Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Burn the bacon slowly

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 6, 2011

Following is a repost of an earlier entry of mine hosted at another location.

Burn the bacon slooooowly…

Posted: January 5, 2009 1:52 am

This morning as I awakened, I had set the alarm for 0630 in the thoughts that I might attend the 0800 worship service.

I did not.

I was awake until around 0100 watching a DVD series of MI-5 episodes. It’s a BBC production, and a fine television series at that! As I watch their productions, I am coming to think that they are superior in their story telling to many of these made-in-Hollywood Americans.

Anyway, as I listened for the deep gurgling sounds of the coffee maker starting up – I had also set it for 0630 (or so I thought) – I did not hear it, and thought perhaps it might be malfunctioning. I’ve not had that machine for six months yet, but it has gotten some use, for certain! It’s a Mr. Coffee brand 12 cup programmable, model FTX43.

Okay… BR549.

I reset the alarm on my cell phone and lay in bed for about another hour and “got my nap out.” Then, I got up out of bed, went into the kitchen and got some bacon out to fry slowly on low heat, while I took a shower.

When I arrived in the kitchen, I noticed the reason the coffee maker has not started was because it was an hour behind! Well, it should’ve started an hour earlier… but it didn’t. Go figure. I’m not complaining. So, I manually started the coffee, and reset the clock for the correct time.

On the electric oven I use to cook upon, unless I’m boiling water, I keep the temperature turned below “medium” and slightly above “low,” which is the next setting above “warm.” Since I use a heavy iron skillet, which does an excellent job of distributing and retaining heat, cooking with and keeping the temperature around that level works quite well.

Then, I put three slices of bacon in the skillet (I slice them in half lengthwise because it makes them easier to cook and put in the pan), covered the pan with a lid, and proceeded to pour a cup of coffee and head for the shower. Since I was not going to be constantly minding it, I felt justified by turning the heat just a bit lower.

In the interim, I had already had the shower running, and since I have the gas hot water heater temperature set to “SCALD” (well, it’s not THAT hot, but it’ll damn sure burn you if you stay under it long enough), the bathroom was like a steam sauna. Nice… real nice.

By this time, I had already been back into the kitchen to check on the bacon’s progress, and turned it over. It was cooking nice and slowly, just as I had hoped.

Returning to the bathroom, I turned the water temperature down to a more moderate setting and proceeded to bathe.

Now, I’m not one of these kind of guys that stays in the shower so long that upon emerging from it looks like a prune. I do stay in there long enough to “git ‘er done,” and that is also the time I typically begin my routine of morning prayer.

So when I had finished the job, I quickly dried off, shaved and sipped on the coffee.

I like dark black coffee. And I do mean STRONG! For a 12 cup pot such as I have, I place 1/2 cup of French roasted coffee in the strainer, and set the strength to “strong.” My white coffee cup develops this wonderful patina after about three or four uses at which point I have to wash it in earnest.

Then being attired my undergarments, and by the time that entire routine was over, I noticed that perhaps 20 minutes or so had elapsed. As I walked into the kitchen, I retrieved one egg from the styrofoam carton and replaced the near-empty container in the fridge.

Using the maroon-colored hot pad, I removed the glass lid to examine my bacon.

There they were. Lying side by side with their kindred – six, four inch slices, neatly arranged on the bottom of a heavy cast-iron skillet, just as I had left them.

They had shriveled up a wee bit, of course, as all bacon does. But since I buy slab bacon however, it doesn’t shrivel up as much as more inferior cuts do. But there was something else that I found curious.

It was something I had not expected, nor anticipated.

There, upon each piece of bacon were the most distinctive and unmistakable marks.

Extending around the perimeter of each piece were dark circumferential lines. It seemed as if in my absence, some mysterious pixie had taken an eyeliner pencil and drawn a line around each piece.

Eagerly, I lifted the spatula to retrieve the bacon from the pan and place it upon my awaiting plate.

As I tilted the pan to let the excess grease accumulate away from the bacon, I then slid the spatula underneath the bacon and placed it on my plate.

Almost simultaneously as I set the lid down, I was examining my bacon with the curious markings.

Turning it over, I found the source.

It had burned.

All my precious bacon had burned slowly.

There is a three-fold moral to this story, my friends. The lessons are, 1.) Drink strong coffee, 2.) Take hot showers, and 3.) When cooking bacon, be present at all times!


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