A Bacon Scented Pillowcase For Sweet Bacony Dreams

Bacon Pillow
Image: J&D’s

There’s nothing quite like waking up to the smell of bacon in the morning. It doesn’t matter how comfy your bed is, the smell of bacon is a lure that cannot be resisted by any means known to humankind. Even the most world-weary of us will put on slippers and a warm robe and trudge down to the kitchen for some fried pork bliss. Now, with this pillowcase, you can enjoy the smell of bacon all the time right from the comfort of your bed.

J&D’s is offering a bacon-scented pillowcase ($12.99) that will keep the sweet smell of bacon swirling around your head while you sleep. The smell is supposed to last for 6-12 months as long as you wash the pillowcase according to the care instructions.

They do include a list of possible side effects that includes:

  • Happier dreams of breakfasts past, floating on bacony clouds or placing the winning hog at the 4-H contest.
  • Effortless, overnight weight loss by kicking your digestive system into high gear – try not to eat your pillowcase.
  • Dramatic increases in your intelligence and higher brain functioning because… Bacon.
  • Easier wake-ups – your mornings will be like being shot out of bacony cannon.

Nothing we can’t all handle. Bring on the bacon!

(via ThatsNerdalicious)

10 Ways To Get Your Post Downton Fix

Image: Sarah Pinault at The Severn Valley Railway

In the wake of Downton Abbey many people are feeling a lack of the mother tongue in their life. A dowager deficiency. A countess conundrum. I like to call it PDSD – Post Downton Stress Disorder.

As a Brit myself, I suffer less than most. I have relatives I can call for a smattering of Hugh Bonneville language, and a Great Aunt who could easily pass for a modern day Dowager, the wonderful aspects that is. In a pinch, the friend of a friend is the personal assistant to the current residents of Highclere Castle so I can live vicariously through that distant and somewhat random connection.

For those of you with the misfortune to speak the language of the colonies, here are a few things that I imported from England and inserted into my American life, somewhat. They might come from the village more than the big house, but they might just help with the Downton Blues.

1. Proper tea bags. We’re not talking Lipton, I’m not even talking Twinings here. Your standard British household will more than likely have a box of PG Tips, Tetley, or Typhoo, or their equivalent store brand. All of these are readily available on Amazon. Tea should be taken hot and internally at least once every two hours.

2. A bacon sandwich. For a proper bacon sandwich, you will need the thickest, most un-American Bacon you can find, and some nice white bread. And no, I do not think Canadian Bacon is a decent substitution. For the pièce de résistance, you need to invest in a bottle of “Brown Sauce.” Much like Twinkies, this condiment will survive the harshest nuclear disaster, and should be used liberally with bacon.

3. Start your day with a nice bubble bath instead of a shower. In my entire childhood, I knew only one person with a shower in their house. Everyone else had big bath tubs. So if you want to stew in some Britishness, a bath is your best bet. But make sure you use appropriate bubbles, and don’t just pour your shower gel under the tap/faucet.

4. NPR might be the closest thing over here to the British Broadcasting Corporation, but with the availability of Internet Radio, I would suggest the following British Radio programs not to be missed:

5. Several words should be inserted into your daily vocabulary. These include, but are not limited to “rather,” “quite,” “queue,” and “lovely jubbly.”

6. When eating a sandwich, be it an Italian or a Meatball sub, you should always spread butter liberally on both pieces of bread before adding the fixings. An old trick to stop the juices of the contents leaking into the bread. Note, the aforementioned “Brown Sauce” is only for use on sandwiches involving Bacon.

7. Walk somewhere. This is not appropriate for the northern states, but a daily jaunt is an inevitable part of life across the pond. Walk to the corner shop (gas station), the post office (if you can find one), or the bookie (casino) if you can. And always take an umbrella; it will rain.

8. Have a pancake breakfast, but your pancakes should resemble crepes and not be fluffy. They certainly should not include buttermilk, and should come nowhere near maple syrup. A teaspoon of sugar and a decent quirt of lemon juice is sufficient topping for a British pancake.

