This past Sunday, while cooking a delicious brunch of fresh berries, pancakes, and bacon, Jackie became frustrated.
“I’ve toasted it and fried it in the pan…But it won’t get crispy.” She remarked, with considerable dismay. Jackie is her own toughest critic when it comes to cooking. I honestly can’t recall a meal she’s presented without some preamble on quality, though they’ve continuously improved well past average and even begun bordering on foodie.
When we met, her relationship with food was, in a word, dysfunctional. Much like the way I was raised, she was often left to fend for herself at mealtime as a child and teenager. As a result, a diet of warm Pepsi and Cheez-Its didn’t seem at all unusual, well into adulthood.
I took a break from working to investigate and quickly noticed the cause of her lament.
“Darling, that’s high-quality, thick cut bacon. The lack of crispiness isn’t a problem, it’s a feature.” I remarked, in my best consultant voice. “That’s how it cooks when it’s sliced as thick as a Scrabble tile. It’s good that way.”
And it was delicious. To be honest, I was impressed she bought the stuff. Not only was each slab cooking up with mouth-watering tenderness, it remained perfectly flat.
Sundays are good days for experimenting with different grades of bacon. Although I often have work to do, I try to keep the pressure to accomplish things as low as possible. It doesn’t always work out the way I would like, but it’s at least a goal not to be so busy there’s no time to relax.