My husband, son and I took a lovely 30 minute trip to Gizdich Ranch to pick...er, buy ten pounds of olallieberries. The place was packed with folks, so I decided to spend $3.00 a pound on boxed fresh olallieberries rather than $1.80 a pound if we picked them ourselves. I also purchased a bottle of their olallieberry syrup, which cost almost $7.00. (I made a mental note to learn how to make my own.)
Tip: I buy Chinese restaurant style takeout boxes at a local restaurant supply (for pennies each) and freeze my berries. (Extra tip: I also use these takeout boxes when gifting guests with food to take home...I don't lose my personal containers that way, anymore!) These berries are highly perishable, so I don't waste time preserving them. Each box usually yields enough to fill a pie and they store easily in my upright freezer. If you don't know what an olallieberry is, I'm so sorry!
Think of them as a blackberry, boysenberry and marionberry all in one. They are sweet and tart, and my husband and son are crazy about them.
As special treat, I made candied bacon. Colleen, of the blog "Colleen's Recipes" (she's a sweetheart who blogs wonderful recipes just about every single day) posted that she didn't have success with hers. Well, Colleen, I'm going to show you how I finally perfected this recipe.
First, the bacon. Preheat your oven to 400F:
I use a baking sheet, lined with foil (for faster cleanup). I use a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet and line the bacon slices evenly-- I buy thicker cut bacon. I don't measure-- I just sprinkle brown sugar and then pop into the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, I removed my frozen berries (blueberries work just fine, too). I quick thaw them with some cold water.
Once I make my pancake batter and get the griddle ready, I am ready to go! Pay close attention to the bacon, though! The brown sugar can easily caramelize and then burn. As the fat renders, you might get smoke. After 10 minutes, I remove the bacon and turn them over with tongs. I sprinkle a little brown sugar on the other side and turn down the oven to 350F. Here' where you want to be careful, though. It can take 5-10 minutes more for the bacon to be ready-- I just check on it, to make sure I don't burn it. I'm speaking from experience!
For the pancakes, I drop some berries into the batter. The heat will finish thawing them out.
The bacon is ready...how good does this look? My boys are really happy. I can already see them eying the candied bacon, and calculating how many pieces they each get. I'm not surrendering my share! I don't eat bacon very often, but this is a treat.
What a breakfast! The sun is nowhere in sight, so it's a good day to bake. I have so many recipes I've bookmarked, I don't know where to start!
I would like to take this opportunity to express how much I appreciate each and every person who reads my blog. Those of you who, faithfully, leave comments-- it means a lot to me. Some of you leave comments, but I don't know how to email you! If I could, I would like to send you a personal note of thanks.
Food blogging is evolving into a hobby, a passion and a lot of fun. I've made a lot of wonderful foodie friends-- we speak the same language and love to talk about our passion in the kitchen.
PS: Go visit Colleen's blog. She makes comfort food and beautiful baked goods every weekday, bless her heart! Tell her I sent you and wear a bib-- I've bookmarked several of her recipes.