- It was a bad idea to buy our house because it’s made entirely of wood and our roommates over the years have included squirrels, birds, skunks and groundhogs. We liked the groundhogs best. They were quiet and they didn’t smell.
- It was a bad idea to buy our house because it is surrounded by forest. Let no light penetrate the lot at 5117. That means no vegetable garden or beautiful flowers. Hope you love hostas as much as we do.
- It was a bad idea to buy our house because it has an incredibly steep driveway. People visiting us have actually refused to drive up it. Poor Noah did not have a natural childhood because if he attempted to play catch at the top of the driveway and missed, he’d traumatically watch the ball roll about a mile downhill before stopping. And in inclement weather it ices over at the blink of an eye.
Here is a brief illustration of the steepness of our driveway.
This poor man had to deliver a grill to me last spring. It was painful to watch. It took him about half an hour to get the grill up the driveway. I did not offer to help. By the way, he’s only about a third of the way up.
Which brings to me to the Women of St. Paul’s Christmas Party at the Austin/Faulkner home. It may be the best Christmas Party ever. The food is fabulous, the wine flows and all the guests genuinely like each other. It is tonight and the weather is crappy. It’s rain right on the edge of turning to ice. Rain at the bottom of 5117 can be ice at the top. I call my friend, Claire. “What do you think? Should I make my appetizer?” She checks the weather and is uncertain. I stew about this for far too long before deciding I just don’t want to end up as a sad statistic. My obituary would read: “The deceased met an untimely death as she slid down her driveway into a telephone poll but her Cheddar Bacon Swirls were delicious!”
But I did make them, chewing over whether to go to Helen and Katie’s until the last minute. They are delicious. I’ve already had three. If I put one on edge at the top of the driveway it would roll all the way to Franklin Road.
- 1 pound of center-cut bacon
- 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed but still cold
- 1 jar seedless raspberry jam
- 2 cups finely shredded Cheddar cheese
- Parchment paper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the bacon in a rimmed, foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Drain and cool. Finely dice bacon by hand or using a food processor.
- Unfold one sheet of the puff pastry. Spread a thin layer of the raspberry jam on the puff pastry. Top with half the bacon, spreading it evenly over the pastry. Top that with 1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese, also spreading it evenly.
- Roll the puff pastry up as you would a jelly roll. Using a serrated knife, cut the pastry into ½ inch rounds. Place the parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put the swirls on the parchment paper, leaving room for them to expand. If you have leftover swirls, refrigerate them.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry begins to brown. Remove the sheet from the oven, gently loosen the swirls from the parchment paper with a rubber spatula and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.