Wednesday, August 26, 2009


This was just a fascinating article on the gowing repertoire of Bacon in culinary circles...

Sarah Boesveld

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Last updated on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009 09:22AM EDT

You'd thought you'd seen it all when the Bacon Explosion, that hunk of sausage wrapped in two pounds of bacon, hit the scene with all the sizzle of a crispy fried strip. And then the Turbaconducken, a whole chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey and enveloped in bacon, commanded every glutton's attention.

But these gratuitous ventures into bacon bliss have simply ushered in a new wave of cured-pork mania. Today, bacon's in everything from desserts to liquor - and it's not just adventurous foodies lapping up the grease.

As chocolate-soaked bacon is served up at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto this week and International Bacon Day approaches

on Sept. 5, it's time to say bye-bye bacon-wrapped scallops and hello bacon baklava.

Sweet, sweet meat

Bacon nestled next to a stack of maple-syrup-soaked pancakes is no culinary eureka, so it's natural to salivate over a maple-glazed doughnut adorned with two strips of bacon, no? The Bacon Maple Bar is a top seller at Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Ore., says its account manager, Kimberly Litkie. The shop serves up "at least a thousand" daily.

Their formula is simple, yet genius: "We took two pieces of thick-cut bacon, put them on a maple bar and magic happened," she says.

Earlier this month Bob Blumer, Food Network Canada's Surreal Gourmet, won top honours at an Austin, Tex., ice-cream-making competition. His winning flavour? Maple bacon crunch. Bacon has also slipped its way into cookies, brownies and cinnamon rolls. Artisan candy-makers have even whipped up maple bacon lollipops. And, fittingly, the creators of Bacon Today, a cured-pork news website, recently dressed a colleague's birthday cake with strips.


Cupcakes are a huge trend, bacon is a huge trend - it's only natural to put the two together, says Scott Kveton, CEO of Bac'n, a shop for bacon lovers in Portland, Ore. And - alas - a quaint little bakery on Toronto's Queen Street West has put the bake in bacon. Yummy Stuff owner Morag Cleeveley introduced Chocolate Oatmeal Cupcakes with Maple Bacon frosting in March, luring snackers into her shop to devour the tiny delights made with bacon-lard icing and crowned with crumpled bacon.

While pork-loving Canadians have been slower on the bacon-cupcake uptake than their American counterparts, Ms. Cleeveley says she's won over some very skeptical customers. "I would say 50 per cent of people try it just out of curiosity and 50 per cent of people are returning, loving it, wanting more."


Janet Vu was wary as she dipped her plastic fork into three strips of bacon in a pool of chocolate sauce. "It's ... interesting" she said after a taste and a long pause Sunday at the Canadian National Exhibition. But the 18-year-old offered tentative praise after finishing the last strip of hickory-smoked bacon from the Sweet Treats concession stand. "I like it well enough."

Chocolate-covered bacon has become a favourite at U.S. state fairs, which spurred the CNE's food manager to introduce it at the Ex, says vendor Scott Skinkle. On Saturday, the stand sold more than 25 bacon dishes at $5 a piece. A rush of early birds bought it for breakfast Sunday, adds co-vendor Vicky Skinkle. "Most people that come up here are going, 'Ew! Bacon dipped in chocolate? What does that taste like?' " It's a simple combo of the two, she explains - nothing to be afraid of. "Then they taste it and say, 'Yes, it's really good.' "


"I'll have a shot of Bakon please!" Canadians will be hollering this at bars by next summer if all goes well for Sven Liden and company. "We started testing with bacon-infusions a few years ago and decided that it was so good in a Bloody Mary that we wanted to make it a commercial product," says the business manager for Black Rock Spirits in Seattle. The first bottles of Bakon Vodka hit American store shelves this May. Pretty soon Mr. Liden and his colleagues were comparing it with high-end vodkas in taste tests - of course, the bacon-flavoured liquor came out on top.

Can't wait for it to hit the Canadian market? Making bacon-infused vodka at home is possible, but an ordeal (one must skim off the pork fat and strain it until the booze adopts a slight bacon taste). Better to copy bars that have employed bacon-flavoured salt to craft BLT cocktails and meatier Bloody Marys.

If hard liquor isn't your thing, earlier this month Brooklyn Brewery in New York added a bacon-flavoured brew on tap. "It's almost terrifying how much the malt smells like bacon," brewmaster Garrett Oliver told The New York Times.

We'll have another round, please.


Streaky spinoffs

The bacon innovation never stops: A sample of favourite products created in ode to bacon mania.

Bacon-shaped adhesive


Bacon-flavoured lip gloss

Bacon-scented air freshener

Bacon-striped bifold wallet

Bacon-flavoured floss

Bacon-print neck ties

Bacon flavoured gumballs

Bacon-print slip-on shoes

Bacon-scented soap

Bacon-flavoured bubbles

Pig "Smells Like Bacon" pajama pants for men


Thursday, August 20, 2009


So its done. My ratty, cracked, old and ugly driveway with teh weeks and gravel on the side is no more. The even uglier gravel/clay/weeds mix at the entrance to my backyard is also gone. In their place is a single, new, and glorious strip of asfalt which goes right up to my house on the side and grades water away (good for my leaky basement!) and goes right up to the grass in my backyard!

HURRAY! Not only will this create a space to put in a baseketball net, but will also signficantly (I hope) increase the value of my home!

I never thought shiney new rennovations to the house would make me as happy as travelling but they do! Speaking of which, I really do want to hit up Greece again, and Japan!



Sunday, August 16, 2009


So the latest issue of Vanguard is out and true to the word of the editor they've printed the article they asked me to write back in May.

I'm fairly thrilled about this!



Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Thanks to everyone who made it out on the weekend to Liz's baby shower and the man pow-wow in the back. There was great food, good drinks and lots of good catching up.

Thanks also to everyone who either gave us, or sent us, a gift for our upcoming little one. Liz, I and the little guy loved and appreciated everything!

The only downside was that we didn't get enough time to actually sit and catch up with people. Oh well hopefully we'll see most if not all of you soon!

A special thanks to those folks who came a long way to see us. Especially you Isaac since you live in far-away scarborough and don't have a car!



Friday, August 07, 2009

R.I.P Mr. Hughes

Very sad. The man was able to craft film that while not sophisticated in a 'cannes film festival' sort of way, was able to touch and shape the current generation when they were in their most influenceable developmental stages of life.

We've lost a unique and important artist and social engineer.



Tuesday, August 04, 2009


So this was a particularly excellent Feast! In short these are the funtastic dissapointment washing away activities that were included

- Roadtrip down to NY state
- Awesome ferry ride across to vermont
- Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory
- Green Mountain Coffee HQ cafe and info centre (and it was in an old train station to boot!)
- Two night stay in Lake George NY, one of my favourite places on earth. Yes its kitchie but fun
- Found an awesome patio at a new pub in LG where they served a bunch of good microbrews
- Did some shopping when it rained and found some h'awesome deals (two pairs of designer pants for $30 each, three sweet ties for under twenty each, and two great shirts, two for $60. All of this of course is far cheaper than I'd find here at home.
- A pretty good BBQ restaurant
-Reading my book poolside
- two great rounds of mini-putt
- a quite hour at night sitting with Liz by the lake and a great sunny drive home yesterday.




PS i leave you with a quote from today's Ottawa citizen "The BIA's board decided last August against supporting the gay-village designation, and opted instead for a "bottom up" policy" Well then, bottom's up to all!