I would like to start this column by saying it’s only kinda going to be about The Muppets. Yes, they have a new show coming out. I guess maybe you should watch it? I don’t know. I have mixed emotions about it. I think maybe The Muppets should never do anything again unless Jason Segel is doing it … but that’s neither here nor there.
What this column is actually about is cooking with another human being.
A little under a year ago, I moved to Ohio. I don’t have a whole lot of existing friends here and those that I do have are either not close to Cleveland or falling prey to the evils of my social anxiety. Meeting people is anything but easy. I work from home and when I’m not working, I’m coming up with recipes for all of you fools. Right? So as of right now, I can confidently say I have made two friends since moving here.
When I was considering doing this column, I didn’t brainstorm. I just had one idea. To reflect Miss Piggy’s new single relationship status in the television show, I wanted to create a dish called “A Date With Miss Piggy.” It was going to be a date … wrapped in Miss Piggy.
Lucky for me, one of my (two) friends and I have discussed (in-length) bacon-wrapped dates and I know for a fact she has made them and made them well. So I invited her over for a cooking date. (No, I’m not calling her Miss Piggy.)
Erica provided the stuffed date expertise, I provided the fake pig noses. And fun was had.
Having a friend to cook with was great. I’ve gotten to a point in my friendship with her where I feel comfortable having her around and I super enjoy her company. It only makes sense that I invite her into my kitchen to cook.
But here’s the catch – I never do this. I cook alone. It’s part of my life as a hermit. Even when I was growing up, I did the cooking while my mom went off and did something else productive. That carried over to my marriage. I do the cooking, my husband goes off to be smart about something. I don’t have people in my kitchen unless I’m feeding them.
What I’m discovering through this process is that I need to give up control a little more. Erica came in and sliced dates and told me what to do and it was fabulous. Actually nothing to fear. Who knew? Whatever, I’m a work in progress. It might seem like a normal human interaction to you, but I think I’m closer to muppet than human.
Regardless, it was super successful and fun. This column is a big fat thank you to a good friend for providing you all with her recipe and for letting me practice being human.
Also, The Muppets premieres on September 22nd. Check it out. Also, grab a friend, eat some Miss Piggy in solidarity with Kermit. I don’t know what shit went down there, but I have no doubt that she was to blame.
Editor’s Note: Below is the recipe as it appeared on HoboTrashcan.com.
A Date with Miss Piggy
8 oz pitted dates
½ lb bacon, slices cut into thirds
8 oz goat cheese
½ cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Slice dates open length-wise and stuff with a small spoonful of goat cheese.
Wrap each date in a third of a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. (You can turn the sheet halfway through if your oven does not cook evenly.)
Turn the oven to broil and cook for another 5 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.
While the dates are cooking, simmer balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan for 5-10 minutes or until reduced by about half.
Serve hot dates with balsamic reduction.