Thursday, October 29, 2015

November 1, 2015: Blowback from the Bacon-Haters

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week with a lot of anger and feedback all over the Internet about the W.H.O. silliness

BACON IN THE NEWS is red-hot, like a great strip of bacon.


Susannah Mushatt Jones, the oldest person in the world at the tender age of 116, "says it'll be when pigs fly" that she stops eating bacon. As to the W.H.O. finding, she disputes it too!

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 25, 2015: Home Made Bacon and the World Health Org's Misguided Guidance

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week with a more complete review of my own bacon - from a raw pork belly, self-cured with tequila, and smoked on my home made smoker.  Picture above.



Apparently the World Health Organization is going to designate bacon as a dangerous substance. An article here. I can't think of anything that is a more of a waste of time, or misguided. There is plenty of evidence that bacon fat is healthy. There is some evidence that eating lots of smoked meats produces bowel cancer. Here's another article: they say that pork and red meat are likely an actual cause of cancer.

But what about that awful chemical di-hydrogen monoxide? It's everywhere and drinking it to excess has caused deaths. Here's the website:

Hey, on a more serious note - world organizations, news flash: how about doing something that really has meaning - how about providing guidance to every nation and culture that women worldwide are to be treated equally to men and have control of their reproductive rights???

That change - EMPOWERING WOMEN WORLDWIDE -would alleviate more health issues than anything I can think of. Don't be insulted by the first 58 seconds of this video. Watch it all the way through. The WHO and other UN-led organizations should think about the empowerment of women FIRST.

Perhaps I shall lose a few readers as a result, but so be it. Christopher Hitchens, in his last public appearance before his death due to cancer, may be his best here.


THIS WEEK'S BACON IS MY VERY OWN: Frozen for a few weeks in a vacuum sealed bag, I defrosted it and cooked it up.

Upon opening, I detected a strong tangy, sweet and smoky scent. Very nice. It weighed in at one pound four ounces, and after cooking the finished bacon weighed 8.8 ounces - very little reduction. It produced 155ml of rendered bacon fat.

Obviously, the thickness varied considerably - from 1/8 inch to very thin - due to its artisanal nature. In other words, I cut it by hand. That qualifies as artisanal.

It did cook quite unevenly, but I took slices off as they were done.

This bacon offered something for everyone - crispness, chewiness, and succulence - depending on which slice one chose. Excellent overall bacon flavor and probably the best looking bacon I ever had! And I'm trying to be objective. Just look at the  picture at the top of the page - is that perfect bacon, or what? Cancer be damned!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October 18, 2015: The Most Amazing Bloody Mary (with Bacon, of course)

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week with a look at what seems to be an uber-artisinal bloody mary cocktail with terrific bacon, some submissions from friends, a review of an old standby without the microwave, and a teaser for next week.

Some may complain, that with all the trouble in the world, that I should write about more substantial things. Good observation. I like to think of my blog as a necessary diversion from all of our real-world troubles. Kind of like the toy aisle in the department store. Fun to think about other things and enjoy the simple pleasure of life. And what is bacon, if not life? Read on....

BACON IN THE NEWS - well, the 116-year old lady who eats bacon every day continues to make bacon headlines. What a story, about which I wrote last week. But we must move on.

This week, a bacon infused cocktail that involves all the cooking methods I like is featured in - a menu/food consolidation news site. The cocktail is featured at the Belcampo Meat Co of L.A. and was reviewed at 'Cocktail Week 2015', and the report on it 'de-constructs' how this labor-intensive cocktail is made. This "cocktail week" event varies by city across the U.S. Quote from
California's ever-expanding Belcampo Meat Co. is known in Los Angeles for humanely raised meats, expert butchery and, at the Santa Monica location, a very buzzy brunch. Bar expert Josh Goldman of Soigné Group was tasked with designing a cocktail menu for the restaurant, and when it came to brunch he knew the menu "had to have a good quality Bloody Mary." He continues, "The hallmarks of any of our cocktail programs is that they all have to feel genuine, and have a place of belonging. We have to mimic what Belcampo is doing with their food program ... this is a meat company."

Here are a few shots from the report.
Goldman using sous vide cooking to prep the bacon
The bacon before water bath and after baking
Celery reduced to a masticated pulp ice block for the cocktail
...and the finished product looks de-lish. I will be ordering some bacon from their site. What a concept: a butcher-restaurant!
GOOD FRIEND Joel Schneider stopped at Moo's BBQ in Iowa and took a picture of this. So true. The areas of the pig that are 'pawned off' as bacon really aren't, as the graphic clearly states. Thanks, Joel!

Moo's, a family owned place, appears to have a great menu! When driving along I-90 in Iowa be sure to stop in and have some great BBQ!
Nestled in the West side On The Square in Newton, Moo’s BBQ serves the finest smoked meats that Jasper County has to offer. Come in and see what everyone is MOOing about!

ANOTHER BUDDY, Kent Knebelcamp, sent me this photo from the road. The Indiana State Lottery (whose scratch 'n snif tickets I reviewed previously) is still at their 'bacon for 20 years' promotion. I wonder how it's going? Thanks, Kent!

SPEAKING OF ROAD TRIPS, son Jack and I visited Auroro, IL on Saturday for an all-day lacrosse tournament. The team did well, and a highlight of the day was a brunch (during a break between games) at Mother's Pancake House and Restaurant, which features 'the best breakfast in the Fox valley'. I had the Denver omelette with bacon, of course. Excellent! Here's their facebook page.

THIS WEEK'S BACON IS OSCAR MAYER. Instead of cooking it again in the 'bacon wave', which I think is an awful idea, I cooked it in the traditional, skillet way. The results were, well, excellent:

I also cooked up the final batch of my home-made bacon, started from scratch with a pork belly, home made cure and cooked up nice & slow in the skillet. Full review next week but here's a sneak peek at probably the most perfect piece of bacon you'll ever see:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October 11, 2015: Oldest Woman in the World Can't Get Enough Bacon

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week with only one thought: if you want to live a long time, eat bacon every day. Preferably with eggs. Preferably a Paleo lifestyle.

"All the evidence you'll ever need" is right here and here.

She looks pretty happy and healthy. From the second link

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 4, 2015: Bacon Wave Re-Review

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week with a re-review of the Bacon WAVE unit. Click that link to see their website.

THE BACON WAVE is a microwave bacon cooker. It's a heavy plastic tray that has vertical slots for the placement of the bacon slices, and comes with plastic rods that you can push through the vertical slices to keep them in place as the cooking commences. I lost or broke the plastic rods almost as soon as I first used them. Bamboo skewers work as a simple substitute.

You can see my bamboo skewer off to the left, and the scissor to snip off the excess.

Here's the bacon I used: my go-to - Oscar Mayer Center cut. The bacon was a little substandard with a lot of fat in the center... and these were very thin slices.

Here's the bacon, loaded in the Wave, with the trimmed skewers inserted.

Cooked. It just didn't crisp up evenly. In fact, only the edge protein portions actually cooked well at all, despite running the microwave longer than recommended. So my use for this will be to pre-cook some bacon for future use; it will still require time in a pan to finish it off. This is not the first time I have tried my bacon wave and got similar results in the past.

I'm thinking that for a few extra minutes and a lot less trouble, baking at 400 degrees for 20 minutes in a foil lined pan is going to be simpler and easier.

Verdict: not worth the purchase; However, I'm going to give it one more try in the future with thicker slices as seen in the video.