There are few things as heavenly as bacon and buttery crackers. The husband being from Mississippi is well versed in this party staple as they are considered a delicacy...no party complete without them. This past year I purchased the cookbook "A Southerly Course" by Mississippi native Martha Hall Foose. Excited to start cooking up a bunch of classic southern fare, I thumbed the beautiful pages and returned over and over to the simple Bacon Crackers, little bowties of deliciousness! I mean, bacon and bowties...can't get more Southern. Each recipe in the book is prefaced with a little short story or tidbit of sorts to give you some notion as to why we Southerners love it, why it's served, where it's served, and how it's served. So, when I read the little bit about Foose's devotion to friends, specifically Foose's friend, Neck Bone Red's*, requests for the bacon bauble, I knew they would be divine. (*nicknames are also synonymous with us Southerners as they tell a story of their own while keeping discreet our proper names should, well...we need some discretion). Alas, I set out to make these little beauties. Then, low and behold...while attending my inlaw's annual Christmas fete...as the caterers passed appetizers of...you guessed it, bacon crackers, I struck up a conversation with the husband's childhood babysitter. (Whom I must say has somehow escaped aging as she looks younger than either one of us.) While gushing about my love for those little corseted canapes and her beautiful gold dress, oh, and name dropping "A Southerly Course" with the former babysitter...something very special happened. She said something that made me so supremely happy to be a Southerner, to be from a place where everyone "knows" everyone or at least someone who knows them who once babysat for someone's husband...Good lord, could it be true? It was...I was standing there amongst the twinkling Christmas lights, hearty laughter, and flickering candles talking to none other than Neck Bone Red herself! And so, this winding story of bacon crackers and friends and babysitters and nicknames and cookbooks and the South is a testimony to what makes food good. It's not just the food itself but the people associated with it...it's the history, and the simplicity of it that provides the backdrop in which memories are made. And well, I suppose in some ways, bacon bridges the gap from one generation to another. Make some bacon crackers for someone, if not bacon crackers specifically, make whatever it is that brings you close with your friends and family. You'll make memories, maybe some new friends, and you'll be fuller than you've ever been.
image credit: A Southerly Course