Bacon, Books and Raising Boys

by Holly on March 3, 2012


So, nothing exciting happened today… and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. No doctor appointments, no major storms, no one was seriously injured – just the usual bumps and bruises of raising wild and rambunctious boys. Some days I’m not entirely sure how Kayla and I survive it!

Directly related to dealing with boys are the topics addressed in the title of this post.

First, the bacon. My boys are not *good* eaters (ironic, I know). By *good* I mean that they are really small for their ages and Cole in particular is still slipping of the growth charts all the time. I had to laugh today when I overheard another mom telling her son he needed to eat more fruit and vegetables. My kids are told they have to eat more fattening foods and protein and can’t have their fruit and veggies until dessert. Seriously. Whateves. It’s a struggle to teach them to eat the good foods they love and actually eat enough for a growing boy (and not just enough for a baby bird)!

I live in topsy-turvy world.

That said, the reason I wanted to talk about bacon is because I’ve only found one way to make it that my boys like to eat it best.

Thick cut, country-style bacon, baked in the oven until deep golden and mostly crispy. I make batches of bacon that I can keep cooked in the fridge throughout the week for an easy protein fix on weekday mornings. All my boys usually want for breakfast is a little homemade granola with a few chocolate chips and some vanilla yogurt, so having a quick warmed piece of bacon to tempt them with helps get that protein.

Also related to raising boys, did you ever read those ‘Choose Your Own Adventure‘ books when you were a kid? I remember my older brother loved them, and that I read one too and thought it was fun, but more for boys. I don’t think that’s necessarily true, but I was a bit of a bookworm and reading things like Little Women, all the Anne of Green Gables series, Heidi, A Little Princess and the like when I was in elementary. I was constantly reading something (and still am).

Anyway, I came across the Choose Your Own adventure series books at my local Barnes and Noble though and knew they would be perfect for Aidan. With 29 possible endings he is excited to read these books and is already devouring #16 – Secret of the Ninja (you don’t have to read them in order- this was just a title I thought he would like). I’m not sure how many are in the series, but they cover all kinda of adventures (space, inca gold, under the ocean, and lots more). So, if you have a grade schooler who loves to read, but is having a hard time transitioning into chapter books (and not just comics or picture books that aren’t a challenge) let me know if you think you’d give these a try.

Country-Style Baked Bacon

1 lb thick cut country style bacon
1 tablespoon brown sugar or 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – both optional, plain is shown here

Line a baking sheet with foil and a wire rack that fits the pan. Lay your bacon flat and side by side across the wire rack. Place on a rack, centered in a cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Set a timer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes your bacon will be mostly cooked, but not crispy because most of that time the oven would have been preheating. Set the timer for 5 minute increments until you get the color desired. Don’t wait too long because it can go from just right to burning quickly. I usually bake the bacon for about 30 minutes, then turn the oven off an let the residual heat finish it off, usually about 35-40 minutes total. If you are doing the brown sugar version I recommend you definitely do it this way (using the residual heat) because the sugars can start to burn. Remove from the wire rack when done to a paper towel lined plate and serve warm. Allow bacon to cool completely before storing leftovers (if there are any!) in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, place the bacon pieces folded in a small piece of parchment and microwave in 15 second intervals just until you hear it sizzle.


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Merrilee March 4, 2012 at 7:02 am

Great post! My guy is also small, and loves bacon! I want to run right out for some bacon now! For my hubby and I we usually eat turkey bacon – have you ever tried that with this method? (it’s usually thin so this may not work)

And those adventure books- I loved those! I have to remember to look for some for my guy (he’s 8) next time I hit the library. I just got done reading him Jack London’s White Fang and Call of the Wild (he still hasn’t hit the stage where HE wants to do the reading- but I’m always trying to hook him). Those books were published more than 100 years ago! And much rougher around the edges than I recall but still great reading. You can almost feel the cold and hunger.

Holly March 4, 2012 at 8:58 am

Hi and thanks! I haven’t tried baking turkey bacon, but it should work with the same method. I’d try a lower temperature, like 350, and set the timer for 15 minutes first then keep a close eye on it from there until it is almost the color you like. Let me know how it goes. πŸ™‚

I loved those Jack London books too, but kind of did remember the rough edges, so we’re waiting. My oldest (also an 8YO boy) has started to like to read for himself, but he is very tender hearted and literal. If you want another unsolicited suggestion πŸ˜‰ you could try some of Roald Dahl’s books – like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – they are all great books, but if your kiddo is sensitive to stuff that borders on scary, then I would hold off on ones like The BFG and Matilda.

Also, a few more of our faves are A Cricket in Times Square, The Trumpet of the Swan, and The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Happy Reading! If you have any more suggestions for me I’d love to hear them!


Krista March 4, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Mmmmm. Bacon.

I’ll have to check out those books for my bugger. I bet he would like them!

Dana B March 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm

yep, I do my bacon in the oven as well, tho less crispy ’cause of my hubby. We have to limit bacon around here tho we’d love to eat it every day πŸ™‚

I had forgot all about the different ending books! I was a big mystery person – Trixie Beldon, Alfred Hitchcock, Encyclopedia Brown, etc. Don’t get the time for books much now ’cause when I do, I’m reading to my kids. Tried reading The Tao of Pooh to them the other night when they were wired. Worked like a charm; they were asleep in 5 minutes πŸ™‚

Andrea March 6, 2012 at 8:58 am

Hi – I just found your site through NaBloPoMo and will be back for more recipes. Love your pictures by the way!

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