When I think Wisconsin farms, I think cows and pigs and horses and . . . . llamas. Yes, we do have some Peruvian imports nearby. It’s hard for me to be a vegetarian with all this tasty meat grown right here—well, the cows and pigs, that is. On the other hand, it’s hard NOT to be a vegetarian with all the adorable animals I see every day. Most of the time, I try not to think about it. I’m a wimp who has no problem eating meat as long as it comes in plastic wrap. Those who shoot deer on our property must remove the carcass before I see it or no next year permit from me. Oh, and if they DO shoot a deer, I get my share—in plastic wrap.
Though we only grow horses on our farm—for riding purposes only, of course—we also grow lots of vegetables. My raised beds are brimming with second crop lettuce and sun-soaked tomatoes. Know what that means?
Tonight we’re having BLTs! That’s BACON, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches.
Descending the steps to our very scary basement, I maneuver my way through guns and bunkers to the big, chest freezer. I dig for that Nueske’s bacon, made right here in Wisconsin! Guaranteed, there’s no better bacon than Nueske’s. Wisconsin IS the vortex of perfect pork! Whether it’s the pigs or the smoking process, I don’t know, but I could have a major artery clog if I let myself eat as I wanted.
Back upstairs I climb, move toward the stove, and start frying up the bacon. I am transported with rising aroma back fifty, yes FIFTY, years into my grandmother’s kitchen, watching her do what I’m doing now—turning each piece over and over to get just the right amount of crispiness. The fat bubbles and dances, shrinking each slice by more than half. The smell of smoked pig makes my stomach growl. Then, two teenage boys fly down from the loft, reminding me I’m not in Grandma’s kitchen.
“How long till we eat?” they inquire. Like, honestly, you just ate ten minutes ago! I refocus on fat.
I’m struck by how much FAT is in bacon—how much FAT must be melted off to produce something so mouth-watering, stomach-growling good. Just like Grandma, I hover over the stove, adjusting heat. Too much heat and the fat spatters, sizzling my skin. And the bacon turns charred black. Too little heat and the slab sits in its own grease, floppy and gross. Like, who would eat underdone, floppy bacon? Oh yes, our son Nick. There’s something terribly wrong here. Never mind.
I watch the skillet closer until I become one with the bacon. I close my eyes and breathe deep the hickory pig smoke. I think . . . .
I am a bacon slice in the frying pan of life.
Just like I take my time preparing dinner’s bacon, God takes His time preparing me. He watches over me and tends to me, turning me with perfect timing, adjusting the heat to burn off fat and keep me cooking till I’m perfectly done. He would never want me charred, but He doesn’t want me floppy either. Perfectly done, as He defines perfectly done, that’s how He wants me.
I don’t mind being bacon in the Master Chef’s kitchen because one day I’ll be yummy—He made me and He is preparing me.
Tomorrow, I’m going to be a slice of tomato. Tune in.
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6