Being unemployed has its perks. You can stay up late and get up late. You don't waste a lot of time shopping. And you're easier on the environment due to not using a whole lotta those plastic bags.
Another perk is finding out what's at the bottom of your freezer. Just like South America and Magellan, smetimes you gotta go all the way down to see what's there.
That's where I found the Martha Stewart bacon.
Somehow it had worked its way down under the frozen garden tomatoes of 2011. I put the Stewart squealers on the counter for the night to thaw 'til morning and crawled into bed.
It is now morning. The Elixir of Knowledge is gurgling and gargling, filling the kitchen with the scent of potential wisdom and cognizance, giving me the confidence to cook up a mess'a bacon.
I get the skillet, put a fire under it, and grab the bacon package. I cut off one end with scissors from the junk drawer, grab the pork belly and pull. The stuff won't come out. I yank and tug. I'm losing to the suction of industrial vacuum packing. Ever try to get a grip on the end of raw bacon? Huh. Teflon's gotta be made with pig fat.
A slurp of The Elixir pops up the fragment of a verse.
"Rightly dividing the..."
Yeah, okay. It probably wasn't written in the context of pork products but the heresy is functional. I grab a knife outta the wood block by the microwave and, in true Hebrew 11 fashion, saw the package in two. Yep, that takes the fight right outta of industrial packaging.
I peel off 1/2-sized strips, trying to lay them in some kind of order across the bottom of the now very hot pan. The burning, spattering grease soon trumps my desire for the "Betty Crocker aesthetic look". I chuck the remaining wade into pan like worms in a bait box and throw on the lid. Punching in 3 minutes on the stove timer, I retreat to the kitchen table and the cup of The Elixir.
I won't burden you with a play-by-play of the next 20 minutes. Here's the highlight reel with color commentary instigated by The Elixir of Knowledge and actual circumstances...
*Trying to flip bacon with a fork is like trying to teach a Chihuahua to roll over. You move it around, it won't roll over, and it bites you in the hand. Oh...and as far as the bacon goes, once you drop the fork INTO the pan, DO NOT try to pick it up.
*Cold water and butter are a hand's best friend.
*When flipping the bacon into the paper-towel-lined bowl, it is best to get the bowl close to the pan. Carrying bacon on a fork the length of the stove top is like carrying a non-house-broken puppy to the front door. The mess is now elongated and, of course, more challenging.
*Sliding the paper-towel-lined bowl across the stove top next to the pan allows for a quick flip of the bacon and a minimal dispersion of grease. However the ends of the paper toweling hang over the edge of the bowl. And are just long enough to slide under the pan. And what's under the pan on a gas stove? Thaaaaat's right.
*Bacon easily becomes Pig Flambeau. Both myself and the smoke alarm down the hall articulate our surprise. Loudly.
*If the charred paper-toweled bowl of bacon is put on the counter next to pan, out of the burner's reach, a quick airlift can transport bacon to bowl, keeping the mess to a minimum.
*It should be noted that in the Little-House-On-The-Corner, the stove does not fit up flush to the cabinet. It is lacking that Aztec-pyramid-block precision. There is a gap...a gap born of the same strange properties as the Bermuda Triangle.
*And once the in transit bacon falls from the fork and hits the gap it becomes like that squadron of torpedo planes in the Triangle - never to be seen again.
*Taking a long pull of The Elixir of Knowledge, I ponder the situation. The Elixir floats up a course of action. Yeah, I suppose Flight 19 would appreciate a hot breakfast. So I drop in some rye toast and scrambled eggs. Support our veterans.
I retrospect, making bacon is a bit different from what I had imagined it to be.
Tomorrow, I think I'll have Frosted Mini Wheats.
And I'm gonna eat 'em right outta the box, too.