Saturday, March 10, 2007

urban legends

I live in an urban area, and have been doing some of my own scientific study of our bay area phenomena. I'm an avid hiker, putting many miles on bay area trails, and I can say with utmost confidence that there are no Sasquatch roaming the east bay hills. I've heard there are some other large hairy beasts making their way back here and there, but not on my side of the bay. The hairy beasts of Food lore though, that's a whole 'nother story. In the past few months while researching the phenomena of the urban bacon man, I encountered not one, but two.

If you have ever cruised a food blog, looking for some supreme meat item, chances are really good you found Dr. Biggles at Meathenge. If anyone is a credible source of food info, and a verified food legend, he is. (It's really a no brainer, I mean think about it, the guy is a doctor and all, with over twenty years in practice.) I have the fortune of sharing a geographic proximity to Da Man and managed a time slot for a farmers market rendezvous. I was stoked I was going to meet Mr. Meat. Our first encounter (in the flesh, I guess) the "meat angel" introduced me to a few market regulars and told me a few stories. He told me about mornings when his family sprang from bed with glee, in anticipation of what the bacon fairy had left at the door before they awoke. Huh? I'll have to get to know him better and inquire further at a later date.

After seeing Biggles a few more times and swapping stuff, his buddy Chilebrown wrote me and offered a food swap. He was interested in some sourdough starter and offered bacon in return. I wrote him back immediately. I had onions and potatoes, many eggs around, and english muffin batter going. When we later chatted and shared info, I told the monkey that a friend was coming over to give us some bacon.

"Oh, bacon daddy. What are we giving him?"
Part of whichever starter he wants. We have two right here.
"Does he like the sourdough too?"
That's what I hear honey, and he likes bacon.
"Oh yeah, I LIKE bacon."
Well you're in luck bubba, 'cuz the bacon dude is on the way!
"The bacon dude daddy?"
Oh yeah!
"With bacon? I LIKE BACON!"

Chilebrown is an enormously generous man, who suffers from no paucity of pork. He gave us two packages, each lovingly vacuum-packed, in return for some muffins and starter. I took the opportunity to do some kitchen math with the monkey, to show her how we made out like bandits. In essence, after CB visited my home last friday, I had no doubt that I had met another from the hominid group known as "Homo urbanus," sub-species "Porcinus edibilis."

For the next five days, we reveled in hog. Good hog, done right and delivered by a bacon god.

Day 1 started off with some red-flannel hash. It's one of my favorite breakfast items at Rick and Ann's. I'm not sure what the real recipe is, but I used beets, onions, potatoes, trumpet mushrooms, garlic, and bacon. Sprinkled with green onions and served up with a quick egg and english muffin, it was most satisfying.

Day 2. When you have canadian bacon, but no pineapple, do you still call it Hawaiian pizza? We didn't. But it was still good. Roasted red pepper and eggplant spread for the sauce, three cheeses and bacon on one side. Sauce, three cheeses, trumpets, artichoke hearts and green onions on the other. Yummy on both.

Day 3. If you know my ways, you might assume that these are calzones, but really they aren't. They are cheese and meat filled english muffins. While making our family staple, I used some of the bacon gift as a filling. I was thinking it would be kinda like a sourdough english pupusa.

How about more like a griddled ham and cheese calzone? It was gooey and filled with smokey pork. Like a hot pocket, only real.

Day 4. When you've already made something with most of your bacon, and have only a tiny bit, you make biscuits and gravy. But we had no biscuits, only potatoes. Easy! Fry some onions, garlic and mushrooms with the leftover bacon, add flour, stir, add milk and cook until it thickens, then add some cheese and pour over some sliced potatoes, top with "sourdough salt" and bake for an hour.

When you serve it with fresh focaccia and a nice salad it even seems healthy. Well, almost. Except that I couldn't help thinking of it as scalloped potato biscuits and gravy.

Day 5. I woke up, dreading my first day of no bacon. While packing the bag for grandma's, I realized H forgot her "calzone" for lunch. Knowing that the quality of this food item is rapidly deteriorating, I packed it, heated it up at lunch, and split it four ways. While my folks were taking the first bite, wondering where this fantastic pork product came from, I simply smiled, and matter-of-factly said, while winking at the monkey "the BPS-man, of course!"

"The BPS man?"

"The Bacon Parcel Service Man. There isn't one here in Novato? What a shame......"

Thanks for the delivery CB, we can't wait for the next.


chilebrown said...

I am not sure how comfortable I am with being the Bacon Fairy. I think the Bacon Dude or the UPS Bacon Man would be a lot better. I am having a lot of fun with the Sourdough Starter. We are baking up a storm.
Tell the Monkey that the Bacon Dude was sure glad to meet her and wanted to thank her for sharing all her toys. She is very lucky to have a Pops to make her all those sourdough goodies

Dagny said...

I found my way here via Becks & Posh. In reading over your blog, I think you too give a reason for one to have a drool-proof keyboard. Thank you for all the wonderful bacon ideas. I tend to get stuck in a rut.

Callipygia said...

The bacon fairy! too funny (tho not for chilebrown) Anyways, the redflannel hash at Rick and Ann's was also my favorite dish- you can actually find their recipe at All your pork recipes sound divine and I mourn with you too for the last of it :(

D-man said...

Chile: I made a few changes to shift the emphasis some, let me know.....glad to hear the dough is treating you well. The monkey says hi too, and that she has more toys.

Dagny: Nice of you to drop by, and thank you for the drool comment, very nice of you. And thanks for mentioning B&P as the source, otherwise I'd probably never know what was up and not know who I owe, big time. And fortunately, a bacon rut is a good thing to be in.

Calli: I'll check out the red flannel recipe, and yes mourning is in effect, to be cured by only another bacon fix or a forty day pork fast (not gonna happen, there is some pork "stew" meat in the fridge, waiting for a marinade).

Willa said...

Oh, my gosh, I have bacon envy now! Here in S. Central PA, locally smoked bacon often tastes like...sliced fat pork. No smoke, no nothing, although they swear they smoke it. The Pennsylvania Dutch have made a science of bland, let me tell you. I wish I could get a Bacon UPS guy of my own!

Garrett said...

Mmmm... looks yumtastic!
Now lets see what ya can do with egg whites!

D-man said...

Willa: Thanks for coming by, and also for the tip about bacon in your part of PA (I'll make sure to bring my own smoker when I visit). Catch you soon!

Garrett: Hey hey, I already did something with egg whites. Well, it used the yolks too, so I guess it's cheating kinda......I'll drop you a line when I do something with the pure meringue goodness. Nice meeting you at Shuna's class, see ya' soon.

HipWriterMama said...

Oh that looks absolutely divine...I am so, sooooo jealous.