September 2009 What’s for Dinner – Trust Martha, but Trust Thy Own Bacon

Oven Overtax

If last month’s What’s for Dinner (aka “Strange Pizza”) spotlit the grill as the kitchen thing of choice, this month we put the oven through its paces. With three of the four meal elements (entree, side, and dessert) requiring the oven for a minimum of 25 minutes, we were faced with a spatial relations GRE problem that was a little too similar to what I do all day at my job.

Of course, for those famous domestic goddesses whose kitchens no doubt sport at least seventeen ovens, this wouldn’t be a problem. One rarely has to remember what timer is timing what dish in these kitchens, I’m sure, as each one happily chirps “The bacon with citrus glaze! It is finished!” or some such specific, helpful reminder.

My timers just beep, and my brain ignores them, apparently, because this is the sad result of our bacon with citrus glaze.

Bacon with Burnt Glaze

Not to worry! We discovered that the sky wouldn’t collapse if we just fried up the rest of the bacon as we would any old time. As a bonus, this technique did not use the oven.

In addition to the bacon, we had Egg-in-the-Hole Toasts with Ricotta, and the combination could only be called breakfast for dinner. Or could it? The salad, such as it was, consisted of sliced celery and cucumber mixed with parsley and mint. Although it was pretty refreshing (and thankfully beyond simple), we weren’t super convinced that it fit with the meal.

Cucumber Salad

The toasts were, however, phenomenal. Everyone agreed that it would be a nice, easy to prepare, brunch item for a small crowd. On paper, we were concerned that it wouldn’t offer enough heft for a Saturday night entree, but it ended up feeling just right. Throw some bread in an oven (after ripping out the middle), take it out, spread ricotta on it, drop an egg in the middle, and put it back in the oven!


Then came, gloriously and triumphantly, dessert. Plum Tartes Tatin might be my new favorite thing. I’m crazy about plums in general (turns out this is a strange thing, according to Lesley and Cam — James and celebrity guest Hannah were too polite to say so, which is why they will get invited back) (well, they also brought a lot of wine). I might add a little more sugar next time to balance out the tartness, and, as Hannah said, it could use about six times more pastry. Pastry is good. Plums are good. Sour cream (!!!) on top of it all is phenomenal.

Plum Tartes Tatin

The official verdict: this dinner is Marthable. It might take you two hours, and your bacon might not be worth the effort, but it is Marthable.

marthable meal sept 09 edit

The unofficial verdict: Hannah is like some sort of storytelling wizard. [by Susan]


One comment

  1. lesleybruno · September 14, 2009

    why is the last picture so blurry? did i mess it up when i (shoddily) photoshopped out the excessive cleavage?

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