Recipe #12: Pigs in a Scarf (a.k.a Bacon-Wrapped Dates)
It’s National Pig Day!!!
I used to have a major pig obsession. I’ve been celebrating National Pig Day for about 28 years. I used to celebrate by wearing a pig shirt with some pig earrings, a pig necklace, and pig socks. One exceptionally embarrassing year, I believe I also wore homemade pig shoes. I had pig shorts, but I never wore those to school. I was super cool. Of course, I probably dressed like that most days, but I went all out for National Pig Day. I used pig pencils, had pig stationary and a pretty good collection of pig stickers, drank out of pig mugs, and had tons of pig collectibles and stuffed animals.
I even started “Pigs Forever Committee” in 5th grade. I was the president, naturally. We had at least 35 members – all the cool people. A so-called friend started “EPFO,” which stood for “End Pigs Forever Organization.” Nobody liked them.
I really wanted a pet pig, but they weren’t allowed in our neighborhood. When we got a new dog (a Sheltie), I named her Piggi because I wanted a pig so badly. In middle school, I did a lot of research and wrote a letter to the board of my neighborhood association, trying to convince them that a potbelly pig was a pet instead of a farm animal. They allowed me to get one, and I named her Lassie. I couldn’t very well name her Piggi – that name was already taken!
These days, I no longer dress up for National Pig Day. I haven’t done that in a long time. In fact, I don’t even own a pig shirt, pig socks, or pig shorts.
Today I’m going to celebrate by eating pigs. I would NEVER have done that when I was a kid. I stopped eating all pork products somewhere around 4th grade. I ate absolutely no pig products from around the age of 10 until two years ago. That was a 26-year bacon break. This was the motto of “Pigs Forever Committee:”
Yes, I still have my Pigs Forever Committee notebook. I found it when I went through my entire closet getting rid of things that don’t bring me joy. Hello, 1988.
I still hate that I have to eat animals to be healthy, but I know I do. So, when I eat pig today, on National Pig Day, I’m going to be especially thankful to those animals who gave their lives so I could get the amino acids and fats that my body needs. (Let’s be realistic… they didn’t really *give* their lives so much as have their lives *taken,* but either way I still appreciate it.)
I was planning a big pig dinner. Would we call that a pigger?
My plan was to make bacon-wrapped pork loin with maple bacon Brussel sprouts. Then we would pig out on bacon-wrapped dates for an after-pigger treat. I was really looking forward to porking out.
Then my husband got swamped at work, so our pigger won’t work out. I am needed to pick up our middle-schoolers from track practice, so I won’t have time for the prep work. One of the boys has to be at a job interview at 5:45, too, so any kind of special dinner just isn’t happening today.
Here are my priorities for today:
#2: Celebrating National Pig Day
I am still going to make bacon-wrapped dates, though. They’re quick and oh, so delicious. Any dinner without bacon-wrapped dates is a disSOWpointment. Downright BOARing.
Quick sidenote: I do not buy dates unless it’s a special occasion. If I buy a container of dates to eat a few, I eat them all. Then my blood sugar goes up faster than I can inject my insulin, and next thing I know, my blood sugar is 300. If you choose to eat dates, please do so in moderation. Dates are a healthful food, but only if you eat a few. If you eat too many, your blood sugar will spike (not as badly as mine, hopefully), and then dates are no longer healthful. I strongly recommend getting Medjool dates. They are the best. I don’t buy them because I can’t resist them.
In celebration of National Pig Day, I would like to tell you how to make bacon-wrapped dates. It’s super easy. Let’s call them Pigs in a Scarf. That’s more fun. (I know, I know… that name is backward. I don’t care, though. I like it.)
Pigs in a Scarf
- Dates (splurge on the Medjool dates!)
- Bacon (preferrably from healthy, pasture-raised pigs)
- Optional: pecans or other stuffings for the dates
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper (to avoid aluminum).
- Figure out how many piggies you’re going to make. That will determine how many slices of bacon you’ll need.
- Cut each slice of bacon into two or three even pieces, depending on the size of the date and the length of the bacon. The cut pieces need to be long enough to wrap around a date and have a little overlap.
- If your dates are pitted, remove the pits. If you want to make them extra good, you could stuff each date with a piece of pecan.
- Wrap one of the cut bacon pieces around your date. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat until all dates are wrapped.
- Place all piggies on the parchment paper.
- Bake for about 7 minutes on one side, then flip each piggie and bake for another 7 minutes. Really, just keep an eye on them and bake them until the bacon is done to your liking. It’s best not to overcook the bacon if you’re hoping to get some good nutrition from it.
- Pig out! Not really… just eat a few.
Here are some pics of the process:
The bacon I used today isn’t made from pasture-raised pigs. I had to settle for the nitrate-free stuff at the grocery store. It’s not nearly as tasty!
My H-E-B store sells Medjool dates in their bulk section! That means that if I get a date craving, I could buy only 3 dates instead of an entire package! Woohoo!
This recipe is paleo and AIP-compliant!
Thanks to Pet Piggies for the cute picture of a pig in a scarf!
Also, thanks to Pot Belly Pigs Motorcycle Club (who knew there was a PBPMC?!?) for the cute pig that I used for the featured image.
Happy National Pig Day!