling at accelerated rates. Good thing I have my Ugly Drum Smoker in which to make it!
"What’s driving pulled pork’s ascent is as much about economics as taste. Ground beef prices have been steadily rising, up 189% since 2000, according to Cattle Network. This week, the most popular kind of ground beef, 73% lean, sold for an average wholesale price of $1.89/pound, according to the USDA. Fresh, vacuum-packed trim pork butt (aka pork shoulder, used in pulled pork) sold for an average wholesale price of $1.25/pound."

SOMEONE STOLE THE PIG STATUE (above) at a Montreal eatery, Bar Brutus. (Facebook page in French, but on Facebook, you can click the Translate button.)  The establishment posted on Facebook that there wouldn't be any consequences if the person returned it. It was returned, and to celebrate, they are giving away free bacon this week!  Story here. Lots of great porcine dishes on the menu; definitely check them out when in Montreal.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 21, 2015: HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Beer Keg Bacon Burger Pizza; Bacon Scent Alarm Clock; Man Steals Bacon & Passes Out

MY LIFE WITH BACON CONTINUES THIS WEEK with HAPPY FATHER'S DAY BACON, AND with a new scent alarm clock, and a wayward youth stealing bacon and a TV, then passing out. Plus, a huge burger on a smoker.

Getting ready to cook these jalepenos for Father's day! Oscar.

"Try to wrap your brain around the Beer Keg Bacon Burger Pizza"!  This is the finished product:

Looks are deceiving in a picture like this. It's actually 30 pounds of ground beef. They used a keg to make the space for the 'toppings':
And then they added the toppings and the bacon 'crust'... pretty amazing. Full story and recipe here.

BACON IN THE NEWS continues now with a SmellAlarmClock (my terminology).  We previously reviewed and posted about the Oscar Mayer "Wake Up And Smell The Bacon" promotion. They created a device for your iPhone that, coupled with a device they sent to lucky contestants, would emit the scent of cooked bacon and an actor's voice to wake you up. My loyal reader Billy U sent me the device (he won and I didn't), which worked just as advertised. Well, now, a Kickstarter campaign is underway for something similar. Cool article here. Click the image to go to the campaign.

The difference is, you can purchase cartridges that emit different odors as well. The inventor says that 99% of people wake up within two minutes of the 'alarm' going off... I can think of a lot of different odors, but they probably wouldn't make them...

And now for a dumb bacon-related crime.

The Police report shouted out: Lincoln man gets drunk, steals bacon, claims he was robbed! Stupid crime; if you want to read about it, click here. Mug shot not worth posting. Don't people learn from other people's mistakes?

E!Online says "the bacon craze has gone too far" because BuzzFeed created the Bacon Wrapped Grilled Cheese and the Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich. Neither are particularly ground-breaking. Why the fuss? I guess it was a slow entertainment news day. Article here. Pictures not worth posting.


According to CBS Sports:
"Mark Calcavecchia won the Principal Charity Classic on Sunday on the Champions Tour, but I'm burying the lede here. The real story is that Calcavecchia did so while wearing bacon-themed pants. They're as amazing as they sound. Take a look."

Where can I get those???


Wonderful daughter Jennifer gave me the below bacon; will cook it next week

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 14, 2015: Bacon and Train Collide, Crispi Sentenced, and Multiple Cooking Methods

MY LIFE WITH BACON CONTINUES THIS WEEK with a terrible accident involving bacon, the sentencing of a dastardly bacon criminal, and a test of three ways of cooking bacon.

BACON IN THE NEWS begins this week with Cameo Adawn Crispi appearing in court earlier this month to a nasty crime. (Very creative photo above from this website.)  She apparently attempted to kill her boyfriend by setting fire to a bunch of bacon on a cookee sheet on top of the stove. Hopefully this is the final chapter in her sad story. The report says she actually had a blood alcohol level of .34 - wow, that's dangerously close to alcohol poisioning.
"A woman has been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay a fine for setting fire to her ex-boyfriend's home in March 2014 with a pound of burning bacon and hot coals from a wood stove....The fire was extinguished and Crispi was arrested after a brief struggle with officers. Her blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.346, court records show, which is more than four times the legal limit for impairment in Utah.
Since entering her guilty plea, Crispi has completed six months of inpatient substance abuse treatment, according to her attorney. As part of her probation, she is barred from possessing or consuming alcohol. "   
Hey, what about bacon, isn't she barred from buying and wasting it? Because clearly, Crispi burned the bacon, and there should be a relevant consequence for that.
THE SECOND NEWS STORY came in just as I put the finishing touches on last week's blog post. Seems an Amtrak train crushed a truck in Illinois, sending 70,000 pounds of bacon to oblivion. Luckily no one was hurt. Full story here. Photo above. My question is, why are all the people on the wrong side of the train? Surely there's some free bacon to be had on the other side.

