Ota the Toyota, Telly the trusty canine and I were out on a little cruise through town the other day. We paused behind a pickup truck that had stopped in the middle of the road so the driver could talk to a friend on the sidewalk. It seems to be a fashionable thing to do since we run into this kind of delay frequently. We were in no great hurry to get anywhere so we waited patiently. It was a pleasant time of the day, twilight just coming on. I rolled the car window down a little and through it came a smell I hadn’t smelled in a long time. Someone in the neighborhood was cooking bacon! It smelled like real bacon, none of your low fat turkey cardboard substitute faux bacon, this was the real deal. It brought back a flood of memories that made my cardio-vascular system quiver.
Home fries cooked a crispy brown in bacon grease, pancakes sizzling on a griddle coated with bacon grease, the good old days when pork fat reigned supreme. Is there anything better than salt pork fried crisp with white gravy, poured over new potatoes? Home made sausage patties and sausage gravy on pancakes or how about pancakes with gobs of real butter melting over them then drenched in real maple syrup. Thoughts of my mother’s crow’s nest drifted through my head. Crow’s nest was a deep dish apple pie made in a Dutch oven, scooped out into your dish and covered with real heavy cream and topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg. I remembered country breakfasts on the farm I helped on during haying season; pork chops, scrambled eggs, home fries, toast, coffee and apple pie, what a way to start your day!
I do realize that the diet back in those far distant days wasn’t the kind of thing that would make a modern day nutritionist’s heart go pitter patter and I do remember the average life span being somewhere around 22 or something like that. I don’t remember hearing the word “cholesterol” until a few years back when they started hauling all the fat and sugar out of the stuff we consume.
I wonder what they do with all that fat and sugar, I just know someone is sitting on top of a monster hoard of bacon grease and smiling his head off. Maybe they call the CEOs of some companies “Fat Cats” for a reason. Another wonderment to me is the way the price of an item of food goes up when they start taking the good stuff out. The more they take out, the more they charge.
I feel a little sad when I think that there’s a whole generation of kids out there that have never tasted real butter, that think milk is supposed to be pale blue in color and think that bacon comes from turkeys. I also can’t remember very many fat kids in my class when I went to elementary school. I watched a line waddle towards a bus last week and wondered why they were so broad in the beam when they eat healthy at home and the school has nothing but nutritious chow to offer, maybe the kids know where all that fat and sugar they’ve taken out of today’s food is stored and they’re not telling.
The truck is finally moving and Ota, Telly and I head for home. Morning arrives, breakfast time, I can still smell that bacon as I reach for the box of twigs and bark, pour myself a healthy serving, splash on a little blue milk that cost more than heavy cream because they’ve taken everything out of it, sprinkle on a little sugar substitute and try to imagine how this bowl of cereal would taste fried in bacon fat.
Thought for the week — Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them.
Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.
Reach Dick Brooks at Whittle12124@yahoo.com.