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Bacon Bad: Blue Bacon Rock Candy

Blue bacon "crystal meth." You're welcome :-)
“Daisy, this Year of the Horse prediction-shit,” my cousin said, “Is exactly that: horseshit.”

I’m normally not a superstitious person , but lately I’ve been susceptible to all this talk about horoscopes and zodiacs. Contrary to what most people might think, the Year of the Horse is not lucky for those born in Horse Years. Speaking in general, the potential for you to fail increases a billion-fold when your Chinese zodiac animal year comes up. Why? Because my people are just messed up like that.

Even though your zodiac animal’s years are special ones, they can also leave you more vulnerable to bad luck and impending doom if you are not careful. To compensate for all the bad luck that you will likely experience this year, the universe promises — as a reward for your suffering — that next year will be amazing!

In addition to predicted “[c]onflicts, disasters, record high temperatures, an economic chill in Asia and more trouble for Justin Bieber,” this year of the Wooden Horse will also bring “some discomforts” such as “insidious diseases like dermatosis” to Horses. Women “should pay attention to problem in urinary system and males need to care more about their stomach.” Everyone should “be careful to avoid unexpected injuries by knives and other sharp items” and “remember not to eat too much for each meal.”

In particular reference to that last item, I am already so screwed.

Apparently the only people set to have a worse year than me in 2014 are those born under the sign diametrically opposed to the Horse on the zodiac wheel: the Rat.

Many apologies for this bad news, dear Rat Friends.

To combat the Heavens, I am supposed to A) exercise some feng shui cures — which are almost impossible to accomplish if you live in a studio apartment like myself and B) avoid having horse or donkey on the table this year.

(On a side note, only the Chinese would think to remind you not to eat your zodiac animal during your zodiac animal year.)

I remember the last Year of the Horse as being one of the worst years of graduate school that I had ever had. It was so bad that I moved to France (unbeknownst to me at the time, apparently traveling mitigates your bad luck since you will be physically removed from any potentially disastrous situations at home and can inflict your misfortune on a bunch of strangers instead). Furthermore, my grandmother died while I was away.

Horseshit,” my cousin reiterated. “And I might remind you that your grandmother didn’t die. Our grandmother died.”

Touché, dear Cousin, but as I watched our family bicker around the table at New Year’s Dinner, I couldn’t help but think it was an omen, a portent of things to come. It didn’t help that every conversation that I had in the two weeks following Chinese New Year’s Day was awkward and stilted. Those interactions were so uncomfortable that I was beginning to think that 2014 would be better off spent in a menstrual hut somewhere in the New Mexican desert.

During that time I thought, “Oh no. It’s starting. Pretty soon, dormant volcanos will erupt and rising sea levels will cover and erase Indonesia.”

I was so in the dumps that an Indian colleague, deciding that enough was enough, pulled me aside one day. “Daisy!” she said while looking me straight in the eye, “In my country everyone is superstitious! I used to be so superstitious! Until I finally told myself that this was ridiculous and I am the only one who controls my destiny!”

Although it sounded like a load motivational speaker clichés, I was oddly swayed by S. Maybe it was the conviction with which she told me to (wo)man up and stop whining. Maybe it was the fact that I was already tired of being anxious about 11 more months of social ineptitude and imminent disaster. In any case, I was finally able to pull myself out of my funk and look forward to what 2014 might bring.

One of the resolutions that I have made this year besides learning to rock a funky, colorful sock (a much more challenging endeavor for me than you would think), is to wrap up loose ends from last year instead of just avoiding them until they are no longer relevant. At the very top of that list is this blog post which has been sitting in my drafts folder for an absurdly long time.

So finally, dear Readers and Hormel Foods who — as a sponsor of the Brooklyn Bacon Takedown  — technically owns this recipe and to whom I was supposed to submit a copy over 4 months ago, here is how to make Bacon Bad, aka Blue Bacon Crystal Meth. 

Special equipment:

Two half-sized sheet pans

One candy thermometer

Popsicle sticks

Ingredients:

1 pound of bacon

4 cups of granulated white sugar

1 1/3 cups of light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups of water

Sky Blue gel food coloring

How to prepare:

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a half-sheet pan. Roast the bacon until it is really crispy and most of the fat is rendered, about 20 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and let dry/drain until it is cool enough to handle. Either crumble or cut the bacon into bacon bits.

