Sunday, February 13, 2011

a strange time to celebrate

One year ago, on February 9th, I started telling people about this fledgling blog.

This year, on February 9th, a truck ran into our car and almost sheared off the trunk.

We are thankful we’re still alive and not in the hospital.

But otherwise, as we struggle through the fog of headaches and stiff necks and sore backs, we are exhausted just trying to get through the day.

By the time evening finally comes, making dinner – and doing the dishes – seems like a gargantuan task. Instead, we’re making the rounds of our favourite less expensive restaurants: Thai, Turkish, Mexican. We sit drained, trying not to grimace, hardly noticing the food.

Needless to say, I have not felt like celebrating. 

But before the accident, I knew dollop of cream’s one-year birthday was coming up, and I bought all the ingredients to make my favourite party food. I have looked at those ingredients every day since the accident, those slices of bacon and dates and olives and almonds, sitting so innocently and full of hope.

Even in the midst of everything else that seems to be taking over my life, I am still delighted I have this little blog to work on. So, this morning, I gathered up my energy and set to work.

And, as we sat down with these hot little salty-buttery bundles, we forgot about our backs and necks for a few minutes. We just ate this happy treat to celebrate dollop of cream and all the joy it has brought me.

I first made these little bundles for Scott’s 33rd birthday. We were secretly engaged and I could hardly stop grinning the whole party. I rolled up the bacon around the dates around the olives around the almonds, baked them and watched them disappear as soon as I set them on a plate. 

They are incredibly simple and wonderfully decadent. They also meet all the requirements of party food – salty, sweet, chewy, crunchy and smooth – all in one little bundle of goodness.

last february: muesli

Because this is a party food, it’s really more of a narrative than a recipe with official instructions. (Even the title isn’t exactly short and snappy.) Here we go . . .

bacon-wrapped dates with olives and almonds

roasted almonds

Take an almond and push it into an olive. (This part works much better if the olive has been pitted.) Take your almond-stuffed olive and put it into a date. Roll a piece of bacon around your almond-stuffed-olive-stuffed date. Do not try to skimp on the bacon so that you’re stretching and stretching the bacon to meet, but the bacon just starts falling apart, and eventually you go back to your original bacon and use the longer pieces anyway. (This might have happened at our house.)

Take a toothpick and carefully poke it through the bacon seam, the date and the olive, and all they way out the other side. Sometimes, you might need two toothpicks, if you’re not an expert. (This might have happened at our house.)

Put the bundles on a cookie sheet. Bake them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your bacon. (I used thick bacon.) Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and put the bundles on a plate lined with paper towel for a minute or two. Or, if you’ve run out of paper towel, use a fancy chicken napkin. (This might have happened at our house.)

Eat one before they all disappear. Prepare to accept compliments from your happy guests. Make more.


  1. So sorry to hear about your car accident. I hope you both have a quick recovery...and congratulations on the first year of your blog!!! I look forward to many more years of delicious recipes and witty commentary!

  2. Delicious! In England we call these Devils On Horseback, one of my favourites. Love the look of your blog and looking forward to more posts. Alex.

  3. This looks like a version we need to try-completely appropriate for your blog's anniversary! Congratulations!
    We use goatcheese-stuffed dates and then wrap in bacon.
    blessings on your day!

  4. Congratulations Stephanie on the year of your yummy and fun site, you are such a great writer too. Hoping you and Scott are feeling better and recovering well. Cheers! Kathy/Krista :)