I do not pretend to be a follower of football. It’s not that I don’t like it, because I do. I appreciate the intricate offensive and defensive schemes, the technicalities, and strategy. I admire the power and athleticism of its best players. But I can not watch it, even if my hometown heroes are in the big game, like last night. It took me some time to figure this out, but it makes me anxious to watch bodies crashing into each other, potentially catastrophic injuries with every play. Every bone-crunching tackle has me wincing, waiting for a horribly grotesque re-do of the Joe Theismann injury of 1985.
I don’t do so well with that kind of thing.
This was never highlighted more clearly when my son, Casey, broke his arm on the playground a few years ago. The pain and panic on his face was enough to get me jump-started into action. I quickly handed off the other two kids to my sister, and got him in the car to head to the hospital. That parental hormone”fixitall” kicked in pretty hard and my one and only goal was to get him to the ER as quickly and safely as possible. As a result, I didn’t notice the signs of impending disaster until I was a few miles down the road. Sweating, light-headedness, spotty vision, ringing in the ears – yep, I was going to faint. What??! NOW? Are YOU KIDDING ME? What a miserably inept parent I turned out to be. Fixitall, indeed. Suddenly, ashamedly, Casey’s crisis was now somehow about ME. Pathetic.
I did the only thing I could do (after pulling over and slapping myself in the face several times, to no avail). I called 911. When they asked my location, I replied I was on the town line between North Reading (my hometown) and Reading. “Well, which town would you like me to call to respond, ma’am?” Reading, of course! I might have been faint, but I wasn’t crazy. If I asked for North Reading, it would’ve been like a bizarre high school reunion. “Jules, is that you? Jeesh, you don’t look so good. How ya been?” As it was, it was bad enough with strangers. Despite my protests, they gave me the works — oxygen, EKG, an IV, the gurney, and a chauffeured ride to the ER in the ambulance. All because my blood pressure registered 75 over zero. Stupid vasovagal syncope. Poor Casey had to ride in the little seat alongside me, and just kept saying, “Mum, how come you’re lying down?” The good news? My little crisis (and the stuffed bear the EMT gave him) helped get his mind off his pain. A few hours later we were home and all fixed up, and a few days later he was doing cartwheels with his cast on. Kids sure do bounce, huh?
What, pray tell, does this have to do with bacon and Nutella?? Get to the point already, girlfriend!
OK, so what’s a girl to do while the boys are watching the game? I kept myself busy in the kitchen, while still able to keep an eye on the score, the funny commercials, and the awesome entertainment (please, God, let me be rockin’ it like Madonna when I’m in my 50′s). I’d had a mind to try something with bacon, and settled on a very enticing recipe sent to me by Laura, a faithful reader and friend who knows of my love for bacon.
Now, chocolate and bacon together might not sound good at first. But if you like to mix the sweet and savory, if you like a little kick wrapped up in a morsel of heaven, then you’ve got to try this. It is easy as anything, and delicious as sin. And, I bet, would satisfy the most intense PMS cravings to boot. Maybe that’s why none of the boys in the house thought too much of it. No matter. I loved it, and in the end, if momma’s happy, so is everybody else
Sweet-and-Spicy Nutella Coated Bacon
adapted from the Detroit Free Press
6 thick slices bacon (1/2 to 3/4 pound)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Nutella
Coarsely ground sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
!) Combine brown sugar, chili powder and black pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
2) Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bacon slices on baking sheet, making sure they do not overlap. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on desired crispness, then remove from oven and carefully flip bacon slices.
3) Sprinkle each slice liberally with sugar-pepper mixture. Return to oven and bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes (or until desired crispness). Cool bacon slices on paper towels until they have cooled to room temperature.
4) When bacon has cooled, place Nutella into a small bowl and microwave on high for approximately 15 to 20 seconds, until softened. Transfer bacon slices to a piece of waxed paper on a large plate. Using a silicon brush or icing spatula, lightly spread or drizzle Nutella onto the top of each bacon slice. Wait a few minutes for Nutella to set, then sprinkle lightly with coarsely ground sea salt. Place plate into refrigerator to allow Nutella to continue to set. Serve cold or at room temperature.