We have a six-year-old who has lost eight teeth and has three more wiggling loose. She looks like a hockey player. If you ask her how many teeth she lost, she will proudly tell you, since she sees herself as an overachiever after learning most of her friends are still waiting to lose their first tooth. She likes to stick her tongue through the holes in her smile and make funny faces. Yet, we didn’t realize what level of anticipation, excitement, and drama can occur when losing a tooth.
My husband will pull them out for her if she asks. When they are barely hanging on by the root and just dangling there, it makes my stomach turn. I grimace and look away. Yet he is right in there ready to yank it out. She has swallowed two teeth while she was eating. Tears ensued because she was quite certain the tooth fairy wouldn’t come if she didn’t have a tooth under her pillow. Although there was some discussion about “waiting” for it to return to us, we eventually convinced her that if she wrote a note to the tooth fairy she would still leave something under her pillow. Another tooth was lost at the beach, which also required a significant amount of drama because she was sure the tooth fairy would not be able to find her at the beach house. There was some discussion about magical powers and comparisons were made to Rudolph and Santa, and a calmness came over her.
I’m not sure what the going rate is for teeth these days, but the tooth fairy has left one dollar gold coins, a five dollar bill when the fairy bank ran out of gold coins, a Brianna The Tooth Fairy book, nail polish with “fairy dust” in it, and a one dollar bill folded into what has become known in our house as the “fairy fold” but was used by my husband the next day to teach the kids how to play paper football. Our daughter thought that maybe the tooth fairy would also like something, so she left her a sun catcher she had made. The tooth fairy left her a note saying that her sun catcher is the first one the fairies ever had in fairyland. She was very excited about that.
With her gaping smile she is finding it difficult to eat some foods. So we are always on the lookout for soft foods or chopping everything on her plate into tiny chewable pieces, which is exactly what we found ourselves doing at breakfast this morning. We’ve come to realize most breakfast foods are relatively soft or bite-sized…cereal, museli, yogurt, fruit, eggs, pancakes, waffles, and french toast. But crispy bacon isn’t as easy to eat for someone who is gumming the majority of her food. But, she loves bacon. I mean really, what’s not to love.
As much as we love bacon, we don’t eat it too often. But when we do we buy good quality thick-cut bacon from the local Amish Market, which makes all the difference in our sweet and savory Candied Bacon and Rosemary Biscotti. I wish we had some bacon left over for the photos, but we finished it off with breakfast.
Candied Bacon and Rosemary Biscotti
YIELD: approximately two dozen
8 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon or approximately ½ a pound of thick-cut bacon
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup finely ground cornmeal
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar, plus 1 cup for the candied bacon
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary
zest of a lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil, wrapping the foil over the sides, so you can easily pour the bacon grease out of the pan as it cooks.
3. Place the brown sugar in a medium bowl. Dip each strip of bacon into the brown sugar and coat both sides. Lay the bacon in a single layer on the foil-lined baking sheet.
4. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, flipping the bacon over halfway through.
5. Remove bacon with tongs, the melted sugar will be very hot, and place on a backing sheet covered with parchment paper to cool and crisp.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and rosemary.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon zest.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Add the chopped candied bacon and knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.
6. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
7. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
8. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
What to do with the ends # 44: Use the ends to hold open a cookbook while making dinner.