Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why I'll Never go Back to VanHorn, TX - An Ode to Bacon

It's Sunday.

And in most places in this great Republic of Texas, Sunday means brunch. And brunch means ... Bacon. Champagne. Eggs Benedict. Bloody Marys. Oh yeah, and Church. But mostly, it means bacon.

This post is part of the first annual Twitter Bacon Blog Hop. There was a bit of a bacon frenzy on Twitter on Friday, to which I contributed in no small part, by posting a photo of bacon in my grocery cart as I prepped for the Sunday bacon ritual.

I suppose by now you are having some synesthesia, smelling and tasting and seeing bacon while you read this. You are welcome.

I have never encountered a word in our language that provokes as strong a joyful response as bacon does. The next closest word may be coffee, but some people hate coffee. I've never met a person that didn't sigh about bacon and imagine eating it on the spot. I remember many years ago hearing Dr. Laura, who converted to Judaism, mourning the bacon prohibition she had agreed to, describing in painful detail a delicious bacon sandwich. She's a Christian again. You can say those things aren't related, to which I say... Hooey. nom nom nom.

Anyway, my bacon story is about Van Horn Texas, a place I have been once and will never be again.

A friend - one of the nicest people I've ever met, was getting married at a family ranch in Van Horn long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. The wedding was going to be photographed by Southern Living magazine. It was an adventure. It was going to be great.

Prior to us consulting an atlas, said friend told us it was about a 3.5 hour trip. "I drive it all the time" he says. No problem! That's like going to Dallas! For a Texan, no biggie. We are one latte away from your wedding, buddy.

Except it was 8 hours +. Through the most God-awful parts of this great state. And it was hot. And when you get to VanHorn - well, you're in Van Horn. At a Best Western that I'm pretty sure they've used in movies where Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino have killed people. Possibly not for a movie. And it was hot. Like Africa hot. We sat on hay bales. We sweated and breathedWest Texas dust.

But here comes the happy ending. At the wedding, which was outside, in the hot, some magical bacony goodness was born. Tom Perini, of the Perini Cookbook fame, and his cowboy cooks, catered this affair. This is not a small detail, even if you've never heard of him. This team of cowboy cooks - they transformed our lives with their covered wagons, their chaps, their stories, their smoky BBQ'd prime rib and...

Jessica's Favorite Green Chile Hominy


I didn't even like hominy before this day. But the transformative power of bacon came to life in this amazing creation. Nestled beside my delicious prime rib, it gave me hope that indeed, I would return from the world where random stray dogs approached me at gas pumps, and I would live to see bacon dance in my own pan once again. Transported by the bacon, I was..

I'll make a bacon confession now, that I've bared my VanHorn bacon soul to you. I'll tell you how I like my bacon.

I'd take it 100% white - I love the fat part. I don't like it crunchy - I like it just shy of that. Crisp and still sort of juicy. Not chewy - that's gross. And I cannot combine it with another meat. For example, I would never eat it on a cheeseburger. I'm Irish. My gene pool barely got one sort of meat, certainly not five piled on top of each other like the Germans. I will eat a BLT, but my favorite way to have it is next to a fried egg, cooked in bacon grease, and prepared by my mother in law, who will sit at the right hand of the bacon father in heaven for her contribution to the world via the salted, cured, stripey pieces of joy we know as bacon.

So I prepared an artistic tribute for you this morning, as the Navajo would, honoring the gift by honoring the animal who gave it.
Stamps: Walk this Way (Stampin' Up!) Ink: India Ink, White Craft Ink Paper: Basic Grey, Stampin' Up! Christmas Cocoa, Dictionary Page

I hope you enjoy the brunch I know you will have now.

The next stop on your journey is my dear friend, Monique, who refused to try chocolate covered bacon for me at the California State Fair, but who I love dearly.

If you have happened here out of order, the first stop on the First Annual Twitter Bacon Blog Hop is Leslie, of Crooked Stamper fame.

But next - Enjoy some California bacon on me. :)

Have you signed up for the UBlue Cyber Club? Attended one of my Webinars?? Come on - get your geek on! :)

Want to see my other blog?

Have you signed up for the UBlue Cyber Club? Attended one of my Webinars?? Come on - get your geek on! :)

Want to see my other blog?


  1. LOL @ your Dr. Laura conversion story! Must be the bacon! MUST.

    Oh great blue pig on the dedication card, we thank thee for our bacon.
    Cute card missy! Fun post!

