When I was little, I remember every year we would gather around a fire pit, and my parents and relatives (and us kids) would stick chunks of bacon on a stick, roast it over the fire, and catch the grease drippings onto a piece of fresh rye bread that sat on a plate at your feet, on which was piled chopped peppers, onions and tomatoes.
What? You say?
We didn’t call it “Frying Bacon” – we called it “Shoot Sullinaw” (my mom, or any other fellow Hungarian, is going to probably fall off their chair laughing at that translation). I googled and found that SZALONNA is the Hungarian word for bacon. I can’t figure out why we said ‘shoot’ Szalonna… I’ll have to ask my mom about that…
Here we are, a couple weeks ago, at my parents for the annual Bacon Fry. Wikipedia offers an excellent description of Szalonna and the Hungarian tradition -
In the traditional gypsy-style. szalonna is skewered on a rod (or preferably, a freshly cut stick from a cherry, apple or other fruit tree) and roasted over an open fire pit or narrow container allowing the fire to heat to extremely hot temperatures. A wood fire is best(hardwood) for additional flavor, although hardwood charcoal (not briquets) is acceptable. Once it starts to sizzle and drip with grease, the szalonna is removed from the fire and the grease is allowed to drip onto a slice of freshly baked bread. The szalonna is returned to the fire and the process is repeated until the piece of bread is nearly saturated with grease.
Sliced cucumber, red onion, green peppers, sliced radishes, paprika, other vegetables, ground pepper, and salt are used to add flavor to the slice of bread, and then more drippings are followed to top it off. Periodically, the charred remains are scraped off of the szalonna and are used as an additional topping. This dish was considered to be a peasants’ food since the most important aspect was the fat, discarded by wealthier Hungarians.
While googling I found another heartfelt post from a blogger Patti Ewald titled Nothing Tastes Better Than A Fond Memory. It described my family… it describes where we are now… my mom wants to nix the bacon frying tradition. It’s too much work, and only a couple even fry bacon anymore. (like Patti mentions, the ‘evils’ of all that grease….) I think what we are really yearning for is just a purpose to get together. An annual SOMETHING, so that everyone can make time to come and be together, and enjoy each others company -A magical photo -
As an after note, two years later, I’d added a photo post – if you would like to share photos of your family bacon fry, please email them to me in jpg format and I’ll link them to the post-