M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, January 03, 2003  

It’s probably a bad sign that I haven’t even started the entry and the word “bacon” has lost all meaning.

I’ve been getting a lot of searches for “George Foreman Grill Recipes.” Normally I feel bad when people’s searches for home improvement tips or video game hints or pictures of Nikki McKibbin’s ass or what have you lead them here, because I have nothing for those people. And at first I was confused about why Google would rank me so highly on the phrase “George Foreman Grill Recipes,” but then I figured it out: there aren’t many George Foreman Grill™ recipe sites because if you have a George Foreman Grill™, you don’t need recipes. It’s not like you can adjust the temperature, unless you want to stand next to it and unplug it at intervals. The thing has two settings: open and closed. It doesn’t have a timer. It doesn’t have cruise control. It doesn’t even have a damn off switch. It’s basically a pair of hotplates connected with a hinge. Here’s the only George Foreman Grill™ Recipe you’ll ever need:

Plug in grill.
Put meat on.
Close grill.
Check frequently.
Flip the meat, maybe.

I refuse to accept the Google Guilt in this case. As long as you don’t throw an entire frozen turkey between those metal jaws and immediately leave for the airport, your food will turn out fine.

And I can prove it, because with my George Foreman™, I achieved the impossible.

I made bacon.

I can cook, okay? I’ll never go pro, but I generally don’t have to make that many nonstop trips between the trash can and the stove, either. I once made lasagna from scratch. I’ve invented at least three vegetarian lasagna recipes. I’ve come up with any number of successful meals that didn’t involve lasagna at all. But for some reason, bacon has always been my kryptonite. I’ve fried it, baked it, broiled it, microwaved it, boiled it, grilled it, held a magnifying glass over it on a sidewalk in July. Nothing ever works. I always end up with either a flaccid strap of thick slime that looks like a giant, pink-gray booger, or a charred stick of congealed smoke. Many attempts included samples of both on one strip. Trash can cook as well as I can, if not better, but her experiments with bacon didn’t turn out any better than mine. Well, they were better in the sense that they weren’t my fault, but that’s cold comfort when you’re sitting down to a breakfast of warped and blackened Popsicle sticks with a side of Gummi-Pork. Eventually we just gave up. You might remember; that was the year the pork bellies market collapsed.

I know bacon isn’t that hard. Nobody believes us when we talk about not being able to pull it off. And nobody understands why in restaurants I’m always drawn to the menu items with the most bacon. Everyone will look at me funny when I order the bacon-fried bacon and bacon sandwich on a bacon roll (extra bacon sauce, please) with bacon fries, bacon salad, and a bacon milkshake. Then I explain why we can’t have bacon at home, and everyone looks at me funny some more. But by that time I don’t care because my bacon has arrived and who knows when I’ll get more?

Last month, our quest for quality home bacon was cruelly revived by a new product: Hormel Fully Cooked Bacon™. It comes already cooked (hence the name), arranged on sheets of paper, and sealed into a package which claims that these creepy little strips are completely edible after 45 seconds in the microwave. We bought them, not expecting much. I ate them, getting less. Obviously, this is a product aimed at the time-impaired rather than the true bacon gourmet.

Then I got the idea that bacon might work on the George Foreman™. We bought a pound. I Georged a few strips, expecting the grill’s fat-draining action to dry out the bacon like desiccated slices of pig-mummy.

Instead, success!

We were both thrilled. Our long, bacon-less nightmare was over. Even Trash indulged, and she stopped eating meat years ago. Like many vegetarians, there are certain foods she misses, and bacon is at the top of the list. I’m sorry to say that between the two of us, we put away a whole pound of bacon in less than an hour. And nothing else.

What, I’m supposed to wrap up what’s left over and stick it back in the fridge? What a waste of effort.

Later, when Trash’s body was vociferously protesting the abrupt and fairly voluminous reintroduction of a foodstuff it hadn’t been asked to deal with in years, she asked God, “What was I thinking?”

“You were thinking, Mmmm, bacon!” I said.

Even after that gastric adventure torched her immune system and left her open to the flu bug that flattened her for most of a week, she still had the same answer:

“It was worth it.”

* * *

I don’t want to step on Keckler’s toes or anything, but as long as I’m getting the searches, here’s my recipe for bacon on the George Foreman™.

Plug in grill.
Put bacon on.
Close grill.
Check frequently.
Flip the bacon.

See what I’m saying? This’ll take about ten minutes. Go nuts.

posted by M. Giant 3:36 PM 0 comments


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