Are you a cat lover, or a dog lover? Or perhaps one of those cruel heartless no-animal-lovers? I’ve been a cat lover all 30 years of my life, except for a brief moment when one of our family cats, Bugsy, prompty swacked a notch outta my face about, oh, an inch from my eye because he didn’t want me to play with him (aka pull his tail and chase him around the house…). What kinda cat doesn’t wanna play with an excited toddler?!
Of course, being a cat lover doesn’t preclude the possibility of dog affection. I’d really like to be an avid dog lover, but apparently that’s a decision that must be agreed upon when you’re married. There’s really no compromise when it comes to wanting a dog: you get one, or you don’t. We’re stuck on the latter for the time being. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve pondered using the “look at this poor innocent puppy I found in the alley and he’s so pitiful and cute and we just can’t leave him out there all alone can we?” tactic, but it’s hot out there these days and I really don’t want to sleep on the park bench…
Of course, it may be for the best, because I’m not sure that Tange and I would be able to share bacon with anyone else. It’s hard enough to share with just her – I mean, look at her and her colorful personality: sweet and innocent to clawing and showing teeth, to content, chunk o’ bacon in mouth, teeth gnashing. I’m not sure how she discovered bacon, really. I was never one to feed her ‘non-cat’ food, but early-on she discovered the land of carbs when I brought her home after being spayed; she’d not eaten all day, and the first morsel of food she found was a bag of Thomas’ bagels. Before I could gather my thoughts (it takes longer than you might think), she’d torn into that bag and eaten half a bagel. (We don’t leave bread out, ever, or she would demolish it, thanks to that one episode.)
And then I found her dunking her paw in my coffee one day. Oh boy. Somewhere along the way she found bacon, perhaps she was fed by an old roommate, who knows. But, I dare you to try to eat your bacon without her knowing, and when she finds out, because she will find out, without her using her good looks and pitiful meow to coerce you into feeding her a few crumbles. Still today, just the smell of it wakes her from a coma at the other end of the house.
I gotta disclose here, that she wasn’t mad in this picture, really. I just happened to catch her ‘standing’ and pawing for a piece of bacon that was in my left hand, and my camera just happened to be in my right hand. I don’t always torture her like this, I promise. Plus, she didn’t mind because she was rewarded for her photogenicity with 1/4 of a piece of bacon.
What can I say, we spoil each other :). But she’s in my top two, so it’s ok, I think.
And you can’t blame her for being so incredibly in love with bacon, can you? I mean, what’s not to like here? I find you can squeeze bacon onto just about any dish, and only the vegetarians would be sad about it.
That said, when I came across a BLT sandwich disguised as a salad, I knew it was time to crack open that pound of bacon in the freezer. A perfect summertime meal, there is minimal cooking involved here and for those of us in 90-degree + weather, that seems to be a goal these days. Fry up some bacon, hard-boil some eggs, and toss it into some greens, tomatoes, and if you’ve got an extra one, a cucumber, and you’ve got yourself a salad fit for a king. Or a queen. Or a bacon-loving cat.
Bacon, Lettuce, & Cherry Tomato Salad w/ Aioli Dressing
Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2010; serves 2-4 as a meal
there’s certainly nothing at all wrong with leaving this salad as is, but you could drive the whole BLT analogy home and bake some bread cubes into croutons, if you’re so inclined. i was not, but if i made this salad again, i might swap the egg for bread.
5 oz applewood-smoked bacon (about 6 slices)
12 c torn romaine lettuce (from 1 large head)
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and/or pear tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber, sliced into half-moons (optional)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 T reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 T white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 T chives, chopped
hard-boil eggs (place in saucepan and cover with water, cover & bring to boil, turn off heat and let sit for 12 minutes, rinse eggs until cold water and peel). can refrigerate until ready to use.
cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until desired temperature (i like mine extra-crispy) and move to paper towel-lined plate to drain. reserve half of bacon fat.
toss lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber (if using) in a large bowl. heat bacon fat to medium. add garlic, then mayo and vinegar, and whisk until smooth (less than 1 minute); season with salt and pepper and toss with salad. sprinkle bacon, eggs, and chives over salad and eat immediately.