The Book: James Villas: THE BACON COOKBOOK: More than 150 Recipes from Around the World for Everyone's Favorite Food. Wiley, 2007. As new.
First read: 2007
Owned since: 2007
Since I'm on the road and away from my bookshelves, posts from now until I get home will all be books I received for Christmas. Fortunately, I got several, and they're all keepers.
This one was an inspired gift from Claire, who knows my weakness. It's exactly what the title says, and includes a history of bacon and descriptions of the many different types, some of which I've never encountered. Not to worry; the book also suggests sources for the types of bacon that might be harder for Americans to find. It's a serious cookbook, with chapters on everything from canapes and appetizers to -- yes -- dessert.
The other night I tried the book's recipe for Swedish Spice Cookies, made with bacon fat instead of butter. The cookies, while certainly edible, were ... um ... interesting. They didn't taste exactly bacon-y, but had a slightly greasy mouthfeel and a kind of meaty undertone that I am not used to associating with cookies. Chefs prefer to cook with butter rather than bacon grease for a reason, and I suspect there might be a reason we don't see many Swedish restaurants, too.
Nevertheless, I'm proud of having made the experiment, and glad to have tried bacon-fat cookies. My next attempt from this book will probably be something a little more conventional, like the Alsatian bacon and onion tart. Thanks, Claire!
Five Random Songs
I got some really excellent Christmas presents this year, including an iPod Touch (thanks, Joe!) that adds a whole new dimension to the Shuffle feature. I also got new music, thanks to Chris and John ... let's see what comes up today...
"Metropolis," The Pogues. Shane MacGowan turned 50 yesterday. Amazing, he doesn't look a day over 80.
"Waiting in Vain," Bob Marley and the Wailers. "It's been three years since I'm knocking on your door/And I still can knock some more..." Sometimes it's a fine line between romantic devotion and stalking.
"If I Had a Hammer," the Weavers. Kicking it old school, for real.
"H. R. Pufnstuf," The Murmurs. From Saturday Morning Cartoons' Greatest Hits, a compilation that matched '90s alternative bands up with the themes of the cartoons I watched as a kid. H.R. Pufnstuf, in case you missed it, was a vaguely dragon-like creature who was the mayor of Living Island, where Jimmy and his magic flute were shipwrecked. I haven't seen an episode of "H.R. Pufnstuf" in many years, but he still shows up in my dreams once in a while.
"New Religion," Alice Smith. This was a free Starbucks download that a friend passed along to me (thanks, Mike), and I like it a lot. Alice Smith's voice falls between rock and soul, and every time I hear this song I think I need to go download the full album. In fact, I might do that right now.