Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Comfort Foods

I love bacon. Love, love, love it. I'm eating some right now. Actually, no I'm not, I'm lying. That would make my keyboard all greasy. Eww. But I'm gonna be eating some in a few minutes. That's the plan, Stan.

I am the best cooker of bacon in my family. Peter is better with the over-easy eggs (I'm a yolk-breaker) but he burns bacon. I like my bacon with an initial crisp bite, but a good degree of chew to it. Cooking bacon is the one thing I do where I am able to take my time. Bacon needs to be nutured and gently treated. I turn it, turn it again, turn it again. Adjust the heat a little lower. Adjust the heat just a tad higher. Rotate the pan so the heat is distributed evenly. It's totally worth all the little splatters that sting my lower arms and grease the top of the stove. Don't even talk to me about microwave bacon.

Bacon is my favorite food.

Unless it's mashed potatoes. Man, mashed potatoes rock, too. In all forms. I even like instant mashed potatoes; I'm not all that particular. They're all good. Everett is pickier (what a shocker.) If I make instant she gets all indignant. "Mom. Why do you always make instant mashed potatoes when you know I don't like them??"

Well, maybe because I just got home from work, and I have to go back to a meeting in an hour? Maybe because I ran out of real potatoes? Maybe because the world doesn't revolve around you? Maybe...oh, never mind.

But I usually make them "real." And on Thanksgiving, I make them with heavy cream, butter, sour cream, bacon (bacon!), chives, and maybe I'll throw some shredded cheddar in there as well. If there is one food I would take to a desert island, it would be mashed potatoes.

Although, if a bowl of macaroni and cheese were sitting right there too, I'd have to mull it over. Have you ever gone to one of those fabulous cafeterias they have in the South? The ones that all the old people pack after church on a Sunday? You always see the desserts first as you start down the line. If they put the desserts last, you would always say "Wait! I can't take a dessert! Look at all this friggin' food I have on my tray already!" So they put the dessert first, you take one, and there's nowhere to put it if you change your mind on down the line. Clever.

But I digress. There is always mac and cheese at those places, and it's always excellent, and it's always a tough starch decision between that and mashed potatoes. If these places were anywhere but the South, people would holler at you to stop holding up the line. But you have to decide. You can't have both. That's just low-rent.

My mom used to make macaroni and cheese. Hers was subtle and dry, not all bubbly and gooey. I've become a convert to making the gooey kind with the crust on top. But sometimes I make it Mom's way because it reminds me of her.

Zack, on the other hand, prefers Kraft. Harumph.

You know what goes good with macaroni and cheese? Bacon.

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