My good friend, Michael, hosted a Drink & Draw at his place on Saturday. Well, ostensibly it was a Drink & Draw. In reality it was a Drink & Eat & Play Dirty Cards. No drawing was to be had. We did TALK about drawing, at least, so that’s something. We also did drink. A lot. We definitely had the drinking part of the Drink & Draw covered. We also ate a lot of tasty food – nice cheeses, gluten-free crackers, grapes, corned beef & cabbage, lots of dark chocolate, etc. It was all very tasty. What was my contribution to the festivities, you may ask? Any guesses? I’ll just tell you – Devils on Horseback (aka the boringly named “bacon wrapped dates”).
This was my first attempt at making these tasty treats, but not my first attempt at eating them. I generally love dates, so when I saw them on the Biaggi’s New Years menu in 2013, I had to try them. They BLEW MY MIND. They were so delicious. So I finally got around to trying them on Saturday.
They are incredibly easy to make – you just cut bacon in half, wrap it around dates, stick them in the oven to cook, and then hit them with the broiler. They turned out pretty damn tasty too. However, next time I make these I will broil them for about 3 minutes and then flip them and broil them on the other side for 3 minutes. My dates got a little too toasty on the top when I broiled them on one side for 5 minutes. I would also like to try the modification mentioned in the recipe and stuff the dates with goat cheese before wrapping them in bacon. I think that would be amazing.
This is not a cheap treat, what with the cost of dates and pork these days, and with the high carb content of dates, this is not something you should be eating a ton of anyway. I think I ate 3 of them at least. They are dangerous.
Now on the “Other Random Shiz.”
My skin, which always does poorly in the winter, was finally starting to clear up and look semi-good, only to regress back to annoyingness. I tried to pin-point the cause of the relapse. All I can think of is that for awhile I was drinking about 1 cup of bone broth a day, but then I ran out, so I stopped. To rectify this situation I journeyed to the Farmers Market on Saturday to pick up some soup bones. I got a few packages of chicken bones for $10, but then. Then, I hit the mother load. I went to the Sawyer Beef guy, and he sold me this for $16:
That is 16 pounds of grass fed marrow bones. I was in heaven. I eagerly carted them home with the intention of separating the bones into more reasonably-sized packages. When I opened the box, I realized that the bones were hopelessly frozen together. After pounding away at them for a few minutes and ruining a perfectly good Pampered Chef wooden spoon, I gave up and just left the bones out to defrost until I could pry them apart.
Once I could break off a few bones, I combined them with apple cider vinegar, a frozen bag of veggie clippings, a chopped onion, a bay leaf, garlic, and filtered water. I set the Nesco on low and let it cook away. I bagged up the rest of the bones into more reasonably-sized packages, but them in our freezer, and headed off to run errands.
When we returned home, we were assaulted by the odor of marrow being forcefully sucked from the insides of large cow bones. I promptly set up a table in the back porch and took the broth out there to cook down in peace.
About 24 hours later, I drained the chunks out of the broth, let the bones cool, and then took a knife to the inside of the bones, pulling out all the marrow that was still remaining. I dumped the chunky marrow into the broth, and then poured the broth in batches into our Vitamix, blending the broth until it was a nice, foamy caramel brown, which I then poured into jars for freezing.
The broth turned out really well, IMHO. I had some yesterday and today and will continue to drink it until my stupid skin starts to behave again.
And that was our weekend! Hope you enjoyed your Saint Patrick’s Day in a healthy, responsible matter. 🙂