(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Bacon

All the food that’s fit to eat…


Wired partnered with Food Network to crunch 49,733 recipes and 906,539 comments from their massive website.  The result is a fascinating overview of how Americans cook… and eat.  From food fads to celebrity chefs, from Thanksgiving dinner to regional cuisines, readers can whet their appetites at “Math Proves Bacon is a Miracle Food.”


As we tuck in our napkins, we might recall that it was on this date in 1836 that Alonzo Dwight Phillips of Springfield, Massachusetts received the first U.S. patent (No. 68) for the phosphorous friction safety match. Though the first friction matches were made and sold in England in 1827,  Phillips’ match– which could be safely stored/carried, then struck on any rough surface– was the first genuine friction match made in America. Known as “loco focos,” and later as “lucifers,” they were a key enabler of the spread of cigar smoking, of gas lighting, of gas cooking– and thus of the acceleration of interest in “finer” cooking that more-flexible gas stoves made possible– in the U.S.  Indeed, by the outbreak of the Civil War fifteen years later, about a million matches a day were being manufactured.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 24, 2013 at 1:01 am

Giving peas a chance…

Your correspondent is no chef (his oven is used to store books); but he knows a killer recipe when he sees one…  from Food Network:

English Peas
Paula Deen
Show: Paula’s Home Cooking   Episode: “Hail to the Chief”


* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
* 2 cans (14 1/2-ounces) English peas, drained


Melt the butter in small pot and add the peas. Cook over medium heat until peas are warm.

But as compelling as the recipe is, the comments that follow on the Network’s web site are the really tasty bit; e.g.:

I substituted bacon for the peas, and omitted the butter. Delicious recipe, would make again.

My husband loves canned peas. Every time I open up a can of them I have to hold my breath, because they smell like a urine-soaked subway car. Can I substitute bacon for peas? I’d appreciate a revised recipe explaining to me how to combine butter and bacon in a pot. And please keep it simple, Paula. None of these 3 ingredient recipes that a home cook can’t possibly tackle.

This was outstanding! I did make a couple modifications. I eliminated the butter, and in place of the peas I substituted one can of Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs.

And many, many more…  (Readers interested in pursuing the bacon theme that emerges in the comments might consider the ideas in earlier posts, e.g. here, here, or here.)

As we endeavor to reduce the degrees of separation between ourselves and bacon, we might wish a lightly sauteed Happy Birthday to David Wesson, the chemist who created Wesson Oil; he was born on this date in 1861.  Wesson’s achievement was the process that allowed the deodorization of cottonseed oil (which had before been used as shortening, of olfactory necessity, only when combined with twice the amount of less fragrant lard).  Wesson’s cottonseed oil was the first vegetable oil used for cooking in the U.S.

source: Lipid Library

Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 14, 2011 at 1:01 am

The second most traded commodity on earth…

From The Oatmeal (aka Matthew Inman),

click image, or here

Do visit the site, and check out such gems as “How to Use an Apostrophe” and “Six Reasons Bacon is Better than True Love.”  (Tip ‘o the hat to our friends at Laughing Squid)

As we add yet another sugar, we might recall that it was on this date in 1307 that Wilhelm Tell, or we Anglos tend to know him, William Tell, shot an apple off his son’s head.

Tell, originally from Bürglen, was a resident of the Canton of Uri (in what is now Switzerland), well known as an expert marksman with the crossbow. At the time, the Habsburg emperors of Austria were seeking to dominate Uri. Hermann Gessler, the newly appointed Austrian Vogt of Altdorf, raised a pole in the village’s central square, hung his hat on top of it, and demanded that all the local townsfolk bow before the hat. When Tell passed by the hat without bowing, he was arrested; his punishment was being forced to shoot an apple off the head of his son, Walter– or else both would be executed. Tell was promised freedom if he succeeded.

As the legend has it, Tell split the fruit with a single bolt from his crossbow. When Gessler queried him about the purpose of a second bolt in his quiver, Tell answered that if he had killed his son, he would have turned the crossbow on Gessler himself. Gessler became enraged at that comment, and had Tell bound and brought to his ship to be taken to his castle at Küssnacht. But when a storm broke on Lake Lucerne, Tell managed to escape. On land, he went to Küssnacht, and when Gessler arrived, Tell shot him with his crossbow.

Tell’s defiance of Gessler sparked a rebellion, in which Tell himself played a major part, leading to the formation of the Swiss Confederation.

Tell and his son

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