Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Peppered Maple Bacon!

Okay, I blame it on Cam and Rachel.

They got married.

As if that wasn't wonderful enough, they then had a reception at the family golf club in Central New York....

And if that wasn't enough, they served their AMAZING BACON.

Now I'm a bacon girl. I think of bacon as salad.

I don't care what anyone says to me, I refuse to count nitrates and nitrites and germs in my Keurig (Ruthy pauses to KISS HER KEURIG!!!!!)

Because you only live once, and if I have to be careful of bread and bagels and cupcakes and cakes and pies and oh gosh... tortes, and cream puffs and pizza and pasta and potatoes and rice.... I'm sure as shootin' gonna eat some bacon!

Think high protein amazement and join me!

First, you have to buy really good bacon. The only bacon I use is "Wrights" bacon, out of Texas. I get mine at Sam's Club.

(Let's hear it for the Lonestar State!!!!) Anybody got a yellow rose? No?


Okay, back to bacon!

First line your baking pan or broiler with heavy duty aluminum foil. I did not do this the first time. Wait, the second time. The first time I told my son-in-law to broil the bacon. He did. We burnt it all. VERY BAD/EPIC FAIL.

So the second time I laid the bacon on the top of the broiler pan... and didn't line it with foil. Did you know maple syrup burns?

Okay, but NOW perfectamente!  Here we go, and it's totally worth it. I promise.

Lay the deliciously thick-sliced, perfectly marbled bacon strips on a baking pan or the top of a broiler.
Brush with real maple syrup. Grind fresh pepper over bacon. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. Turn once and bake until done. Don't overcook the bacon, it's better slightly chewy. This was Perfect Consistency Bacon.

Now, pictures do not do this justice. I've had maple bacon before. I don't like it. But this.... Oh, THIS is so good. First, the real maple syrup leaves a taste that's second to none and the fresh pepper, baked into the strips, is the perfect tang!

The entire wedding reception went into bacon overload! Bacon euphoria. Bacon joy!!!! Bacon dances!!!

Any diet that disallows bacon should be frowned upon and herewith discarded. While the bacon was cooking, there was this:

Five-year-old 'Lijah scaling the heights....

And once more, smiling for the camera as he practices to be an American Ninja Warrior:

So then Xavier had to climb because that's what kids do... they must best each other!

Beth says I should crop my pictures because one of these pics shows her kind of not exactly happy in the background, but my theory is she should work harder to look happy all the time. Isn't that sensible??? :)

So here goes Zee-Zee.
It wasn't easy. He fell down a bunch of times... He tried and tried and tried and then!!!

There he is!!!! He was so happy! He can't turn and show you that because he'll fall to his death, most likely, but here is a happy boy!  :) And I don't know why that picture is slanted, but if you tilt your head just so... it looks fine! :)

So then, I had some sweet potatoes.

Random, right?

But I thought "I wonder how delicious those sweet potatoes would be cooked in sweetened bacon grease?

So I did it!

I peeled four big sweet potatoes.... chunked them up.

And heated the drippings from the bacon pan with about 3/4 cup of water in my big frying pan on top of the stove. I added the chunked sweet potatoes once the drippings were hot, and simmered them until almost done. Then I added 1/4 cup butter, salt and pepper.



  1. Wait -- it's not Thursday already is it? I can't possibly have missed two whole days, right? Or are you just messing with the café regulars?

    So...about the bacon...shhhhhhhh, don't tell a soul, but this vegetarian likes the smell of bacon. I know, it's shameful and Wilbur will probably be mad at me forever and Piglet is likely headed straight for a breakdown because of my confession but...sigh...it's the gospel truth. :-(

    And I so love that you let those boys climb in the house. What's a little grimy paw prints among family? And I'm sure when they did the survey about how inactive our 21st century kids are, they skipped your house completely.

    1. They did skip our house, Kav!!! :) When so much of the year has weird weather, a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do! I have a cousin who turned her living room into a mini-basketball court when her boys were small, even painted the lines on the floor so they could shoot shorter hoops until they were tall enough to play in the barn! So funny and smart! And she raised a house full of wonderful, successful boys and I think a lot of it is realizing that (gasp!!!) boys are different.

      I'm okay with that.