  2. Of course it's a blue piggy! Kydia, thanks so much for organizing this. You RULE the Bacon Universe!

    Your card is soooooo.....YOU! I've always loved your style and you stay so true to it.

    Next stop, Monique- I haven't tried chocolate-covered bacon yet either but want to. Let's make Moe eat it next convention!

  3. I LOVE this stamp set, and it is on my list of never-sells. Cool blue piggy!

    Loved your VanHorn story - bacon saved teh day, of course. ;-)

    Thanks for organizing this little hop!

  4. My son is in love with your card. His words, OMG, do you have that stamp set? :) Great post! Thanks for letting me be a part of this event and all your help. And thanks for sharing! Your the bestest!

  5. when i read this story, this recipe came to mind. i haven't tried it yet, but i'm going to. why monique wouldn't try chocolate covered bacon is beyond me--THOSE are two great tastes that go great together!

  6. We too love bacon. But I am the crispy type. My kids always tell me that I way over cook it.
    Here is a great recipe for you to try.

    4 cans van camps pork and beans,
    1 large onion choped,
    1 lb. bacon cut in very small pieces,
    1 7oz. can hot green chilis,
    1 cup brown sugar.

    cook bacon until crisp in large skillet, remove from pan and drain, add chopped onion and cook until just tender, add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer until thick
    Just before you are ready to serve add the bacon back to the mix. If you like your bacon softer you don't need to take it out of the pan.

    tip be sure to only use 15oz. cans of beans as the bigger cans have more juice and less beans.

    And now I am off to make myself some brunch!!!

  7. I feel like I have a slick of bacon grease all over me after traversing the blog hop today. No one is here; I could lick it off...

    I will tell you a small bacon story, courtesy of a friend of mine, who I will call "K". Miss K's mother was a party girl, and after she got married, she liked to hang out all day shopping with her girl friends, and slide home just moments before her DH got home from work. She would rush into the kitchen, put a piece of bacon into the skillet, and, as she heard DH's car coming into the driveway, she would take off her hat and coat and put on an apron. As he walked in the door, he would smell the lovely aroma of bacon, and know that his dear wife had been slaving all day in the kitchen for him...

  8. I got very sad for a moment thinking of Dr. Laura without bacon. Thank goodness that's been remedied. Great post; I'm going to stay away from Van Horn too.

  9. love the vivid description of Cowboy Cooking - there's still some regional diversity, thank God, some things you can only get in certain parts of the planet. thanks

  10. Ahhh Bacon.....the candy of meats!

    Thanks for a fun read and inspiring card.

  11. Thanks for letting me be a part of the Bacon Blog Hop! You and I don't agree on how to best cook it... but that's ok! I love it crispy crispy crispy!

    Love the card!

  12.'re funny! I sometimes think I could almost become a vegetarian...but I can't live a life without bacon. No way!

    I'm curious about the chocolate-covered bacon; I bet it's good. Sweet mixed with salty is always a good combo.

    I just got back from Taos, NM last week. Had to have a green chile burger at Lota Burger.

  13. Lydia,

    Cute card, that piggie stamp is a trip. So tired, talk more later.
    School starts tomorrow. Yeah!


    Lisa Atha

  14. Hey Miss Lydia,

    Thanks for the fun Sunday! I've been offline for more than a week and your post was one of the first things I opened once the net in my corner of the world was back up. And what do I find but a truly Lydia-esque world of blue pigs, chocolate covered bacon and a Twitter posted blog hop combining all of the above. I knew right away who had to be at the root of it all. You and only you could come up with such a wild - A idea. Very fun and so I passed the info along on my Sunday blog post and demo newsletter. After all something this good needs some extra publicity!

    Thanks for keeping the Blue world fun and inspiring. Not to mention populated with cats. I'm betting your munchkins insist on being in on all that bacony goodness. I know mine do as you can tell from Sandy's blog pictures!

    Hugs and blessings from Southern Oregon! - Jean

  15. Hey you have never tasted real bacon until you taste CANADIAN BACON my friend. Too nad I can't mail it to you across the border. Have a good one, Hugs n' Stuff, Lynne

  16. BEST card ever! and a fantastic read. You are SUCH a writer. YAY bacon! Going to cook some now. P.S. maple bacon all the way.

  17. Cute card and I love your bacon story. I love the white too, but crispy, almost burnt. Of course, my family think I overcook it.


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