Warning: the post you are about to read may have excessive periods of rambling and be totally unrelated to the subject matter at hand. I won't be offended if you just look at the pictures and scratch your head in confusion...
As a lifelong resident of Upstate NY, I have noticed that there are some very clear divisions between “Downstate” and “Upstate” – of course, what is “Downstate” to me is probably still considered “Upstate” by the “Way-Down Staters”. Since I live within an hour of the state capital (which is Albany, not New York City – in case anyone is confused), the world of “Downstate” is often portrayed in the shadow of state politics – where at times, it seems like it’s a constant battle between “Way Down State” (i.e. NYC & surrounding areas) and the other 99% of the state.
I tend to ride the road of team neutral, so often times I just shake my head and wonder why can't we all just get along?
But sometimes, just sometimes, something so insanely absurd happens that you are reminded not to take it all so seriously. Like when something so right goes terribly wrong.
This past weekend, the first ever Bacon Fest was held in the city of Hudson, NY. Now, while I consider Hudson to be "Downstate", I realize that most people would consider it to be "Upstate" - which thereby sets the stage for what happened next.
Now, what bad could ever come from a festival of bacon where a portion of the proceeds are ear-marked for a regional food bank, you might ask? And what could possibly go wrong with a little bit of publicity from The New York Post?
That's a great question.
Here's the answer - the festival ran out of bacon three hours into the event - six hours before the event was scheduled to be over. Event organizers planned for 500-1000 people (uh, it was bacon, hello - don't you think there might be some takers on that one....) and the crowd swelled to over 3000. And they ran out of bacon. Latecomers didn't get their bacon. And the event was tainted with the stench of bad publicity.
Poor planning was blamed for the lack of bacon (do ya think?) and "Downstate" was blamed as the source of the surge.
I am just glad that I was 90-something miles North - safe in the confines of my own house. I don't like being around angry, hungry people so much. And from what I understand, there were mobs of them. Which put into my head images of angry locals chasing away the out of towners with bacon less BLT's. Once that image was ingrained in my head, things seemed much less ominous. (Just to be clear, there were no reported cases of sandwich chasing. Purely a product of my warped imagination.)
Eggplant. What to say about eggplant?
I roasted it and put a salad of cucumbers, olives, tomato, basil and balsamic on top of it. It was a great way to use up a ton of the CSA veggies that are piling up in my fridge. I served it alongside roasted radishes, roasted squash/ zucchini, a whole grain ciabatta and some rice.
The Dude liked it and didn't even complain about the hunk of animal that was nowhere to be found in the meal. (I can get away with almost anything as long as rice or pasta show up on the table).
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. Other interpretations and actual impressions about this dish can be found on the site...