      But our girls climb too, so we're equal opportunity risk-takers!!!

      This bacon is marvelous, and I respect you for your admission. Piglet and Wilbur will not hear it from me! :)

    2. Kav, you are too funny. I think that a vegetarian who enjoys the smell of bacon is delightful. You will really like the smell of maple flavored bacon.

  2. I LOVE bacon but hate cooking it because it splatters and is so messy. This way of cooking it sounds like a good idea. Will try baking it. And hey, the maple syrup should be wonderful.
    When I visit family in New Hampshire they have really yummy maple flavored bacon that is delicious Got me started on maple flavored bacon, sausage and ham.
    This is getting me hungry for breakfast. smile

    1. Sandra, I bet they have great respect for bacon in NH!!! What's funny about this is that I don't like maple-flavored bacon. It tastes wrong to me, because the maple doesn't taste like real maple syrup. But this is done with the real maple syrup and that made a difference. I was stinkin' amazed at the wedding.... and then realized maybe the reason I didn't like maple bacon wasn't me... it was the bacon.

      That's right: I BLAMED THE PIG!!!! :)

  3. WOW!!! We once made bacon in the oven, basting it with maple syrup over and over. It was to die for. So I'm sure this is similar. And I love the idea of adding some pepper. And then to use the bacon drippings???!!!! Brilliant!! Because we never want to waste precious bacon grease. (When I was a kid, my family always kept a coffee cup full on the stovetop!) :

    1. My mom cooked lots of stuff in bacon grease. Yummmy too. Brings back memories. smile

    2. Yes!!! I always pour the bacon grease into a 1 pint mason jar and refrigerate it. It's such great flavoring! I'm glad I'm not alone!!!

      Missy, yes, same kind of thing except the added tang of pepper. I'd have never thought of this. Soooo good!

  4. Also meant to say that I used to climb the door frames that way too. So did my kids. So fun!

    1. Door climbers! Baby Ninjas! That's another reason to love each other, LOL! Crazy kids.... And so fun!

  5. My family is going to sing your praises forever, Ruthy! We are bacon eaters here, too (I have a package of Wright's Thick Cut Applewood bacon in my fridge right now!), and anything bacon is top on their list.

    And yes! Let the kids climb! I used to climb all over the place when I was a kid - counters, door frames, trees, playground equipment....

    Sigh. Yes, I WAS young and skinny once. :)

    When we lived in Kansas, we had willow trees in the back yard. Messy things, but great for climbing. My kids often did their school work perched in their branches.

    1. Jan, we've done that too, with kids working in trees! And when they show their parents how high they can go, I see some very wide eyed parents! Our trees are tall.... EEEK! We used to make a game out of going down the whole city block without touching the ground when I was a kid. I didn't often win the game because I was short (still am!) but I loved climbing and acting like a monkey and oh! We made some old people mad and nervous! (Think Mr. Wilson and Dennis the Menace). Great fun (and I probably told you guys that story before, but being raised in a neighborhood with houses close together had some advantages!)

  6. Applewood bacon. Yep, once you've had it...well, there just isn't any other. I mean that sign that says everything is better than bacon? It should say everything is better with Applewood Bacon.

    1. I concur! And once I got the correct moves down, it was so easy.

      I'm convincing myself that it's high-protein diet friendly, and I don't even care if it's not... because it's so amazingly delicious, Julie!!!

  7. Maple syrup and pepper? Sounds yummy! Last fall my daughter enlightened me about baking bacon in the oven, and it worked so wonderfully well I've done it that way ever since. I line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment (both work equally well), lay out the bacon strips on it and pop it into a cold oven, then turn the oven on to 400 and set the timer for 25 minutes. It's perfect every time, with no spattering plus the bonus of throw-away cleanup. Your maple syrup and pepper sounds like a fantastic variation to try, and share with my daughter, too.

    1. Carol, I'm going to try your temp variation! I'm all for learning new things (except technology, Epic Fail Ruthy is my name there!)

      And yes, try this! Such a crowd pleaser!!!

  8. Ruthy, only the best stuff comes from Texas. Might have to try this. I know my oldest some would love it. Me, I'm not particularly a fan of maple flavored stuff. Well, except syrup. But when we're talking bacon....