It’s that time of year, when there’s a distinct crispness in the air, when nights are getting longer and days are getting colder and suddenly it seems every baked good and filled ravioli has pumpkin in it. And depending on your own family dynamic you’re met either with a sense of comfort or deep foreboding at the upcoming Holiday Season.
In my family, we’re blissfully conflict-free, for the most part. We come together, we cook, and we all know to get the hell out of the kitchen when my Godmother kicks off her annual gravy-making frenzy. But, Be it politics, power struggles, too much alcohol (or a catastrophic lack of it), there are all kinds of reasons why the Thanksgiving table can be a tense one.
So why not bring a unifying element to the table. Something that everyone can agree on. Something without politics, without baggage. Something that brings people together and makes everything better. Something like bacon.
This isn’t to suggest you simply cook up a rasher of bacon and bring it to the table (though not the worst idea ever considered). No, get creative! From soup to nuts, there is a whole host of ways to introduce bacon to your Thanksgiving table.
Consider this Thanksgiving menu:
Cauliflower soup with crispy shallot and bacon pieces
Green peas with pearl onions and garlic bacon
Southern mashed potatoes finished with bacon grease
Applewood-smoked Bacon wrapped turkey
Brussels Sprouts with pepper bacon (see last post!)
Maple-Baconified Apple Pie
Now of course, reading over the menu, it feels like it could be a little one-note, right? A little redundant? Think again. In fact, by marrying different kinds of bacon with all these different flavors, you really have the opportunity to explore and engage the range of bacon’s flavor profile. From savory to sweet, from bitter to whatever the opposite of bitter is.
Providing you don’t have a vegetarian in your midst (and we’ve found even some of them can be swayed), we believe bacon can be something the entire family can find common ground in. Change up tradition. Make a new one. And make sure to save some bacon for turkey sandwiches the next day.