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A few weeks ago my sister and I met at my parents' house. I was flying from Columbus; the in-flight magazine had a recipe for bacon caramel corn, so I paid some attention to it. She flew from Seattle on the same airline and mentioned noticing the recipe—an affinity for bacon is on the short list of things we have in common. When we left, I returned to Maryland, where Brian and Victoria met me to see the inauguration. They had also flown Southwest, and before she'd been in the house 15 minutes Victoria was telling me about the recipe she'd seen for bacon caramel corn. Clearly, we needed to make a batch of this stuff.

Bacon Caramel Corn by Jesse Hansen, from Jan 2013 Spirit magazine

1 cup chopped cooked bacon
3/4 cup popcorn kernels
This is a corrected amount, it was 1-1/2 cups as published. -KDS
1/4 of a 7-ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2-2/3 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup honey

1. Place cooked bacon in the freezer. Pop kernels and set aside. Puree peppers and set aside. Bring brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and honey to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Remove from stove.

2. Stir in chilled bacon and pureed peppers. In a large bowl, toss popcorn in the sauce, then spread over two nonstick baking sheets.

3. Bake at 290°F for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from pans immediately

It's pretty good, although you end up with candied bacon bits and my bacon philosophy admits novelty forms only grudgingly. But you end up with a fabulous by-product: pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This stuff is great on almost everything!

My sister also invited me to accompany her on a supported bike ride in the summer. She asked me if I would want to do a 200-mile ride in July and I said sure. Then she asked if I would rather do it in one or two days. HA HA HA! She's training like a demon for some track races a little later in the year and may have lost some normal-person perspective. I assured her that I would not be riding 200 miles in one day.

But I don't want to embarrass myself, so I started looking at training schedules and articles offering advice on getting ready for long rides. Then I got sucked into bike shopping, thinking I should have something better to ride. This is very dangerous: now I have fallen in love with a bike that costs more than I paid for my first new car. Like that car (a Subaru Justy with ECVT) it has a wacky new transmission setup. Anyway, after drooling on my keyboard for a few days I decided to put new pedals on the Fuji and lose some weight instead. I told Brian what I'd decided this morning. I said, "One day, though, I'm going to get myself a really nice bike." "Yeah, well don't wait too long," he said. I'm pretty sure he was calling me old but I didn't pursue it.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 3rd, 2013 07:58 pm (UTC)
My gawd that seems amazingly elaborate & a lot of trouble for a salty sweet popcorn snack.

What prompted you to change the amount of popcorn?
Feb. 3rd, 2013 10:35 pm (UTC)
It is that, but it is also bacon.

I started popping and I was thinking ahead to two baking sheets' worth of caramel corn. The popcorn was piling up and I said to myself, "This recipe is by a chef in a restaurant* so I bet his baking sheet is a full jellyroll pan." The popcorn continued to pile up and I decided that he must have cut the recipe from an industrial- down to a consumer-size and messed up on the popcorn math. I tried using half as much as directed and that worked out just right. As it is, I have no gigantic pans, but I made do with my four biggest pans.

*Proof in Scottsdale, AZ
Feb. 5th, 2013 01:51 am (UTC)
Nah, he's saying the economy's gonna collapse and nobody'll be making or selling those nice bikes any more. :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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