To say that the whole house filled with smoke would be incorrect. To be honest, it was just the kitchen, the dining room and the family room. Nevermind that at the time these rooms were filled with various in-laws. Nevermind that they were all starving. Nevermind that they are people who love their breakfast meats.
About ten minutes before this scene, I was saying to my husband, “I make bacon in the oven all the time. It should be fine.” I have a lifelong belief that hubris only offers returns in bad luck, so I should have known better.
But, when I paint a picture of scene, you can see how this all came to be. My nephews were over and I just wanted to please. Bacon is near the top of their list of pleasurables. So this how that morning played out. The family wakes up early so we are under the gun to make breakfast. Our Belle, who was a little over one year old, had been up in the night. So I was underslept. That morning, we were too ambitious--making waffles, fruit syrup, feeding our Belle yogurt, frying breakfast sausage…then there was the bacon. I had Belle on my hip. I took out the baking sheet. I opened the package with my free hand. Then with that same ONE hand, I placed the bacon on the sheet. At the same time, I bobbed and weaved so that Belle wouldn’t reach out and touch the raw meat. I popped the bacon in the oven with the help of my brother-in-law. Then I cleaned up the counter and went to set the table.
Did you notice what I missed? I forgot to put the bacon on a rack about the rack. That small step meant that for weeks we were cleaning bacon grease out of the oven (not to mention airing out our house and clothes.)
Since then, I had avoiding serving bacon for guests. It’s been more than a year and I knew I would eventually have to face my fears. Donna Hay turned out to me my therapist on this one. She had a simple recipe where ham and cheese are baked on puff pastry—I subbed in bacon. I took out the fig paste and use a little mango chutney. The recipe was a breeze and was seriously addictive.