9. A duvet on your bed is a must. The kind you stuff inside a duvet cover, not the kind that is pre-printed with something pretty. No matter the weather, there must be something with weight and fluffy thickness on your bed. Multiple blankets will not do, standard American comforters will not do. Something with a 9.5 tog is recommended. I have found that the standard British duvet most closely resembles an American mattress pad.

10. Use public transportation. Okay, this one I haven’t translated to my American life because I live in Maine, and public transportation is virtually non-existent. But dagnabit if you can’t get anywhere in England by virtue of rail or bus. It was one of the joys of my youth to get a day pass with friends and go “bus hopping,” an activity that would terrify most modern parents!

Also don’t forget to cook your steaks badly, neglect to clean your teeth, and keep a picture of the queen on your nightstand, ahem.

If these aren’t quite your cup of tea, try checking out some other classics of British television, that you might not have been exposed to before:

  • PorridgeStarring the late and great Ronnie Barker, Porridge is a half hour comedy about the prisoners of HM Slade Prison. It aired between 1974 and 1977.
  • Open All HoursAnother Ronnie Barker classic; you can’t go wrong with Ronnie Barker. A half hour comedy about the exploits of a penny pinching grocer from Yorkshire.
  • You Rang M’Lord. This could probably be described as the Three Stooges of the Downton Abbey world. A lot of slapstick and raunchy humor in this one.
  • Carry On... The Carry On movies were a hugely popular franchise in Britain during my childhood and for decades prior. Again, the raunchy humor rules, but several of the movies give you a decent look at Britain in the seventies. Think Mel Brooks with a British accent.
  • Black Books. The eccentric life of a cranky bookstore owner and those close to him, in proximity that is; he’s far too cranky for friends. If you like Simon Pegg, you will love this show. He’s in it once, it’s not his show, but you will love it.
  • The House of Eliot. From the creators of Upstairs Downstairs. Two sisters, left penniless by their father, attempt to find independence and self-employment in the 1920s.
  • To The Manor Born. The original Mary and Matthew, watch as Audrey Fforbes-Hamilton and Richard De Vere butt heads and then… no spoilers here.

Eat Like A Geek: Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich

It’s safe to say geeks like bacon. Sure, a few of you have already stopped reading and gone to the comments to tell me you hate bacon and you’re sick of all the bacon crap everywhere. Clearly the rest of us aren’t, since it keeps getting made (and we keep buying it). Nothing short of a Time Lord telling me he needs my bacon to save the world will pry it from my fingers. I’m particularly fascinated lately with bacon as dessert. It didn’t start there, but this interest was certainly fueled by a SXSW gathering with other GeekMoms at Frank, where we partook of this delight:

All images CC-BY Ruth Suehle
All images CC-BY Ruth Suehle

That is a warm chocolate chip cookie (chocolate chip, pecan, walnut, cranberry, and bacon cookie) and ice cream covered in candied bacon sprinkles with candied bacon on a stick. BACON.

Then along came Easter weekend. You know the little packets of crumbled bacon you can buy to make your crispy-bacon-crumbles life easier? Did you also know that they come in a 1.25-pound bag version? Neither did I until I saw my dad walking around the house munching out of the bag like it was pretzels. Fortunately, he didn’t finish it off, but I was left with a whole lot of bacon crumbles.

Tonight, inspiration struck. Bacon. Ice Cream. Sandwiches. Continue reading Eat Like A Geek: Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich

The April Fool’s Roundup: Jokes Around The Web

April Fool's Day, Google prank
Google Nose!

There are a few you always know to expect, starting with Google and ThinkGeek. Here are those, along with a few others we’ve seen this morning. Happy Don’t Believe The Internet Day! (Except the GeekMoms–we really have moved to this new site. What do you think?)

The Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival – a Yummy Way to Spend a Weekend.

