Each year we pack up enough beer (Brewers Art Resurrection) for four people for four days and head to the mountains of Vermont to stuff our faces and sit on the sofa of our friends on their little hill farm in Stowe. Below is Tadcaster the ATV pup sporting his doggles on a run to the mailbox.
We were warned this year to expect a new addition to the household, as besides the sheep, chickens, dogs and cats , we now have angora fur bunnies and a house bunny that hangs out next to the wood stove eating raisins (5, no more, no less).
The foliage was beautiful, just past peak so it was raining golden leaves. My sweetie and I took a lovely ride over Smuggler's Notch to go in search of the 2 gallons of maple syrup that we need to get us through the winter. While investigating the possibilities in Jeffersonville, we came across a sign for smoked meat at Hanley's Market. We went in to take a look and bacon looked and smelled glorious!! Asking them what they smoked it over resulted in the correct answer.... cob smoked, bingo.
Now, it must be said that most years we get our bacon from Singleton's Store in Proctorsville, VT. We have an arrangement with friends that anyone in the vicinity must pick up bacon. This is a 2.5 hour ride each way from Stowe. After the 9 hour drive, we were not in the mood for more driving, so finding a cob-smoked bacon 1/2 hour from Stowe was quite exciting and required a taste test. Our friends were definitely not opposed.
Luckily our friends had some of the Singleton's bacon in the freezer, so we popped that open, popped open the Hanley's bacon and proceeded to have a bacon-off. I cooked them up in separate pans as you can see so I didn't "sully" the taste of one with the other. They all believe that bacon should be cooked until it is dead, I, for one, believe it should be slightly undercooked. They go their way, very dark bacon. On the left, the bacon from Singleton's, on the right, bacon from Hanleys.
I wasn't up to eating bacon all by itself so I whipped up some pancakes, Tam made pumpkin muffins in her new leaf muffin pan and we sat down to our taste test.
The verdict.... Delicious! Both brands of bacon were tasty, but you could tell the Singletons had been frozen as it was slightly acidic and a bit more dry than the other. The Hanley's store bacon was crispy and smoky and altogether a VERY acceptable substitute for the Singleton's store bacon. Next year we shall stock up, as of right now, Josh just stocked us up with Singletons so we have four pounds in the freezer. Brunch anyone?