Bacon…to Die for…

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”
Doug Larson

(not a relative but I love his way of thinking)

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Let’s face it…anything that actually tastes really good is generally not good for you to eat. If the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden would have been a piece of Hickory Smoked Bacon (the most noble of all fruits for any man), Adam would have taken the first bite!

Every day, we try to balance out what we should eat with what we want to eat. Admittedly, there are some people who have no attraction to food at all and could care less about the luring appeal of carbs, fats and sugars but their loss is our gain…pun intended.

Of all the controversial fake food products that are meant to make me think I am having fun but at half the damage to my body, the one that offends me the most is turkey bacon. Introduced as a healthier alternative to good old greasy bacon, it has found its way into my home as an ally to my wife who is trying to help me to a healthier lifestyle.

Recently, we had all of our adult kids over for the holidays and I was assigned to prepare breakfast. I love doing that and gladly accepted. Instead of the recommended eggs, I immediately started whipping up some pancake batter and setting the table with butter and maple syrup. The only thing missing was bacon.

Turkey bacon was available and I reluctantly started frying it. I was not surprised a few minutes later to notice that there was little activity in the frying pan. There was no sizzling sound. There were no drops of grease flying gleefully from the pan towards my eyes…it was quiet. There was no aroma tempting my neighbors to come by and pay a visit or waking my slumbering children and luring them downstairs for breakfast. The turkey bacon just lay there in the pan with no worries at all…it looked like a quiet game of cards instead of tackle football game in the backyard.

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Real bacon is an adrenaline rush to cook. It is an activity with risk that brings out the alpha male in all of us. When I fill the frying pan past capacity and grease is going everywhere, there is a danger that I may lose my eyesight or that we may have a fire. Bacon that hangs over the edges of the frying pan taunts all normal safety concerns and stays there until the body of the bacon has shrunk up enough to all fit inside the pan.

There is nothing dull about my morning bacon battles. To make it even more of an adrenaline rush, it is done with the tinge of marital guilt…I know I am doing something between just being mischievous and having an outright love affair with the bacon…I am doing it at my own peril and against the wishes of the leader of the home…I know that when the battle is over at the stove and I need a fire hose to clean up, there will still be heck to pay…and yet real bacon is too tempting to ignore.

Real bacon has an aroma that says…stop whatever you’re doing…it is time to eat…and bring your best game to the breakfast table because you know there is not going to be enough for everyone to get their fill. In order to de-vilify the bacon, once the battle at the frying pan is complete, it is placed on a paper towel which soaks up 100% of anything that might have been wrong with it. At that point, you can resist only a few seconds before taking a sample and that waiting period exists only to protect your now watering mouth from frying also.

After a pound of bacon has been cooked, anyone passing by grabs a piece. You fight to keep the kids out of it but eventually you have to give in. It is just too good to keep in inventory…just three pounds left to cook and then maybe there will be enough to put on the table. Bacon is one of the few food groups that is consumed a piece at a time by the whole family before they sit down at the table. Bacon is so strong that it makes everyone a thief.

But my turkey bacon that I had that morning made no noise and had no driving aroma. As I cooked it there was only a gradual turn from pink to brown and black. I finally decided to put some butter in the pan to spice things up. I am sure it defeated the purpose of the healthy bacon but at least it sounded like something was cooking.

I love my marriage and so turkey bacon has a place in our home but let’s not pretend that it is bacon. It should be called something else…maybe turkey lettuce or turkey cucumbers…but don’t insult the honorable and noble name of bacon. Bacon may be to die for but dang, it makes this life some much more fun to live for…can I get an Amen?

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