Bacon T-Shirts, The Pig Cup, And Lots Of Delicious Bacon

By Kerry Bendis

If you happen to be from a rural area, then you are probably familiar with a habit that small towns have of throwing festivals once a year. These festivals usually encompass all of the downtown area and are a pretty big deal. All of these festivals are themed toward something that holds a big significance for the area. Are there tons of cotton farmers in the area? Well, you'll probably be attending a Cotton Festival sometime that year. Our town has Pig Fest, because of all of the pig farms and the pork processing plant here in town. There is always a big cook-off with prizes awarded to the best, and I plan on winning this year. My entry name? Bacon on Bacon Crime. I even have bacon t-shirts to give away.

People have traveled from far out-of-state, just to enjoy our Pig Festival. Some world-class food is prepared for our cooking contest, and available for samples. Everyone who enters is given space for a booth where they serve food to judges and samples to passers-by. Usually, everyone even makes some kind or pig, pork, or bacon t-shirts to promote their entry dish. It really is a fun and exciting way to celebrate the industry that has made our town thrive.

The competition, in general, gets pretty intense some years. Since it is a relatively small town, there are many people who enter year after year. Three local restaurant owners compete with some really excellent pulled-pork BBQ, and have all won several times apiece. There are far more unaffiliated people, though, who come up with unique dishes for the contest. These people compete year after year, and even have groups of local residents who have styled themselves as fans of certain amateur chefs. They even go so far as to wear the pork or bacon t-shirts that were given out by their cook of choice from the previous years.

My dish this year is going to be an undefeatable monster. I have created a ranch-style rub that I will treat my bacon with, and then weave it into a flat sheet of bacon awesomeness. I will then make another sheet of bacon...and then another, just for bacon's sake. I will have a layer of sharp cheddar cheese in between each bacon layer. First, however, the bacon will be cooked by smoking it for several hours. I will then roll the bacon/cheese layers up and slice them to create bacon pinwheels. I will then make the most amazing BLT sandwiches in the world from these. I will then win. People will be wearing my bacon t-shirts and chanting my name.

I think that after I bring out several of these massive bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches that are served on French loaf bread, my fan base is going to jump tremendously. I have always used bacon recipes for my pork entry, and many of the fans have started calling me "Bacon Guy"...which is really cool. Even if I don't win this year, which I find highly unlikely, I will have established myself as the king of extreme bacon cooking around here. When next year's Pig Festival comes around, I will definitely be seeing more of my bacon t-shirts in the crowd.

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