My nephew and niece were the only ones willing to take a cheesy tourist picture with me. Photo: Judy Berna

Now that I have older kids I’m finding it gets harder and harder to drag them along to festivals and fairs in the summer time. When they were little (and had no choice in the matter) we spent just about every weekend exploring the activities and events in our local area. But lately I’m lucky to even convince my 11 year old to join me. This is why my 19 year old son was immediately skeptical when I said, “There’s something fun coming up in a few weeks and I want you to go with me to check it out.” Honestly, he almost walked out of the room before I could finish my thought.

Then I said the magic words. “It’s called the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival…” Suddenly I had his attention.

Bacon S’mores! Photo: Judy Berna

This is my boy who is generally not a meat eater, for the matter of texture more than social implications. He doesn’t like the way it feels in his mouth. But for some reason bacon has always passed his taste bud test. We tease him that he could survive on bacon and peanut butter alone, if and when the zombie apocalypse hits. He agrees.

So any festival with the word bacon in the title won him over. Of course his brothers also wanted to come along. And my niece and nephew, who are visiting from California. In the end, we took a whole Suburban full of kids to Keystone Mountain Resort for a day, to see what a bacon festival was all about.

The weather was cool and breezy with a perfectly overcast sky, creating a flawless summer day. By the time we pulled into the parking lot we could smell it. Bacon. And lots of it.

Down the center of Keystone’s resort village there were a few dozen colorful tents set up. About half of them had some form of gourmet dish, made with bacon and other yummy ingredients. The other half were companies that make bacon, handing out samples.

In the center of it all was a stage with a revolving list of bands playing perfect bacon eating background tunes. In several spots we found big coolers full of ice water, to clean our palates before moving on to the next tent.

With our press pass we got one wrist band for unlimited samples and ten bacon bucks. My son immediately claimed the wrist band and I didn’t fight him for it. I knew if anyone could get their money’s worth out of it, it would be my six foot three boy, not his mama. We bought some extra bacon bucks (which the rest of us used for ‘buying’ samples and the gourmet dishes). Then we hit the tents. Continue reading The Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival – a Yummy Way to Spend a Weekend.

Geeky Gifts for Your Geek Dad!

My husbands very first Father's Day gift. Its very hard to top that each year, but I keep trying!

If you are anything like me, shopping for a man might just be the hardest thing to do in life. I never want to get them gifts that they won’t use or that are too practical. Ever since I got him an AWESOME first Father’s Day gift, I feel I am resorting to the same gift certificate to iTunes or some electronics store, instead of something unique. Ever since becoming a writer for GeekMom, I’ve found that there are geeky gifts lurking around every corner that are perfect for my geeky husband, in order to find them, you just have to know YOUR geek.

ThinkGeek Bacon Jam

For the Bacon Lover – Bacon Jam

Think Geek has found another undeniably AMAZING bacon concoction to make your mouth water. Dad will likely want to eat this sweet and savory treat right out of the jar, but my husband thinks that it would be awesome in an omelet or on pancakes. I think it tastes a little like teriyaki beef jerky (which is a good thing in my mind). Trust me this will likely become as much a staple in your home as ketchup. I should mention that you will be supporting a small business as well!

For the Star Wars Bibliophile – Star Wars Bookends

ThinkGeek Star Wars Bookends

For the avid Star Wars fan, check out these great bookends by ThinkGeek. Its as if the iconic Star Wars logo was severed by a light saber and stuck on a shelf. Even if your dad is not an avid reader, when pushed together, they still make a great decoration for the home or office. These bookends are great for holding books, DVDs, CDs, Cookbooks, kids bedtime books, bathroom reading material, or pretty much anything you imagine!

Image from Amazon.com

The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The Art of Star Wars the Clone Wars takes you behind the scenes of one of the most popular TV series on air today. Included in the back of the book are lithographs worthy of a nice frame.

For the Sock Enthusiast – Geek Socks 

ThinkGeek Statement Socks

If your geek guy never really cares whether people look at him funny, because he is proud of his collection of  thousands of brightly colored socks, then this is the gift for you. I love the bright colors and bold, print that is impossible to miss in passing. Make a statement, with your legs!

