Thursday, December 28, 2017

National Bacon Day

Wow! All these great holidays in the USA, so near to one another!  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and National Bacon Day!   Founded in 1997 by Danya “D” Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard, National Bacon Day is celebrated every December 30.  Bacon is one of my favorite foods and is also a favorite of Vic Challenger, the action-adventure heroess in my novels so I must pay homage.  Are you a baconeer, too?  Here are a few fun bacon facts and suggestions for celebrating that wonderful food.
> Eat bacon, obviously
> Use #baconday in your social media posts
        > Watch a Kevin Bacon movie (personally I really like the first “Tremors”)
> Read about Francis Bacon (1561–1626) He was a natural philosopher and leader in scientific research methodology.
> Make your own bacon (see below)
> Cook up some bacon to take to work and share with co-workers
> Enjoy this bacon song/video by Tessa Violet (she has a lot of other great music, too! Check it out while you're there.) Watch below or on Youtube
> Customize yourself some fashion bacon (see below)
> Attend a celebration if one is near you.

OK, how do you make bacon?  Actually, it is pretty simple but several steps.  Overview: trim pork belly to size, pack with salt and spice mix or soak in brine, let set, smoke, cut, cook, eat.  Tip: you can use any spice you like.    Here are two video links where you can watch the details to the process.
Making Bacon From Pork Belly - How To Cure and Smoke Your Own Bacon
How to Make Homemade Bacon

Here’s a bacon laugh:
Blind Bacon Taste Test >

Want a unique bacon?  Here are some ideas for tastes to add to your salt pack or brine when you make your own bacon or when cooking store bought.
Nutmeg    red pepper    black pepper    powdered mustard     pineapple juice
        Licorice flavoring     maple syrup     brown sugar      honey     orange (flavoring or juice)

Two ideas I didn’t see or try personally (yet) but they sure work with steak as a marinade: whiskey or beer.

Another idea popped into my mind.  I love cilantro with almost anything but as far as I know, you need the fresh herb for that flavor.  Wonder if that would work in the pack salt?  If that piques your curiosity and you try it, let me know how it turns out.
Formal celebrations happen, too.  I won’t try to list what’s available.  It a big world.  What is important for bacon lovers is that celebrations occur all year.  It seems like there are Bacon Festivals every month. Again, way too many to list, so here is my advice.  Search the internet but be specific.  If you just type “bacon fest” you will get them from everywhere and for past years.  Search for “bacon fest” (year, or month and year) (city or state).  Don't just think National Bacon Day.  Bacon themed festivals occur year-round, all over and many are paired with another food, like a bacon and beer day, or bacon and barbeque.
Here’s a parting gift before you rush to celebrate National Bacon Day - a recipe from Vic Challenger's Incredibly Delicious Recipes for Bacon Lovers.

 Bacon-Apple Pie
1 refrigerated pie crust
¾  cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½  tsp ground cardamom
½  tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½  tsp ground cloves
6 cups (½ inch thick) sliced peeled apple (5 apples)
12+  bacon slices
- Preheat oven to 350° F (176 C). - Stir together brown sugar, cornstarch & spices. Add apple slices, toss to coat. Pour apple slices & juices into crust.
- Arrange bacon slices in a lattice design over filling.
- Cover pie with aluminum foil. Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Remove foil. Bake for 40 more minutes or until crust is golden brown & bacon crisp.
- Remove pie from baking sheet, let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into wedges.

This is one of 50 mouth-watering recipes in Vic's Bacon Book, available on Amazon in print or digital.

Don't forget! Celebrate!  Happy Bacon Day!  Until next time, don't be afraid, just do what needs done.