Monday, January 31, 2011

Bacon on a stick...

I know I haven't done much actual cooking lately.  It has been a combination of returning to work after a vacation, social events, helping my kiddo with his pinewood derby car (he came in fourth), and just being too short on time to commit to a little outdoor cast iron time.  But something I mentioned in the first post has resurfaced, and I thought I would share it.  After many long evenings, longer than mine, my friends Ryan and Kyle wanted to hang out a little to relax after the rigors of scout parenting.  Ryan is the originator of "bacon on a stick", a result of abject hunger while sitting around the firepit.  We got together last night and enjoyed some fine import beers, a charming pit fire, and of course... bacon on a stick.  You take a sword skewer, one a bit longer than the typical kabob style, slide it into a piece of bacon, usually thick cut, preferably maple or hickory smoked, and hold the piece of bacon over a healthy bed of embers.  The experience is both relaxing and invigorating.  If you find the right spot, the bacon starts to shine and drip immediately.  As the fat starts to release the grease and it drips into the fire, the embers flare up into flames that lick at the bacon.  You have to watch out for singing the bacon, unless charred is your taste.  The scent of cooking bacon starts to permeate the air pretty quickly, and the anticipation of delights to come begin to rise.  There isn't much conversation during this stage.  I think I saw Ryan start to enter a trancelike state that transcended his exhaustion as he dangled the succulent piece of pork over the coals.  I have found that if the bed of coals is adequate, you can hold the bacon near the edge, limiting the flareups.  It has result in what I can only describe as a well seasoned firepit.  I swear I can smell bacon now when any of us fires their pit!  The time varies depending on your personal taste in bacon "doneness".  I like mine a bit less cooked, still soft.  Ryan and Kyle seem to be of similar tastes.  The wives all seem to be more consistently crispy in preference.  Eventually, the cooking is complete, and you withdraw the skewer from the heat and flames.  A brief inspection of the bacon to assess the texture, and then the process of consuming the bacon begins, tearing a bit at a time, savoring, trying to avoid going into some sort of carniverous frenzy.  Heaven on a stick.  Pure culinary delight in a single strip of rendered flesh.  Primal.  I think I need to make an apointment to have my cholesterol checked...  Ryan, you are my hero.  Now we look at what is next.  Sanwich makers with bacon, egg and bread is on the agenda for our next gathering.  One can only fantasize and delight over what the firepit may offer next.  Incidentally, I think I may finally get around to making the pot pie Monday night.  Post to follow...
Love and iron,

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