ThinkGeek Doctor Who Embroidered Polo Shirt

For the Whovian – Doctor Who Polo Shirt

Some geeks just want to be able to express their geekiness at work. Graphic t-shirts usually don’t count as work approved attire (in most work places), so these high quality polo shirts with embroidered Doctor Who symbols are awesome. These shirts look classy and yet still scream geek.

Portal Turrets from ThinkGeek

For the Portal Fan – Inflatable Turrets

Sometimes the only way to protect your lawn from your neighbors dog is to take matters into your own hands. A friendly Portal turret is the perfect way to keep pesky dogs off your lawn. So maybe it doesn’t really shoot bullets, but consider these inflatable friends as the modern scarecrow.

Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker

For the Chef – Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme Breadmaker

So bread machines might seem a bit cliche, but when they are done right, the bread you make can save your family money and really taste delicious! GeekMom Arianne says, “My brother received one of these for Christmas from my parents a couple of years ago, and we’ve enjoyed all the breads he’s made for us. My husband wants one of these now too! I’m worried about all the delicious carbs he’ll be making, but there’s something to be said about making all your own homemade bread!”

LEGO Limited Edition Moleskine Notebooks

For the Lego Lover – Limited Edition Lego Moleskine Notebook

Its good to have a place to jot down your ideas for that next new Lego CUUSOO model, or even what size screws you need to get for your latest robotic project. Moleskine notebooks are known for their quality and durability, add to that the iconic lego bricks and you have a winning combination.

Biscotti TV Phone

For the World Traveller – Biscotti TV Phone

My husband travels a lot and phone calls are enough for me, but for my kids its tough not to be able to see the person on the other side of the conversation. The Biscotti Phone is a tiny device that ca easily be packed into a suitcase that will turn any TV with an HDMI port into a TV phone. You can can call via a Biscotti account or connect with a Google Talk account, both completely free. The camera is particularly nice, because even though it is the size of a biscotti cookie, it can focus an entire room into view, pan, zoom via a very small remote control.

Image from Amazon.com

For the Jokster – I Am Better Than Your Kids – by Maddox

Based on the website that went viral in the early 2000’s, the book features more kids drawing and hilarious commentary from the author. The destructive criticism will have you laughing out loud, if you enjoy a good swear word that is. Crude humor at its best, this book embodies everything a church book club would disapprove of.

*Note: Many items for this review were provided by the manufacturers for review, but opinions expressed are my own or those of other GeekMom’s as stated.

Would Bacon By Any Other Name Smell As Sweet?

ThinkGeek Bacon-Palooza, Image: Nicole Wakelin

It’s sort of a universally accepted fact that bacon is one of the best foods known to mankind. No other food garners quite the same level of fanatic devotion and adoration. As a result, it’s been incorporated into all sorts of recipes in an effort to create the ultimate bacon experience. I am guilty of adding more bacon than required whenever it’s called for because, it’s bacon, why not? I thought I was really living on the edge when I bought a bacon chocolate bar. This was at a little specialty shop in Boston and I walked out clutching my treasure, ready to fend off the masses who would obviously kill to have this for themselves.

I sat down on a bench and unwrapped my treasure thinking of all those shows you see on TV with people savoring weird foods. I decided to follow their lead and started with the aroma. It smelled like chocolate, which, although a wonderful smell, did not hold the promise of bacon. Then I cracked a piece off and looked at what I was about to eat. I saw teeny tiny little bits of bacon. Teeny. Tiny. This did not make me happy but I popped a piece into my mouth anyway. The chocolate was as good as it smelled, but the bacon was barely noticeable. I had just paid nearly $10 for a chocolate bar that did not live up to my expecations. The bacon was a lie.

Months later, I purchased a Talking Bacon plush from ThinkGeek. You press his side and he says “I’m bacon.” It was what my daughter wanted for her birthday more than anything. Yes, I was equal parts thrilled and scared. Bacon plush has been a big hit with every child in our neighborhood. He went in for show and tell and I had half a dozen parents contact me to find out where they could get him. Talking Bacon is the man!

