September 2, 2011

Invalid Cookery...Recipe: Bacon Potato Salad

First off, you're going to need an oven full of bacon. Since it's hard to find ovens sold that way any more you'll need to load the bacon yourself. You can start the process with pigs, which is the traditional method, but I don't find much difference in flavor when I buy bacon straight from the store. Plus it saves time.

Lay slices straight into the oven. Stack them till they form a catastrophe of meat, shut the door and light the fire. At this point I realize I should have told you about balloons. You need them to store the smoke, which is what we want in the end, after all. It's fine if you don't have any. Who keeps balloons these days anyway? Use pillowcases or condoms or just improvise, you'll do fine. Find the leak in your oven—there is always one—and hose the draft into your balloons, filling a dozen, a hope's chest worth. Sore them in a cool, dry place.

Let the bacon continue to cook at body temperature. This can take between two and six months. This is a good time to get some other things done, like a divorce.

The potatoes are probably the second most important part of potato salad. You can find them under the earth in the fall. Store them in complete darkness till you need them. For obvious reasons it's important not to surprise them into the light. Better no light at all. Shutter the kitchen, turn off the electricity, work at night. Rub them for luck, remove their pinched eyes. Cup them in your hands, and, one by one, slip them into a lidded pot, boiling with brackish water and leaves from your yard (if you like that sort of thing).

The next part, well, frankly, here I always get a little lost. You need to mix the potatoes and the bacon smoke and some other ingredients, the number and identity of which escapes me. I remember green things, maybe scallion and fennel. There is yellow, an egg yolk, or maybe it's magic marker. And something red, but for the life of me I can't imaging what it is. To be honest, it's just a salad, so who fucking cares. Just fill it with what you have and let it go.

When you think it's ready, pack it in a small stone box and refrigerate. Serves 2 or 3, depending. Best eaten by someone who is leaving.