Variety definitely has its place, but at times it can be more of a burden than a blessing. This is especially true these days when grocery shopping.
For practically every type of food sold at the grocery store, there are at least two if not four or five options. One example would be baked beans. There are original, brown sugar and honey, bold and spicy, barbecue, homestyle, country style, maple cured bacon, onion, and vegetarian — to name just a few. Having so many options can be nice, but very often it is also confusing and at times even frustrating. The days of sending Hubby to the store to pick up a can of beans without explicit instructions as to which ones I want are over.
Paying attention to every label and double checking every item you pick from the shelves is essential if you want to get home and not have to run right back out to the store because you picked up the wrong thing. Unless, of course, you can somehow “fix” what you bought to work in whatever you are making that night.
This afternoon Grace and I did some grocery shopping for a few things I needed for dinner as well as the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. One of the items on my list was thick sliced bacon. As we walked up and down the aisles, I grabbed a package of thick sliced bacon and when our list was complete headed for the checkout and then home.
When it came time to make dinner I pulled out the bacon and to my dismay discovered that I’d picked up maple bacon instead of smoked. I hadn’t even thought to look any farther than “thick sliced.” I knew full well that there were more flavor options than smoked, and yet in the rush to get my shopping done, I forgot to double check.
Not wanting to go back out to fight rush-hour traffic back to the store, I opted to search for a way to “fix” the bacon I had. In Googling how to remove the maple flavor, there were no suggestions. They only thing that came close was how to remove the smoke flavor or too much salt from bacon. I already knew how to do this, but had hoped that there was some miracle cure for the maple flavor.
Deciding I had to try something, I opted to see if the same method for removing the smoke or salt would work on the maple. Removing the bacon from the package I washed it under running cold water and then put it in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes. Next I rinsed the bacon again, put it in a fry pan with two cups of water, brought it to a full boil, and cooked it until most of the water was gone, about 15 minutes.
From there I continued to cook the bacon until it was crisp.
Finally it was time to see if I’d wasted $5.99 on a package of bacon and would have to go back out to the store. I tasted it. Wow, not a hint of maple flavor was left. Unfortunately all of the wonderful saltiness of the bacon was gone as well, but this could easily be remedied by adding some salt to the recipe I was using the bacon in.
Washing, soaking, boiling/blanching, and then cooking had worked. So, if you happen to buy the wrong type of bacon flavor, be it maple, smoked, or perhaps one that’s just too salty, the same technique will work to remedy your error. Maybe not something I would want to make a habit of doing, but it sure saved me today, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.