One afternoon, my daughter’s friend, James, was marveling at the wonder of  Talking Bacon and asked where I’d gotten this amazing creation. I told him and then loaded up the site so he could see it for himself. It’s fair to say that his eyes bugged out of his head when he saw the assortment of geeky goods on the screen. Bacon popcorn! Bacon gumballs! Bacon jelly beans! I don’t think he could have been more excited if I’d told him school was cancelled for the rest of the year.

When his Mom came to pick him up, I told her that he might be asking for a bunch of bacon stuff, and then did the obligatory “Oops, sorry, I kinda set you up there. My bad.” apology.  She rolled her eyes, looked at her son, and told him she was not buying him a bunch of bacon stuff. He looked sullen. He gave her a masterful pout. He even made his lip quiver. No luck. So, James turned his charms on me. Me. Keeper of all things geeky. Writer of geeky stuff. Player of video games. I was his only hope.

I put this off for months, thinking he’d forget, but every single time I saw him, he asked if I’d gotten the goods. My answer was always “Not yet.” Then he showed up for a playdate with my daughters in an Angry Birds shirt which he proudly wore and, I thought, I just had to help this burgeoning little geek in the making. I contacted ThinkGeek.

And because ThinkGeek is so cool, they sent me a whole box full of bacon goodness. I was excited to try these bacony treats, but a little nervous. Unlike the bacon chocolate bar with barely discernible bacon, the whole box smelled like bacon when I opened it. Popcorn, gumballs, jelly beans, lollipop. Where to start?

I opened the tin of  Bacon Gumballs. They sure smelled like bacon. And they were a brick red color that looked like bacon. I decided it was best to have something to drink handy, like when my kids are forced to try something new, just in case the flavor killed me. I put it in my mouth and it was bacony. I chewed it and holy overwhelming bacon flavor! I didn’t think it was possible but it was actually too much bacon. I made it through maybe half a dozen chews before I had to spit it out and chug half a glass of milk.

My kids found this hysterical.

I moved on to the Bacon Beans. I’d learned from the gumballs and had a glass of milk actually in my hand as I popped a jelly bean in my mouth. I chewed, and chewed and, bacon explosion! Out with the jelly bean, down with the milk.  This left the lollipop and the popcorn. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but, I persevered and went for the Bacon Lollipop. Again, milk in hand, I gave the lollipop a few licks. It was tasty! It was sweet and had just a hint of bacon and, I liked it, I really liked it. My kids now wanted to try it but I told them they had to have a jelly bean and a gumball first. They declined.

Once the husband was home, I decided it was time to pop the popcorn. You know how, in an office, someone can pop popcorn on the other side of the building and you can smell it? Yeah, well I think my neighbors may have smelled the Bacon Pop right through the walls of my house. It smelled like the gumballs tasted and I was, um, terrified. I held my nose, grabbed a new glass of milk, and tried a few pieces. And then a few more. Another bacony success! If you can get past the overwhelming aroma, the darn stuff actually tastes really good.

So, in my quest for bacon I found two tasty treats in the lollipop and popcorn, and two that didn’t quite cut it in the gumballs and jelly beans. They are, however, the perfect thing to keep at your desk, luring in unsuspecting co-workers. Trust me, it’ll be good for a laugh. I even conned the kids over for a playdate yesterday into giving them a try and the looks on their faces, absolutely priceless. They did not like, except for one girl who liked the gumballs. She’s either exceptionally brave or crazy. I’ve yet to decide.

Ah, but what about the boy that started it all? What did James think? Well, oddly his Mom, who is a good friend, hasn’t responded to the texts I sent her about the bacon stuff. She must be really busy because she couldn’t possibly be ignoring me. I’m going to continue testing this on the neighborhood kids, but not to worry. Next time I see James I’ve saved a whole pile of bacon flavored tastiness for his geeky little heart.

Thanks to ThinkGeek for sending me (and James) all this bacon goodness!