Temptation on a plate for bacon lovers

Bacon lovers, this one’s for you — a story featuring some Michigan B&B innkeepers who show their love for America’s favorite breakfast meat.

If you go to Munro House B&B and Spa in Jonesville, you might be served bacon with a twist — literally. Innkeeper Mike Venturini said, “After heating the bacon, I twist it in a long spiral. It cools and hardens in that shape. Crispy bacon is best. Crispy curvy bacon is better. That’s my secret.”

Coils of cooked bacon grace a breakfast plate at Cocoa Cottage B&B
Coils of bacon grace a breakfast plate at Cocoa Cottage B&B.

Innkeepers Larry Robertson and Lisa Tallarico of Cocoa Cottage B&B in Whitehall also offer a different spin on bacon: gently curled coils. “One curious guest asked what part of the pig we use to make our bacon,” Lisa said. “Without skipping a beat, Larry said, ‘the tail, of course!’ That received a rousing laugh from the entire table, but the guest who posed the question remained convinced that we used the tail.”

Bacon lovers, consider the source

Numerous Michigan B&B innkeepers assert that WHERE they get their bacon is one key to how good it tastes.

At The Lamplighter B&B of Ludington, bacon is sourced locally at Sanders Meats. “Plenty of guests ask for directions to Sanders Meats after their first taste at breakfast,” said innkeeper Jen Hinderer.

The Farmhouse B&B near Gladstone in the UP gets bacon, ham and sausage from Seeds and Spores, a small family farm 60 miles away near Marquette. The diet of its pasture-raised heritage-breed hogs is supplemented by organic food ground and mixed on the farm.

Ebels General Store in Falmouth supplies bacon to House on the Hill B&B in Ellsworth, 80 miles away. “We buy a half pig and get different cuts,” innkeeper Marci Palajac said. Ebels sources only from local Michigan farms.

Honors for longest distance to favorite bacon source may go to Dapple-Gray B&B, near Copper Harbor at almost the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

White cheddar, bacon and apple biscuits served at Lamplighter B&B of Ludington.
White cheddar, bacon and apple biscuits served at Lamplighter B&B of Ludington.

When Ole and Ruth Van Goor built and opened Dapple-Gray, she had been in the antiques business for more than 45 years.  “One of my shows was at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.,” Ruth said. “Every year Ole would try to find out where the Grand got its bacon — it was unusual.  One year, which turned out to be the last year of the antiques show, they finally told him where it came from: Plath Meats in Rogers City, below the bridge.”

Ole immediately contacted Plath Meats.  “They worked out a deal where Ole would send them a freezer container and they would send it back with his order,” Ruth said.

Innkeeper Steve Gibson of Kalamazoo House B&B concurs that “great bacon starts with great product.” At his downtown Kalamazoo B&B, he said, “Hickory-smoked, thick-cut, premium bacon is the perfect starting place, and combined with a convection-perfected baking method to enhance and preserve flavor, bacon lovers can satiate their appetites for bacon here.”

Bacon inspires B&B culinary temptations

Innkeeper Jan Smith of Maple Cove B&B in Leonard makes the bacon lovers’ dream dish shown at the top of this page. She said she and her husband Mark call it “our deconstructed strata, which actually means we made up the recipe as well as the name.” They use a French bread strata as the base (cubed bread soaked in eggs, milk, spices and cheese), topped with a lightly fried egg and covered with a bacon basket.

Lamplighter B&B innkeeper Jen Hinderer works bacon into white cheddar, bacon and apple biscuits, shown above. She said, “These sweet and savory biscuits are a great base for a hearty breakfast sandwich made by nestling more bacon and white cheddar in between and topping it with an over-easy egg.” She added that the biscuits also are a great addition to a simple breakfast of fresh fruit with a slice of quiche.

Bacon basket with egg as served at Sherwood Forest B&B.
Bacon basket as served at Sherwood Forest B&B. Recipe below.

Finally, Noelene Wilson, innkeeper at Sherwood Forest B&B in Douglas, was willing to share her recipe for a guest-favorite dish that showcases bacon.

Gather bread, bacon, cheese — Noelene uses six-blend Italian — salt, pepper, and fresh thyme and rosemary.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

  1. Spray a large-capacity muffin pan with non-stick spray and set aside
  2. Using a glass or a cookie cutter, cut your bread into rounds to line the bottom of the muffin pan
  3. Lightly brush the bread with melted butter or olive oil
  4. Circle two slices of bacon around each pice of bread, making sure the bacon touches the bottom of the muffin pan
  5. Carefully break an egg into the center of the bacon
  6. Salt and pepper the egg and add your cheese on top of the egg
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not overcook; the egg will continue to cook when you take it out of the oven.
  8. Once plated, garnish with fresh thyme and rosemary

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