There are about three things in this world that I do really well. One of them is cooking bacon. Another is eating bacon.
I post on Facebook frequently about my love of bacon. So much so that my friends mention or tag me anytime bacon is mentioned on the Internet anywhere. I have unintentionally created the perception that I eat an entire pig a week. Truth be told, I only eat two pieces of bacon every seven days. Almost all of those heavenly slices are consumed on Saturday morning during my weekly pancake & bacon ritual.
When the kids were little I started cooking pancakes and bacon every Saturday. I wanted to make sure they had at least one nice thing to say about me at my funeral someday. I figured “Remember how dad made us pancakes and bacon every Saturday?” would be good enough. Plus, I know how strongly our memories are tied to smells, so I also hope that long after I’m gone they’ll remember dad standing in the kitchen in his underwear holding a spatula, grinning from ear to ear and bragging about his perfect pancakes whenever they get a whiff of bacon or maple syrup.
Imagine waking up to that smell every Saturday morning for your entire childhood. It’s not father-of-the-century award winning stuff, but it should at least get me nominated, don’t you think?
Knowing I’m showing my kids I love them (even if they don’t realize it until I’m dead) is the best part of this ritual. The second best part? I get to eat 2 slices of perfectly cooked bacon every week. And I don’t just wolf it down. There’s a second ritual that I perform to make sure I get full enjoyment from every mouth-watering slice.
How To Eat Bacon:
I discovered a few years ago that bacon and coffee are a magical combination. But to experience this magic, you have to slow down and savor each bite and each sip. This is counter-culture. Go to any Waffle House across America and you will see people shoveling bacon into their mouths by the pound. This is not good for you or the pig.
My discovery was an accident. While making my pancakes one day I absent-mindedly bit off a chunk of bacon, got distracted for a moment and forgot what I was doing. So I absent-mindedly picked up my coffee cup and slurped some of the brew. And the coffee tasted BETTER. Like a LOT better.
Just to prove I wasn’t imagining things, I took another bite, then another sip. I suddenly knew how Einstein felt when he discovered the Theory of Relativity. Eating bacon absent-mindedly while I cooked was no longer an option. I was enlightened. From that moment on I committed to being much more intentional about my bacon consumption.
Now, after I finish making pancakes for my family, I take my freshly brewed coffee and my 2 strips of bacon perfection, sit in front of the fireplace, and spend the next several minutes not just eating and drinking, but enjoying every bite and every sip. It is almost a religious experience. I have been known to take 10-15 minutes to eat 2 pieces of bacon. Sometimes, it is the best 15 minutes of my entire week.
This isn’t just a cute insight into what happens in my house on Saturday mornings. It also isn’t an attempt to get you to picture me in my kitchen in my underwear, although I bet you are now. No, this is an encouragement to both you and me to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life on a much more regular basis.
It is also a reminder to be intentional about how we spend our time and not always be in a rush to get things done. There really IS joy and fun and beauty and deliciousness in the process of many ordinary activities. When all we do is check off the boxes on our to-do list, we can miss some pretty fantastic stuff.
My bacon ritual is just one example. What do you intentionally take time to enjoy that would be easy to miss otherwise? Share it in the comments below!