THIS WEEK'S BACON COMES FROM MY FAVORITE BUTCHER: SEAN HOFHERR. I prepared his bacon three different ways.

I started with the water-skillet method. Many people swear by this approach. You place the bacon in a skillet and cover it with water. Turn on the heat and let the water simmer away, until you're left with simple frying of the bacon. Supposedly much of the fat is rendered away, creating a better tasting product with great texture.  Here are two shots - one a small animated gif and the other the finished product.

Next, I used the microwave, placing the bacon on a paper plate and covering it with paper towels. I simply checked the bacon after a couple of minutes to get the degree of done-ness right.

Finally, I use the Bacon Wave product, which I acquired a long time ago. You put the slices between the vertical posts, and secure them with a bamboo skewer. Again, cooking until the right degree of doneness.

Here are the finished products in one shot.

The results? Well, all were disappointing. The flat microwave approached produced rubbery bacon; the Bacon Wave was a little better, but both microwave approaches produced salty, rubbery finished product. The water skillet was the best of the three, but took the most time and was the messiest clean up.

I still prefer the old fashioned cooking on a skillet, starting with placing the slices cold on the pan and cooking slowly. Faster cooking, better crispness, better succulence and best overall flavor.

However, there is no question as to how good Hofherr's bacon is: OUTSTANDING.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June 7, 2015: More Bacon Lotto, My Birthday at Piece Pizza, and New Haven, CT Eateries!


BACON IN THE NEWS begins this week with a really cool new lottery ticket from Hoosier country. The great state of Indiana launched it this week. In the same vein as the New Hampshire scratch-n-sniff, these lottery tickets are bacon-scented!  But the good news is that the grand prize winner gets twenty years of bacon!  Check out the IndyStar website, quoted below:
"The Hoosier Lottery has debuted a new bacon-scented lottery game that offers players   the possibility of winning a 20-year supply of the savory meat.
The new scratch-off lottery game, called Bringin’ Home the Bacon, is infused with the aroma of bacon. It debuted Tuesday at 4,400 Hoosier Lottery retailers.
Players who buy the tickets costing $2 each can win cash prizes of up to $10,000, while five players will win a 20-year supply of bacon paid in installments and valued at $5,000, or $250 annually.
The new lottery game is a partnership with Indiana Pork, a nonprofit group that represents 3,000 Indiana hog farmers. That partnership will include bacon tastings in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Evansville in June and July and giveaways of bacon-themed prizes."

THE LEHIGH VALLEY IRON PIGS BASEBALL TEAM is well known for their famous bacon themed logo and baseball caps. Well, this week, the team is featuring "A Tase of Bacon USA" at the ballpark. What a great idea - maple candied bacon on a stick (above)! The team is a minor-league team in the International League and feeds into the Philadelphia Phillies.

This from the Lehigh Valley Live website; wow! Wish I could be there:
The IronPigs will offer a sampling of all things bacon before Wednesday's game. A Taste of Bacon, USA promises sample portions of Coca-Cola Park's signature bacon menu items, plus a ticket to watch the Lehigh Valley IronPigs take on the Rochester Red Wings, a complimentary gift and a pre-game visit and photo with Chris P. Bacon, according to
Menu items include:
MY BIRTHDAY WAS THIS PAST WEEK and I had such a nice day. My wife posted something really, really special on Facebook. Daughter Caitlin was the first to gift me with an Amazon credit, and the other four kids and Debbie took me to my favorite restaurant in Chicago: Piece Pizza.

Piece Pizza is New Haven style, and almost identical to the never-duplicated Pepe's. But almost as good. Pepe's ALWAYS has a line out the door with a wait of at least 30 minutes. Same as my other favorite pizza, NY style, Grimaldi's, under the Brooklyn Bridge. But I digress.

I parked the car, and they had already ordered by the time I got there, so I didn't get this featured pizza (pic above). I would've left off the shrimp. The kids got there first and were already seated. I was quite surprised because it is the night of the first game of the Stanley Cup finals, and the Blackhawks are in it. We watched the Blackhawks go down 1-0, and we left in the third period. By the time we got home (listening on the radio) they won 2-1!

Piece Pizza: Great pizza, and outstanding beers on tap and in bottles, too! Great service.

Nice shot of Pepe's home page; click to go there online. It should be on your bucket list. If you're travling to the NY, Hartford, or Boston area, take some time and go there   Great Clam pizza (which we also had at Piece). And while in New Haven, go to Louis' Lunch, the place where the hamburger was invented (and hold the ketchup)!

Next week: