Friday, January 11, 2008

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.” Doug Larson

Bacon is so bad for you, so, of course, I love it. I don't know anyone who doesn't enjoy a perfectly crisp piece of bacon.

I also love an avocado. I was raised in California. You can drive nearly any where in Southern California and see an avocado tree growing in someone's yard or a large grove growing on a hill. Although my family didn't own a tree, avocados were cheap and my mother bought them often. We used them chopped or sliced in salads or halved and pitted as a cup for tuna or chicken salad. But, our favorite way to eat them, besides guacamole, was to merely mash a couple of salted slices on a buttered piece of toast. My mom ate this regularly for breakfast.

Just before Tom and I moved from Southern California to Arkansas, we owned a home on an acre of land with a small grove of trees: avocado, orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit and apricot. We had a Shih Tzu named Gizmo and he loved runnng out under the trees through the leaves that covered the ground underneath. When we first moved into the house, we couldn't figure out why Gizmo was putting on weight and why his coat was suddenly so shiny. We weren't doing anything different - same dog food, same groomer, same dog shampoo. Then one day, I caught him. He was eating an avocado that had fallen from the tree, licking the avocado pit clean. I think Gizmo and the raccoons worked as a team. The raccoons would climb in the trees and eat the avocados from the branches, but as they moved from branch to branch, they'd knock avocados to the ground. Gizmo enjoyed supplementing his diet almost daily.

I miss that house. I miss being able to go outside and pick the fresh fruit year round. When I walk into the store today, I cringe when I have to pay 50 cents or more for a single orange or lemon, or as much as $1.50 for an avocado, and just hope when I get them home and cut them open that they are worth the price.

As for bacon, well, for the most part, we have switched to turkey bacon. While I can't use it successfully in dishes like chowder or beans, it crisps up nice for omelets, salads and sandwiches. That's what I used it for yesterday. I made a really nice avocado, bacon and tomato sandwich.

I mashed a half of an avocado and seasoned it with a little salt, pepper and onion powder. Then I toasted two slices of really nice low-fat, high fiber oat bread and spread about half of the mashed avocado on one slice. No mayo, no butter, just mashed avocado.

Next, I used two slices of turkey bacon that I cooked in the microwave for about 1-1/2 minutes at full power.

On top of the bacon went part of a roma tomato that I sliced lengthwise.

I added a leaf of romaine lettuce and Oila! A delicious, low-cholesterol, low-carb sandwich!

Oh, and that beautiful cutting board underneath that sandwich? My son, Mike, made that for me for Christmas last year. I absolutely love it and just had to brag! He is so talented. A real artisan, as you can see.

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