You gotta love The New Yorker. Wry, urbane, and recently under attack for some controversial cover art. You know what? It’s not going to make me stop reading. Not when the latest edition features the Fourteen Passive-Aggressive Appetizers that would spice up any intimate gathering. And one of them includes bacon!

“2. Vegetarian friends? Try veggie rumaki: wrap a strip of imitation bacon around a water chestnut, spear with a toothpick, and broil but instead of imitation bacon use real bacon, and instead of a water chestnut use veal.”

I believe I’ve mentioned before that Thanksgiving at my house is like a carnivorous half-marathon, the table spread like 13 miles of butcher’s cases, end to end. I think my vegetarian friends are a little scared that when they come over, I’ll “accidentally” slip them a piece of pork in their salad. “Bacon? No! The pasta sauce is just made with smoked cheese!” And honestly, I would never do such a thing on purpose. It’s just that I hardly think of bacon as meat anymore. It’s more like a condiment or a cooking tool. You can’t stir sauce without a spoon, right? Well, substitute “spoon” with “bacon” and you’re thinking like me.

One evening at dinner with a group of friends and acquaintances, someone asked me, “are you from the South?”

“No. Did I just say something with a Southern accent?”

“No, but you just mentioned ribs, chicken wings and bacon all in one sentence. I just thought maybe…”

Hmph! Well, I guess I couldn’t blame him. It was my big mouth that said it. So I shut up, went home and joined the Paula Deen fan club. Then made myself a bacon, doughnut and egg burger.

There are an amazing number of recipes in existence that pair up the salty with the sweet. I myself rarely mix the two. Can’t stand sweet & sour chicken. Don’t want pineapple on my pizza. The thought of pickles and ice cream has made me sterile. Bacon is the only exception. Does it go great with maple syrup? Yes. Will I try pretty much anything with bacon in it? Absolutely.

And so I’m perfectly happy to endorse the Bacon Apple Pie. It’s made with fresh apples, which is the only way an apple pie should be made. The recipe is simple, but as you can see, a little fancy work with the pastry makes it beautiful. And really, anytime someone bakes something from scratch I’m super impressed. It seems like an artform that is fading from the common kitchen as my mom’s generation resigns from cooking.

My favorite part of this recipe is that the serving suggestion includes smoked cheddar cheese, a much better compliment to the smoky bacon and apples than vanilla ice cream. I avoid baking whenever possible, but this recipe is definitely worth the effort. Now where do I keep those oven mitts again?

As we’ve all heard recently (and redundantly), New York Magazine has called the bacon movement a dying trend, boring as a lecture about plastic bags and beat like the proverbial dead horse. Why, then, did they give us this delightful recipe for bacon-infused bourbon? Is it just because they love me so much?

This post from April includes step-by-step instructions for making bacon-infused bourbon, and then mixing it with bitters and a little maple syrup for a sweet, smoky cocktail, something like an Old-Fashioned without all the muddled fruit. I am highly intrigued by this recipe, as bourbon (specifically Maker’s Mark) is my poison. I love the idea of an Old-Fashioned, but hate all that pulp floating in my drink. I’m going to give this recipe a try, but instead I’ll strain it into a martini glass with a twist of lemon and call it a bacon Manhattan.

Honestly, the idea of mixing bacon and vodka never appealled to me. It might be good in a Bloody Mary, but I don’t drink them so couldn’t really comment. My favorite bourbons already have a full, smoky quality to them, so adding bacon to the mix actually makes sense. The thing I like most about this infusion process is that it uses bacon grease instead of whole strips of fried bacon. I’ve had trouble in the past with infusing oils and having the herbs turn bad; it made me leery of the process. With bacon grease, a freezer and a strainer, I don’t see how it can go wrong.

 

We interrupt our usual plugging of bacon products to announce that we are proud recipients of an Arte Award! Dave’s Cupboard gave us this honor, and what a compliment coming from one of my favorite food bloggers! Thanks, Dave! This award originated at Arte y Pico, a Spanish-language blog dedicated to finding and sharing art. They love to give props for creativity found around the web, and bravo to that!

In the spirit of passing it on, I now have the responsibility to select five recipients for this prestigious award. There are so many amazing blogs out there and I can choose only five. I feel unequal to the task, but here goes:

Skulls and Bacon – I know the author only by the name of metalchick666, but her blog would go perfectly on the wall of my guest bedroom. From beach towels to bacon history, this blog has me constantly saying “I want that!” or “why didn’t I think of that?”

I Shot the Chef – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen more beautiful food than on Candace’s website. Her recipes are inspired, and her husband Stephan’s photography makes you want to lick the computer screen. I seriously wish these people were my next-door neighbors.

