About five years ago a friend of mine gave me two tips on cooking bacon. Tip #1: Take a package of bacon - don’t even open it - use kitchen shears to vertically cut one straight line down the center. You’ll be cutting the packaging and the bacon all at the same time. Even though the strips are shorter, the amount of bacon strips is doubled. More bacon is only an illusion but it works. Tip #2: Bake the bacon in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or if you prefer crispier bacon, bake longer. Using the oven instead of the stove saves the smell of bacon from my hair and on my clothes all day long. Plus, I am able to multi-task while the bacon is baking. Here are two of my own bacon tips. Tip #3: If you like Tip #2, I recommend establishing a dedicated, non-stick, rimmed cookie sheet as your “bacon” pan because no matter how hard you try to get the grease off of the pan, it doesn’t completely come off. Therefore, if you try to bake something else on the same cookie sheet after using it for bacon, the items tend to burn on the bottoms without necessarily cooking all the way thru. The good news is that the pan becomes “seasoned” and perfect, crisp strips are consistently served. Tip #4: When it’s time to get the grease off of the bacon pan, use a pan scraper. It’s easy, it saves time and it is an EARTH-FRIENDLY way to get the job done!
Earth Day is on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The Earth Day thoughtful pinches for the teachers are pan scrapers that I ordered (too late) from a Pampered Chef party last year so we are giving it to them this year. A pan scraper is not exactly synonymous with Earth Day but by using one, we can help prevent many Brillo-steel-wool-type pads from ending up in the landfills. The steel wool doesn’t decompose or break down completely which means it never completely goes away - leaving more junk on the Earth. Aha! Bacon Tip #4 just started to make sense. I feel like there is a purpose for steel wool pads and I know we need them in our households so pointing fingers at the companies that make them isn’t on my agenda. Instead, I have to believe that if we give these pan scrapers to teachers, friends and family we can prevent unnecessary amounts of steel wool pads from interrupting the earth’s natural cycles. If we can be aware and prevent junk from accumulating on our Earth, then it is a great reason to celebrate!
Speaking of drinking - what, doesn't celebrating always involve drinking? How presumptuous! Well, I was talking about drinking water. I have an entire cabinet filled with water bottles. Each water bottle has a specific purpose in our family. Some bottles are just for hockey. Some bottles are only for sport drinks because even after I wash them, I can still taste the sports drinks. We have glass bottles because just like bottles of beer versus cans of beer, water tastes better from a glass bottle. Some bottles are stainless steel and they keep water scorching hot or icy cold for literally hours. And most importantly, I keep a couple bottles on hand for camps or occasions when I know the chances of the bottles making it back home are slim. Well, my kids just scored a couple of new water bottles that will be used every day so they don’t need any space in my cabinet! We all know that using reusable water bottles saves many little plastic bottles from piling up in the landfills. But these new reusable water bottles can be thoroughly washed out leaving them hygienically better for our bodies. Unscrew the top for easier access to clean better and ice cubes or fruit fit because the opening is larger. Poof! These Easter thoughtful pinches magically turned into Earth Day thoughtful pinches overnight.
My kids will use any excuse to be on a device at any given moment. So it’s fitting for Earth Day, to mention that on the back of the Honey Nut Cheerio cereal box there are interesting facts about bees and an address link for a safe website is provided to learn more. My kids are constantly studying bees in school. They love to “Cliff Clavin” us with bee facts so they are going to be thrilled when I let them click away on the Cheerios website to learn more about bees and their role in keeping our Earth healthy and clean. I have already wanted to pat General Mills on the back because they made Cheerios gluten free without compromising the taste. Now, according to the cereal box, “By the end of 2010, farms that Honey Nut Cheerios source oats from will house about 3,300 total acres of dedicated pollinator habitat on 60,000 acres of land.” It seems like the company is looking out for us and they are sticking up for the bees. Way to go General Mills!
When you choose products based on the footprints they leave behind or educate yourself on nature or prevent harming the Earth, you are being thoughtful to yourself, your loved ones and those who come after us. Keep it up!