notes from maggie's farm
I am so grateful that I've lived, and learned to cook, in the South.
Living in the South transforms the mundane details of life into something akin to a Tennessee Williams novel. The land where friends, and family, and food, and football reign supreme, and not always in that particular order.
Life in the South has a rhythm all it's own. Romance and tragedy alike, it all just feels so lyric, like the way the thick, humid, evening air often wraps you like a familiar woolen blanket, or how the sounds of an accordion bring to mind all the mischievous things you've done to that particular tune, how saying y'all makes everyone that lives north of the Mason-Dixon Line grin good-naturedly (usually). Or how the smell of bacon just makes you believe in all that's good in the world.
When I was a little girl, waking up to the smell of my mother frying bacon was a sign that all's right in the world. It meant that Momma was taking a minute before we hit the chores. It meant a slow and gentle wake-up--no jumping out of bed just as the vacuum cleaner hit the door and jarred me from my dreams.
When the smell of bacon awakens you, life is good.
But a few evenings ago, when we just needed a break and trying this recipe (along with this recipe) turned into a meal, it wasn't awakening us. It was tucking us in.
Bacon. It's what's for (a late night) dinner.
It's really very simple. The "more official" recipe can be found at Garden and Gun Magazine's website, and references the original Martha Foose, author of A Southerly Course. (Both capture the charm of the South and are worth a long look.) This is how we tackled it:
Cut a pound or so of bacon (this is the 'party size' recipe. I promise we had leftovers!) into thirds crosswise. (Naturally, I made it more difficult by trimming each piece a bit thinner to wrap around little wheat thin crackers instead of the traditional club-style crackers most people use...)
Wrap each slice around your choice of cracker, without overlapping. Lay each about 1/2" apart on a baking sheet in which you've placed a rack. (a boiler pan would work just fine, if you don't have a handy rack) Bake in 250 degree, preheated oven, for about an hour and a half, or until bacon begins to 'tug in' the sides of the cracker. Cool on a rack. Eat. Lots of 'em.
Our friend Steve, who is now likely the world's greatest fan of Bacon Crackers, served his with a makeshift horseradish dip of store-bought french onion dip, which is genius. Like he is. (Remember that bacon horseradish dip you used to buy in the dairy section? That was my favorite.) He inspired this dressed-up version that we dipped our crackers in with delight, and then licked the bowl clean of the little that was left.
Dilly Horseradish Dip
1 8 oz carton sour cream
1 T, or more, to taste, bottled grated horseradish
1/2 t each, or more, to taste, dill weed, onion salt, and powdered worcestershire (the liquid will do fine, if that's what you have on hand)
Stir together, refrigerate for 30 minutes for flavors to meld. Yeah. That's all. It's easy. Which is required for the nights that you are testing cocktails.