What’s That Smell?

Posted: 23 December 2008 in Food, observations, other folks

Christmas morning at my mother’s house is built on bacon.  A castle with a bacon foundation.  A dynasty of bacon.  Although most breakfasts feature the porky product, Christmas is a special time involving bricks of bacon stacked on platters and parading around the table.  Bacon is my family’s light in the darkness while fickle main courses change.  For years, we went with an overnight french toast.  A milky, soggy thing that was more suited to adult tastes (and frankly probably would have been good doused in whiskey) than to a child’s palette.  A some point, we switched briefly to waffles served cold and limp to rave reviews from my clearly delusional sisters.  Recently the bacon breakfast has permitted a cinnamon roll interloper, and that sticky trend shows some staying power, if only for the relative probability of my family somehow making yet another batter dish soggy or cold.

The bacon remains constant.  In cast iron, on the top of the wood burning stove, or on the griddle, slabs of it are consumed on the holidays.  There are bacon battles; porcine lieutenants trumpeting from the bacon bulwarks.  There’s the limp contingent (what is is with my family?) and the burnt crispy contingent.  The two sides barely speak as they disdainfully shove aside unwanted offerings from the opposite faction.  Sizzling, chomping, crackling, dripping bacon.  That’s what I think of when I think of my mother’s Christmas morning.

As for us, we usually find ourselves in a hotel Christmas morning.  If we’re visiting D’s family, I can practically expect a trip to IHOP late in the day, but the morning is a cold, empty hotel room.  The absence of bacon, while normally welcome, is sorely felt.  This year we’re staying home for Christmas Eve.  Sure, morning will be rushed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t light the tree for a minute and make googly eyes at each other.  It doesn’t mean we can’t knock back a quick mug of coffee and eat a piece of toast.  It doesn’t mean we can’t revel in the silence left by the bacon void.

And we will.  We will leave a house that smells like pine and not like bacon.  We will put coats on over skin unsinged by sputtering grease.  There will be no pan to wash, no clamoring by the limps for the crispys to just BACK OFF, no clothes heavy with the distinct smell.  We’re going bacon free this year, my friends, celebrate.

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