Not to toot my own horn, but I am a pretty darn fine amateur chef. Invitations to my dinner parties are accepted gleefully (or turned down with great regret), and my guests are always generous and effusive in their praise. I find cooking pleasurable and relaxing, and love putting food in front of hungry, happy people.

That said, every now and again, I encounter a personal kitchen nightmare. Something unexpected, or impossible, or disastrous occurs, and suddenly I have to come up with a dinner solution that would make a genuine wizard panic.

Without fail, every single time something like this has happened, bacon has come to my rescue. I am pretty convinced that there is almost no food emergency that bacon cannot solve. Here are just a few examples of meals that were rescued by bacon.

The Great Football Debacle

This particular disaster was completely not my fault, but a spectacular screw-up on the part of my ex-husband. He invited four of his coworkers over to our house to watch football one Sunday, promising food…and didn’t tell me. He also promptly forgot his own invitation. Suddenly, it was noon on a Sunday and my house was full of hungry men and their wives and girlfriends, all peering eagerly into the kitchen. After I considered having a meltdown of nuclear proportions, I ransacked the fridge and, to my delight, found a couple of packages of bacon, just waiting to save the day. The BLTs I made are still legendary.

 

The Picnic Salad Extravanganza

This situation was not mine, but a close friend’s, and bacon allowed me to be her savior. My friend was having a very difficult time getting her mother-in-law to warm up to her, and was panicking about what to make for a family pot-luck. She was asked to bring a salad and just could not come up with a way to make that interesting. She arrived in my kitchen ready to weep, and left with an absolutely glorious Cobb salad, complete with a generous helping of crispy bacon. I hear she was an absolute hit at the party.

 

The Legendary Light’s Out Party

When I was in my last year of university, what was going to be a short studying session with four friends turned into a forced slumber party when a huge storm stranded them all in my apartment – and knocked out the power. We couldn’t even boil water, and running to the store in a howling storm was not an option. Once again, bacon came to the rescue in the form of a pre-cooked package I had leftover from brunch. We ended up making the best, craziest bacon sandwiches with just about everything else I had in the fridge, and because they had bacon in them, they were all completely delicious.

 

A toast to bacon, the panicking hostess’ best friend!