Some Recent Dreams

I know, I know, talking about one’s dreams is self-indulgent narcissism, but it’s a tradition at the blork blog. As such, here are brief descriptions of a few recent dreams.

Barack Like Me

I was Barack Obama. I don’t mean I was Barack Obama, I mean I was inside the head of Barack Obama. As in, had I looked into a mirror, I would have seen Barack Obama looking back.

And yes, I was the President of the United States. And how did I wield this magnificent power? I walked out of a darkened board room (very 24), and before the Secret Service guys could get stop me I barged through the security gate (going the other way) and walked over to a vending machine in the public area of whatever building I was in. I bought a bottle of water, waved at some goggle-eyed bystanders, and went back through security and into my meeting.


I was designing a rifle that shot bullets that looked like the swirly onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow. The cutaway drawing of the design is quite vivid in my memory. It makes absolutely no sense in the waking world, but in my dream it was a revolutionary concept.


We got nuked. Not microwaved; nuked. I don’t remember the details, but there was a sense of urgency in the air, and then a flash in the sky and ka-boom, an enormous mushroom cloud rising up into the atmosphere about ten miles away. What I remember thinking was “Hey. I’m still alive.”

Betty Draper World Continues

It seems this fascination with all things Mad Men (or at least Mad Men era) continues. Dinner a few nights ago was right out of Good Housekeeping, circa 1963. (Actually, it was from Christine Cushing circa 2009, but we’re talking influence here.)

Main course: baked orzo with butternut squash and mushrooms, gussied up by me with the addition of a half cup of wild rice, which I pre-cooked.


A peek at the inside (I went a little heavy on the rosemary).

Desert was an apple crumble.

A classic.

Old fashioned om-nom-nominess! (Served with Vanilla-bean ice cream.)

Make Your Own Instant Bacon

Well, “instant” may be overstating it, but here’s a method that will let you have nicely cooked bacon whenever you want, within a matter of seconds. You just have to do a bit of work up front.

I’m offering this as an alternative to store-bought “ready cooked” bacon — you know, that stuff that needs no refrigeration and comes in large boxes containing only a dozen or so slices of bacon at a very high per-slice cost. The advantages of doing it the Blork way are:

  • Way cheaper! (The store-bought kind is not only expensive per-slice, but the slices are paper thin)
  • Less salt and preservatives (ever wonder why that stuff doesn’t need to be refrigerated? With my method you can even use reduced-salt bacon)
  • You choose what kind of bacon to use (Whatever flavor or variety of bacon you like can be used)
  • Less packaging (The freezer bags are reusable and you can use washable cloth towels instead of paper)

What You Need

  • 500g of raw bacon
  • A large non-stick baking sheet
  • A Ziplock-style freezer bag
  • A bit of wax paper
  • Some paper towels or washable cloth towels.
  • An oven (ideally convection)
  • A freezer

What To Do

(1) Pre-heat the oven to 300° F. If you have a convection oven, use it. (Note: don’t use higher heat or the bacon will curl too much — you want it to be flat for easy packaging.)

(2) Spread the bacon in a single layer onto the cold non-stick baking sheet.

raw bacon

(3) Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes (the time may vary by oven and bacon thickness.) Do not overcook! Remember, the bacon will later be zapped in the microwave. You want it nice and golden brown and a bit crispy, but not very crispy.

cooked bacon

(4) Remove the bacon from the oven. Let it cool, then transfer it to a plate covered with a couple of paper or cloth towels.


(5) While the bacon is cooling further, cut some squares of wax paper and fold them in half. Cut enough so you have a square for every four pieces of bacon.

making packets

(6) Place four pieces of cooled bacon into each fold of wax paper.

packing bacon

(7) Stuff all of the packets of bacon into the Ziplock bag, label it, squeeze out the air, and pop it in the freezer.

bagging the bacon

Note: you can put more than four slices in each packet, but the more you put, the more likely they are to stick together and require longer thawing time. It’s better to keep it to four, and take out more packets if you need more instant bacon.

Bacon time!

When you want a few pieces of bacon for your BLT or burger, take a wax paper packet out of the Ziplock bag and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to thaw. (Because of the grease, you should be able to pull the pieces apart without them thawing completely.)

Put a paper or cloth towel on a plate and top with the four slices of bacon spaced evenly apart. Fold the towel over the top.

Zap in the microwave oven. Generally, use about five seconds per slice, but it depends on your oven (monitor it closely).

Voilà! Fast and easy ready to eat bacon, whenever you want it!

Smoked Trout Soufflé

All this Mad Men stuff has gone too far. First it was the Halloween costumes:

I think we should dress like this all the time

And now we’re making soufflé! Which is to say, Martine is making soufflé (with smoked trout from that smoked fish place at the Jean-Talon market).

Om nom nom nom (Big food porn version here.)

Not that I’m complaining; it was delicious!