07 December 2010

Bacon Jam: An Epic Fail

Remember how I was all jazzed up about bacon jam the other day? And how it was all I could think about and all I wanted to eat from then until the end of time?

Well, after eating all of Matt's sandwich (he preferred the Back in the Day rosemary chicken salad), I decided that I absolutely had to make my own bacon jam. And just how convenient was it that the latest issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food had a recipe for bacon jam? I fantasized that I would make bacon jam, and then I would eat bacon jam, and then I would share bacon jam with everyone I love (and maybe even people I didn't love, you know, just to show off my culinary prowess and make them feel inferior), and then I would be the most popular and happiest girl who'd ever lived.

So this weekend, I set out to the store to buy the ingredients, and spent about $20 on stuff to make a double batch of my new favorite food (Which is, by the way, a lot of money to make something that turns out awful.  I could've had the mega pack of Pilot Precise V Rolling Ball pens for that amount of money.). Once I got home, I was absolutely giddy. I was listening to "Hey Ya!" and I was dancing about the kitchen, confident that I was about to make something that would forever change my life.

In all of my excitement, however, I fell into an old trap: neglecting to follow directions. I was doing pretty well at the start. I cooked up my bacon and chopped onion and garlic and carefully measured (Matt would be so proud) the rest of the ingredients.

One of the ingredients was brewed coffee, and so I made coffee at home for the first time in my life (I've made it millions of times in restaurants, but just never at home.) Looking back on it, I realize that I probably should have measured the amount of coffee grounds that I added, because the coffee might have been a bit strong (but I really don't know, because I'm not a coffee drinker and Matt was off watching the Buffalo Bills lose to the purple team).

The recipe also called for the bacon jam to cook in a slow cooker on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. But I hate using the slow cooker (impatience plus possession of a Le Creuset dutch oven), so I decided that low heat in the dutch oven was the same as high on the slow cooker.

But apparently that's not how it works. When the bacon jam had been cooking for 2 1/2 hours (on low heat in the dutch oven), and the house smelled like heaven itself, I realized that I hadn't yet been to Target that day, so I ventured out for a quick trip. When I returned 30 minutes later, the whole house smelled like burnt coffee bacon disgustingness. I tried to salvage what I could of the bacon jam that wasn't a charred glob on the bottom of the pot, and jarred it.

Bacon fat--not as pretty as it tastes

I ate one sandwich, and I don't even know if it was actually good or if I was just determined to think that it was good. The next day I went to heat up some more (which had congealed in that gross bacon fat way in the jars--definitely not going to be a gift to give to people) to give it another try, but then I forgot about that in the microwave and burned it again. So my kitchen smelled like doubly-burnt bacon jam, and I wanted to puke for the rest of the night.

The verdict?

Eat bacon jam at Back in the Day Bakery where it's the most delicious thing of all time. Do not eat bacon jam that comes from Mandy's kitchen. If you want to make your own bacon jam (that could very well be delicious), then be sure to follow the directions, because they're there for a reason.


  1. Oh, Mandy-kins! I am so sorry that it didn't work!!!! I know how excited you were!!! =(

  2. Oh well. I'm going to taste it again (and hopefully not burn it a third time) in a couple of days. It's possible that it's still good. If not, I'll take is as a sign from the universe that I need to stop being a lard ass.

    You better get bloggin'. I've been checking it and there are not updates!



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