2. Combine the sugar, the corn syrup, and the water in a 4-quart saucepan. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and it just begins to boil. Stop stirring and insert the candy thermometer. Let the mixture bubble and boil until the syrup reaches the 300°.

3. While the sugar syrup is boiling, wash and throughly dry the sheet pan that you used to roast the bacon. Line both half-sheet pans with parchment paper.

4. When the sugar syrup has reached 300°, turn off the heat and remove the saucepan from the burner. Use a popsicle stick to quickly stir in a very small drop of food coloring (a little goes a very long way). Once the color is even distributed, divide the syrup between the two lined sheet pans. Tip the pans very carefully to make sure that the syrup spreads out and evenly covers the entire bottom of the pans. Divide the bacon bits into two equal portions and sprinkle each evenly on top of each tray of candy. Let the candy cool completely.

4. Once the candy has completely cooled, take a mallet, a hammer, or a meat tenderizer and crack the candy into very small pieces/crystals. Transfer the candy to airtight zipper-lock bags.

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36 Comments

  1. I know I am supposed to say that you are right to shrug this stuff off, but I so understand what you mean because when I was 24 I had the crappiest year of the rabbit ever. Then again, with enough bacon I guess any sort of year is tolerable… Fend off those bad tidings with bacon!

    • I hear you. It’s totally irrational, but there is something about reading horoscope after horoscope that says your year is going to be crap that just gets to you. But now I have this marvelous image in my mind of people beating back wooden horses with bâtons made of crispy bacon :-)

  2. Fabulous recipe! I’m completely with Garden Corrspondent, bacon conquers everything! I’m glad you feel better now, dear Daisy! xox

  3. Well, now that you know what to expect in the Year of the Horse, I sincerely hope it turns out much better than expected. :)

  4. Steve

    Silly, baseless superstitions make people needlessly suffer and hold back the advance of civilization. Bacon, on the other hand, does the exact opposite.

  5. If that isn’t fusion food then I don’t know what is. As for Breaking Bad; we attended a hats and wigs party a while a go. We went as Walt and Skyler. I had the sahdes and the pork pie hat (no way am I shaving my head and growing a goatee though) and the Mrs got a blond wig and a A1 carwash t shirt. I also ordered some blue meth from Amazon. At least that’s what it said. What I actually got was a bag of blue dyed granulated sugar – crap! Only then did I read the revues. Mind y9ou it didn;t matter – no one else at the party had heard of Walt or Breaking Bad. Seriously where had these people been?

    • The recipe definitely came together as a collaborative effort. I just feel very lucky to have so many creative friends that were able to contribute their awesome energies to my Takedown entry!

      As for your party, that sounds like a terrific costume you and your wife came up with. I can’t believe that no one else at the party had heard or seen Breaking Bad though. Did it not make it over there yet?

      And the next time you need yourself some bacon crystal meth, don’t go through amazon! I got you supplied!

  6. poodle

    Your bacon meth is so pretty and sparkly. I thinks it’s quite possible the oddest candy I’ve ever tried. It’s hard to go wrong with salty and sweet. Bacon makes everything better.

    • It was pretty and sparkly! The sugar-free version that I did was even prettier but I preferred the taste of real sugar. As for bacon making everything better, trying to think of something it would not make better . . . nope. Drew a blank :-)

  7. Oh Daisy. I hope you post a photo of yourself sometime this year, rocking a colorful sock. Or two. Your recipes are always so surprising, and funny, and YOU. I trust you won’t be offended that I just called you a piece of candy-meth with bacon in it. Because, you know. (I’m a Horse – perhaps I have been hit by the awkwardness thing? Um.)

    • I will! It’s been . . . challenging to rock a funky sock. My students keep telling me I have to get some of these Happy Socks from Sweden, but they’re $12 a pair — which I think is absurd for socks!

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind comment! I’m not offended in the slightest! I’m sure you have escaped the universe’s wrath this year, but if you ever feel the need, I think we can make some room in the menstrual hut for you ;-)

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