Monday, September 27, 2010

When I was growing up, all someone would have to say was "let's drip bacon this weekend" and the grown-ups would go into ACTION. Someone would go into the Hungarian neighborhood and buy jowl bacon and European style bread and someone else would harvest fresh tomatoes, onions and green pepper(okay and maybe a Hungarian hot pepper or two) and do a lot of intense chopping. THEN the assortment of custom made utensils would start appearing----a grill that the master welder assembled, divided dishes for the veggies and-------each person would have their favorite turning fork! When everything was ready-----the assembly line of relatives took action! The men would spear the jowl bacon on the fork and turn it until the grease started to "run" and only then would they drip it over the fresh bread. The women would "dress" the bread with a layer of tomatoes, onions and peppers and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. And then if your arteries hadn't enough cholesterol--more bacon grease would be dripped on top. And then eaten out of hand!! You are laughing and shaking your head. It is kind of like bruschetta but bigger and unhealthier!! But so good. What is remarkable is that this started in "the old country" as a way for the shepherds to have a nightly meal, using a campfire and a wooden fork and this tradition was brought to our country by my immigrating ancestors---and other Hungarian immigrants throughout the country. Now that our parents generation have died, this summer tradition only appears every now and then. Last week we got together with my mom's relatives and cousins and ----yup, you guessed it. We dripped bacon---or in Hungarian it is Shutny Szallona--only I don't know if that is the correct spelling! We all laughed and scoffed at the unhealthiness of it but we sure scarfed it up and loved every minute of it.

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