Bacon

I was rummaging through the freezer when something caught my eye. Bacon.

But, this wasn’t just any bacon, this was fully-cooked bacon.

I reached into the door of the freezer and removed the smaller-than-normal package. I read the label. It said that it did not require refrigeration or freezing. So, this bacon presumably could last forever, putting it in the same class as Hostess Twinkies and Velveeta.

I’m guessing that my wife put this bacon in the freezer out of habit.

So, how was ...

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The Pioneer Skillet

My momma’s skillet and this columnist are featured in the fall issue of the Pioneer Woman Magazine.

Well, it used to be my momma’s skillet. She gave it to me when I left home almost 40 years ago.

And there it is on page 72 of Ree Drummond’s new magazine.

If by chance, you aren’t familiar with Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), she has built a media empire that grew out of a blog she began writing in 2006. It chronicles her daily ...

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Going Dutch

A number of years ago, I stumbled across a television program on what was then a new cable offering called the RFD-TV channel. A man named Cee Dub was on the screen cooking an entire meal using only Dutch ovens. I was fascinated.

I vaguely remembered these cast iron pots with three legs from my days in the Scouts. I made it through Cub Scouts and Webelos, but only a year or so of Boy Scouts. By about age 12, I ...

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The Canning Jar Quest

Forty-five years ago, my mother began collecting a series of antique canning jars. I can’t remember why this happened, but my best guess is that she came across one that was unique, she liked it, and she bought it.

This purchase would start a chain reaction and a multi-year search for my family.

Specifically, she sought green Atlas jars with glass lids. These were also known as “Lightning Jars.” Allegedly, the name came from how much faster they were to open than ...

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Diners, Drive-Ins and Memories

Chain restaurants are rapidly replacing what I believe has been one of the best facets of small town America: the local diner or restaurant.

Unexpectedly and unannounced, the drive-in in our small town closed last week. In fairness, it was a Sonic, which technically is a chain restaurant, but it wasn’t a corporate location, it was locally owned.

Whenever we lose an eatery that was owned by someone who lives in our town, we lose a little bit of who we are.

After ...

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Thanksgiving Memories

Our major holidays are centered around faith. Easter, Hanukkah, and Christmas focus on God. So does Thanksgiving, but it focuses on appreciating what the other holidays represent.

My earliest memories of Thanksgiving are of my sister and me riding in the back seat of my mom’s 1960 model Buick and traveling from one grandparent’s house to the other. I was very fortunate as a child. Virtually all members of both sides of my family lived in the same town.

Ashdown, Arkansas, was ...

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The Crock-Pot Crackpots

During a recent discussion with coworkers, someone asked me what was typically served every Sunday after church when I was a kid.

Of course, I said pot roast.

Pot roasts migrated from the oven to the Crock-Pot during my childhood. The Crock-Pot was and still is the perfect cooking appliance for a pot roast. It was also the original set-it-and-forget-it appliance.

Moms would get up in the morning and sear the roast in a cast iron skillet, then toss it ...

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Cooking Up Memories

My wife and I love to buy old cookbooks. I find most of them at estate sales.
The families who are selling them are indifferent and I’m sure they have never looked for or seen the notes that their mom, grandmother, or great grandmother, scribbled in the margins.

So, for 25¢ or 50¢, I take home the guidebook for so many of their memorable family meals.

But, some of the best recipes are not found in a cookbook. They were found in ...

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Gardens And Grandma

As a kid, I hated the vegetable garden. If you stood on our back porch, it was to your left. It took up the entire corner of our large yard.

To me, gardens were work and nothing more. From planting, to weeding, to harvesting, to canning, it was a waste of valuable play time. It also took away the area of the yard that the neighborhood kids and I liked using for a baseball diamond.

I would watch television and see advertisements ...

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When You’re Hot, You’re Hot

As tears ran down my face, in a raspy voice I mumbled, “You owe me a dollar.”

Ms. Bettie was one of the senior checkers at the Piggly Wiggly. She had bet me a dollar that I couldn’t eat a whole, raw jalapeño.

She was right. But with all of our coworkers watching, I was not about to admit defeat.

I was 17 and had never eaten a hot pepper. But, like most guys that age, I was all gas pedal, and no ...

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