The Anti-Craft – This is where the priestesses of the Dark Lord go for craft patterns. Renee and Zabet conceived a craft magazine where goth knitting meets bacon fashion, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Sailu’s Food – It’s hard for me to express how much I love Indian food, or how miserably I’ve failed at cooking it over the years. Sailaja’s recipes are easy to follow and beautifully photographed. Thanks to this South Indian blogger, I made my first successful Masala.

Daisy the Dog – This one is Brutus’ pick. It has nothing to do with food or bacon or subversive art. He claims he reads it for the articles, but I think he just likes to look at pictures of Daisy. Can’t say I blame him; she is one cute Pit Bull.

The Rules for the Arte Award:

1. Pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award with their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogger community, no matter what language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog.
3. Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
4. Award-winners and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5. Display these rules on your blog.

Thanks again to Dave and everyone in the blogging community for being so supportive. Viva el Arte!

Hey Internet, we made it to 100 posts! I must admit that when we started this venture, I wasn’t sure how many new and exciting bacon finds there could be, but the hits just keep on coming! Thanks for reading and sending in so many great ideas. We couldn’t have done it without you.

And now to celebrate this milestone, a slice of bacon heaven. I cannot tell you how both my stomach and brain reacted to this new wonder. Needless to say there was much salivating and dying to know how I could get ahold of it. This is even better than Bacon Pizza.

Bacon. Coated in corndog batter and French fries. On a stick. ZOMG!

My favorite thing about this blog post is that it comes with a recipe! Yes! I can make this insane creation at home. But I probably have to wait until the husband leaves town. I’m not sure he’ll approve of me trying to induce simultaneous heart attacks. Who wants to come over and try this monster with me? I totally dare you.

Photo and ingenuity courtesy of The Last Appetite.

I knew that certain Jewish and Islamic traditions forbade the eating of pork, but when did the Christians turn on us? This is even more harsh, although more straightforward, than the last religious tirade aimed at bacon.

 

Could Homer Simpson ask for a more perfect creation? A doughnut…with bacon on top? This creation could have come straight out of Matt Groening’s brain. But instead it came out of Portland’s now-famous Voodoo Doughnut. I know this probably isn’t news to most of you, but who doesn’t want to look at a bacon maple bar now and again? And again. And again. I am so hungry.

If you’re not familiar with this wonderful shop, Voodoo makes an amazing variety of one-of-a-kind doughnuts. So many, in fact, that it’s difficult to decide which you want to try most. The Captain Crunch is intriguing, but the No Name has peanut butter and chocolate rice crispies. Come on! That’s the perfect breakfast combination! And hey, not feeling well? Voodoo has just the treat for you. It’s glazed with NyQuil and Pepto-Bismol. Right? Right? Don’t you feel better already?

The list of non-traditional toppings just goes on and on. From cereals to candy bars to drink powders, Voodoo has what you’re looking for. Need a special occasion doughnut? How about the Voodoo Doll or the, ahem, Cock-n-Balls? These tasty pastries just scream for a party. Part of me wishes there was a Voodoo here in Santa Barbara, but if there was you might be reading a very different kind of blog right now…

What a week for bacon! Salon Magazine has officially dubbed this “Pork Week” and kicked it off with an article about America’s Bacon Mania. Something like BeatleMania for carnivores? This article gave it up for lots of our favorite bacon blogs, and touched on tons of cool products. Somehow they missed the Society, but we forgive them, because that’s how we roll. Royally understanding. Check out Salon all week for articles about bacon, including today’s feature on curing your own bacon. The author makes a great point about learning to respect the animal behind the meat.

Miami Dish also has an article about bacon loving today, and we have to say thanks to Trina for the mad props. (If you’re visiting the Miami area, Miami Dish can tell you where to go for the best food finds.) Although some of the best bacon blogs have been around for years, this craze with the pork belly seems to keep surging up like waves on a beach. Nearly every non-vegetarian food site has a bacon section, or has professed their love in one way or another. Bacon has been a huge star on America’s Next Top Chef. A year ago, New York Restaurants writers claimed that bacon had “jumped the shark” with the arrival of Bacon Salt. Well I hate to say it, boys, but it looks like bacon is here to stay.

Finally, I must thank Dave at Dave’s Cupboard for giving me a little inspiration. Although I wouldn’t call myself a foodie, I do love to cook and try new things. Last month’s detailed instructions for whiskey curing bacon presented me with an exciting challenge, and I think I’m up for it. I’ll let you know how it goes. Check out Dave’s bacon section for lots of other great finds and tips.

I suggest we all take a cue from Salon and take this week to celebrate bacon! I know it’s made my life a little more tasty, and writing about it has made it a lot more fun. Viva la Bacon!