Hard Liquor and Bacon

Nothing puts a gal in the mood to cook with bacon like a long hard cold spell.

Temperatures outside are brutal–it’s been a long time since we’ve had a winter with sustained temperatures in the minus range coupled with a few feet of snow.

While today’s projected high was +3, I don’t think we managed to get above -2, with a wind that has literally been howling and clacking the tree branches and sending windchills down to forty below.

I walked down to rent a film last night from our downtown video store/twin theater and decided late this afternoon that it wasn’t worth it–even with the several layers of thermal goodness I just went ahead and donned for staying inside all day–to turn that corner onto Main Street and face the full abuse of the wind just to avoid a dollar late fee.

No, I won’t face even three blocks of that windchill for a buck.  Even if the cozy, Scotch-filled bar is only one block further.

Yeah, it’s cold.

It’s the kind of cold that makes a girl turn to animal fat to stay warm and hard liquor to stave off the cabin fever.  I’ve been sipping on a little bourbon and cider this afternoon (sipping, mind you) and working on my spring semester class updates.  I cracked out the vodka and started another batch of chokecherry cordial, too.

And, I’ve been trying to figure out what supper’s going to be.

We’ve been on a soup binge again–finished off last night’s split pea with bacon for lunch, and the potato-corn-bacon soup I posted on wasn’t far behind that.

The reason for the bacon-mania (besides, obviously, that bacon is good) is pretty simple–I thawed out the second pound of local stuff I bought the last time we were in Yankton, and now I’ve got to use it up.  In keeping with the meat-as-flavoring rather than meat-as-main-course philosophy, I’m only using three or four slices at a time.

OK, I guess because I posted that image above, I’ll have to admit to using six for tonight’s dinner. They’re cut in half.

I was honestly trying to figure out which soup came next (maybe a curried Neck Pumpkin?), when it occurred to me maybe I could try a little something different–something not-soup.

So tonight’s bacon-flavored menu is different–linguine with bacon and garlic and a tub of end-of season cherry tomatoes I quick-cooked and froze back in September or October.  Seasoned with a little thyme and black pepper and maybe a tiny bit of the red wine I happened to have in a glass in my hand.

BLT (bacon, linguine, and tomato)

The nice thing about cooking bacon is that you never lack for company as soon as the smoky meat aroma starts wafting through the house.  Or, the bacon never lacks for company, so you don’t either as long as you’re standing there cooking it.  But if you want to use it in a dish, you have to stand guard to ensure there’s some left for that dish.

My mom joked on the phone the other day that the perfect “man trap” would be to dig a big hole (preferably with heavy equipment) and then start a fire and cook bacon on the other side of it.  I’m guessing this would only work on a certain type of heavy equipment, fire, and meat-liking guy.

It would probably work on me, too.

Fearless Bacon-Protectress

There is a light at the end of this frigid tunnel–a light that may induce me to swear off hard liquor and artery-hardening fats for at least a couple of days.  This Sunday’s predicted high is in the lower-to-mid twenties on the positive side of zero, which should feel just about like paradise.

We’ll all be in shorts, looking for the palm trees.

Local ingredients: bacon, tomatoes, garlic.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mary on January 7, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Sounds yummy! Thanks for this great blog.

  2. You know we’re in a bad cold spell when International Falls, MN, the “icebox of the nation,” is warmer than we are.

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