Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's the Little Things....

Do you want perfect bacon? Sure -- we all do! And now you can!

[The bacon above is doing a kind of "synchronized baconry" thanks to Hubby's arrangement skills -- that's happy bacon!]

But for some backstory: My husband has a deep residing affection for the stuff, but gads -- do I hate cooking it! What a mess. And the fat gets atomized in the air, which causes my eyes to burn, a greasy film gets all over everything and the house reeks of it all day. Yuck. Poor Hubby would pine for the stuff, but I'd dig my heels in until...well...he started to resemble a big-eyed black velvet painting of some forlorn child.

But lo! -- it pays to have a friend who's a foodie...Sonya! She expertly pointed out, "Don't cook it on the stove top in a pan -- cook it in the oven!" Hark! The greasy cloud broke and I heard a loud HOSANNAH!

Take a baking sheet, put foil on it, then slap on those strips. For our gas stove at about 3,000 feet above sea level, we found that 425˚ for 15 minutes is just right, but tinker to see what works for you. You can cook a bunch at a time, too. But no more mess!
No more wiping and scrubbing a greasy grody ooooky pan, or wiping up greasy mess from your stove top. And no more curled strips or uncooked ruffled fatty areas. And no stink in the house! Just perfectly cooked, flat bacon. Then let the fat cool on the foil, and toss! Praise be! Thank you, Sonya! Anyway, just thought I'd share. It's the little things in life that can make such a difference.

Along those lines, I've been terribly remiss in posting to this blog, I know. But I've been working through a bought of troubling depression brought on by Eppie's passing. Somehow finding enthusiasm to do most anything was like trying to squeeze dried oil paint out of the tube. I haven't worked one minute in the studio since returning from back East. I just couldn't muster up the will or enthusiasm. It's been terrible. I can't remember when I've felt this kind of creative desert. The Haffie mare has been peering at me from the studio, but I couldn't even pick her up. So I've been focusing on the Summer 2009 issue of The Boat, and finishing up some articles and illustrations for it. It's more cerebral than emotional (like art is) so I can circumvent my depression a bit better with that sort of thing.

However...leave it to Pixar and good ol' Mom to cast a bright light into a dark mood! If you do anything this weekend, make sure seeing the Pixar movie "Up" is on your schedule. I'm serious. Go. You are going to love it. Personally, I just don't know how Pixar can keep hitting home runs with each movie. Maybe there's something magic in their coffee or they were all born under some divine planetary alignment. You wonder, "How can they come up with this stuff -- so well done and better all the time? HOW?" All I can come up with is "genius" and "magic." It's a perfect film. You'll cry, you'll laugh, you'll root for the heroes! You're marvel at the imagination in the script and the beauty of the film. You'll appreciate the messages and the core sweetness of the human soul in it, too. The movie has such heart and it's so original. It's movies like this that remind you why movie making is worthwhile.


I was charmed! And when that Dobie started talking in that voice, I completely lost it in the theater. I can't remember when I laughed that hard -- and had to hold it in (for the sake of the other viewers!). What a brilliant take on the typical talking-animal found in so many movies. Again, genius. Mom particularly busted up during the sword fight, with all the "aging body" issues coming into play.

Anyway -- now I can say that my depression has started to lift, thanks to a day with Pixar and Mom. I can finally start looking "up" from the dark hole I was in. I have lots to post in the upcoming week (it really stacked up), and for the first time in weeks...I want to get to work again. Me thinks tomorrow, I shall restart work on Ms. Haffie...

"No one else but you can rise up
You know what to do, got to get up
No more looking down, look up
Come and claim your crown, got to get up, got to get up"
~ Lyrics from "Got to Get Up" by Siouxsie and the Banshees

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