Ruining, running and weekends gone awry

Sometimes things just don’t work out. You have the best of intentions, you really do, but things just get detoured or ruined. Or cancelled. Down the crapper. It happens. And that was my weekend last weekend.

Ok, that makes it sound perhaps a bit more dramatic than necessary. In truth, my “weekend awry” was just a couple of, what some would call, typical “hashtag-first-world-problems,” to be sure. No one died. The house is still standing.

It’s not like I scorched the crap out of an entire pound of perfectly good bacon.

Except for that last one, which I totally did. So yeah, it was basically a travesty.

Saturday morning, in anticipation of both Chris and me traveling the next week, I did a little fridge clean-out and stumbled upon a full pound of Trader Joe’s Bacon Ends and Pieces.

bacon ends and pieces“Holy crap,” me says. “How have these gone uneaten?”
“Beats us!” the bacon pieces chimed in, all singsongy and Disney-like. Followed promptly by, “You should braise us in beer and serve us on sammies, yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!”

So that was my plan. Braise those chatty little ends with brown sugar, hot chilis and lager, quasi-a-la The Food Yenta (have we established her bacon genius?), and then serve them piled on brioche buns with a little melted 1,000 Day Old Gouda, a smear of fig jam and thinly sliced Honeycrisp apples.

I KNOW. Trust me, I know.

But no, I had to get all clever and think that, by turning the oven off an hour early, I could leave that bacon to braise in the residual (and diminishing, right?) heat for an extra 30 mins, maybe 60, while I ran errands. Fast forward two hours and my lovely bacon is literally a grease-laden pot of Kingsford. As in burnt. To a crisp.

I almost took a picture, but my body was so wracked with sobs, I couldn’t get the phone to focus.

Such a rookie mistake. Such a silly, stupid, shortcut move that totally backfired. But what can you do?

I’ll tell you what you can do! You can rally and make grilled cheese, dammit. You can open a bottle of wine, rent Men In Black III on pay-per-view and just chill out. You can go and buy a Christmas tree, ohyesyoucan. And everything will just fall back into place.

Until, that is, you find out at 9pm that The North Face Endurance Challenge you’ve been training your butt off doing practically nothing to prepare for over the past two months has been rained out the next day, and your super awesome Sunday funday is now looking like the pits.

See that? It’s called a double whammy.

To recap: 1) Crying tears into burnt bacon. 2) Cancelled 10k.

And then it got better. Encouraged by Chris and Em, who were also scheduled to run the race, we pulled ourselves together and ran a 10k anyway. It was less trail running and more (super duper hilly) neighborhood, but it felt pretty good — and chasing it with a meatball hoagie, a few slices and some beer felt pretty darn good, too. So did decorating the Christmas tree, assembling our first-ever gingerbread house and enjoying a little more of that wine.

Emily Post-10k 12-2012Not The North Face Endurance Challenge 10k, but we cranked it out!

Trader Joe's Gingerbread House Kit          ChristmasTree2012
Holiday decorating: the consolation activity of choice for a weekend gone awry…

So now here I am, a few days later, and my overall recollection of the weekend has more to do with what we made of it and less to do with my coaltastrophe.

You could even say we made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. If that ear was a carcinogenic pile of smoking pork side, that is.

Oh, who am I kidding.
I’m still sad.

Recipe: Bacon, bean & bells chili
Season's greetings from The Pig & Quill!