I just waved goodbye to our good friend, Bruce, who came to see for himself how bad off I really am. On the one hand I think he was disappointed I didn't have more for him to do, on the other, I hope, relieved that I'm faring as well as I am. We drank lots of beer, started fires, grilled bacon(!), and watched genre noir movies late into the night. A real guy's time. It was great and I truly appreciated his visit and the kindness of his gentle wife who signed his liberty card.
Had earlier visit this week from Libby and Barry, much too short as always. They came bearing gifts including some Hellman's Mayonnaise. I should get a kickback from Hellman's for all the advertising I do for them. Late that evening, Rosa brought Wifey to the ADO bus station for her trip to Cancun and onward to the land of the great PX in hopes of being there in time for the arrival of #1 grandson, Chase. Seems she arrived with time to spare as earnest labor hasn't started yet. Meanwhile, she's enjoying her grandma role playing with 2-year old Mady.
With still five weeks to go in my six-week convalescence I've been working on developing some sort of routine moving from bed to chair and back again, and yet protecting my back so it can heal. I'm pretty much failing in that effort by spending way too much time in a chair but I'm maintaining good posture nonetheless, elevating my legs when I can. My deep-knee bends throughout the day are about the only true exercise I'm getting. At least it keeps the blood flowing.
As Emile Zola once wrote "...renfermée dans sa chambre, à regarder voler les mouches", could be all I do but in fact I'm spending a lot more time on the computer these days. I'm sure Zola would have as well. It's my link to the outside world though somewhat frustrating on days like today where the internet access is tenuous at best. I'm being productive with writing, "attending" online courses, and a new activity: learning all about WordPress as I develop another website. WordPress is a platform upon which one can build a website from something as simple as a blog (such as this one) to a full-fledged e-commerce/store site. Some very large companies use WordPress for their websites. Obviously, a platform that can be all things to all people really takes a bit of learning to make it work. I'm enjoying the process so far though I do think down the road I'm going to need a little professional help (Not THAT kind, my mother had me tested!)
Preliminary to a full-fledged website, I'm testing the waters with a FaceBook page called "Papi Says". Eventually one will link to the other but for now, it's just FaceBook. Without revealing how the website will operate, the FaceBook page will give you some idea of eventual content. The concept is simple: provide relevant, interesting and/or useful information that also serves to entertain. As someone probably more famous than I once wrote, the internet is the greatest library in the world but all the books are on the floor. I hope to sort through those books for you and bring, not order out of chaos, but information that will educate and entertain. More on all that later but if you're on FaceBook, or ever thought about it, check out PapiSays and let me know what you think about it so far. If you like it, let all your friends know about it too.
The little tropical bananas have ripened and are simply delicious - my favorite banana by far. We also had a couple of stalks of regular bananas that are just fine and a bunch of plantains too. Can't eat them all so many have been and continue to be given away and quite a few bagged and put into the freezer for late night banana milkshakes and all the other cooking things one can do with bananas. Good thing I like banana bread! There's but one last bunch on a tree and the old trees that will no longer produce have been cut down and given to a our friend Bienvenido for his ducks and pigs. Each tree sprouted several saplings but I thinned them to one apiece and they are growing leaves in preparation for the next crop in about 7-9 months.
We've had a frontal system hanging around for a day or two. Though I don't think it's an early start to the rainy season, it has brought some fine storms and good water. Always nice to have the reserve cistern full and the (relatively) cool nights make sleeping just that much more pleasant. I do believe it is the genesis of the internet issues for it took quite a while not only to get service back...albeit shaky at best...but it appears they had to reset their servers which took a few hours to stabilize.
The puppy that was once "Uno", then for a while "Brutus", is now "Roscoe", a name that seems to suit him far better. A little pistol he is, not at all afraid of mixing it up with the big dogs. Except Khan. Khan just doesn't have the patience for the little guy.
This is a recipe for bacon lovers but also anyone who wants to try a spin on a tasty steak sauce. I will make more of this to have handy for dipping and, yes, steak! First the original recipe from Bon Appétit, then some comments based on last night's results.
GRILLED BACON and STEAK SAUCE
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned tomato sauce
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 pound 1/4-inch-thick slices bacon
For the steak sauce:
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook,
stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then stir in tomato sauce. Simmer for 1 minute; remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in horseradish and let cool completely. Cover and chill (can be made 2 weeks ahead).
For the bacon:
Build a medium-low fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium. Brush grate with oil.
Grill bacon, turning often, until slightly rendered, crispy and charred in spots, about 6 minutes.
Serve bacon with steak sauce.
So that's the idea and a pretty good recipe in its own right. Here's what I would caution/modify the next time I make this...and it won't be in the distant future it's so good:
- Keep in mind you are cooking fat which melts then catches fire. Don't hesitate to take the bacon off the flames and work with indirect heat. Don't cook the bacon crispy. You just want some light charring and if you do it slowly and carefully enough of the fat will melt off and you'll enjoy all the flavors without the calories. But then, who cares about calories...you're eating bacon!
- I think I will try to add some form of extra heat or bite to the steak sauce but nothing that will hide the great horseradish kick. I'm not sure how to do that yet but if you have ideas, please share. A touch more vinegar perhaps... It's also a bit sweet and I will use probably half as much sugar next time.
- The bacon we have here is liquid processed (as most bacon these days), not smoked. Obviously you don't really need smoked bacon for this recipe, but if you have some maple syrup cured bacon, that would be delicious. If you don't, as I don't, I think a spritz of watered-down maple syrup in the few last seconds of cooking would make for a great addition to the flavor combinations.