Dining With Denise Neil

How to surprise your Valentine with a bouquet of bacon roses

Surprise – and feed – your sweetie with a bouquet of bacon roses on Valentine’s Day.
Surprise – and feed – your sweetie with a bouquet of bacon roses on Valentine’s Day. The Wichita Eagle

Making a greasy, edible bouquet is easy and delicious work. It makes a unique gift for Valentine's Day or anytime.

Flowers fade. Jewelry gets lost. Boxes of chocolate melt. And no one – I REPEAT, NO ONE – wants a tiny stuffed teddy bear holding a tiny stuffed heart for Valentine’s Day.

Bacon, however, is forever.

A few years ago, I was struggling to come up with a way to mark Valentine’s Day for my husband, a notorious Valentine’s Day disavower who would be more embarrassed than touched to receive a bouquet of roses at work.

The fact that he disavows Valentine’s Day – and that he always gets too spoiled at Christmas – made me decide not to spend big money on a gift that would actually blow his mind. What to do?

Then I remembered something I’d seen online: Bacon roses.

They looked simple enough to make. He’d never be expecting such a strange gift, meaning I’d surprise him for sure. And I imagined his delight when the salty, Sunday-morning aroma of a bacon bouquet reached his nose. This gift, I was sure, would turn his Valentine’s Day attitude completely around and trap him forever in my debt.

In reality, he looked at me as though I had lost my ever-porking mind, but he did appreciate the effort. And although he didn’t have the stomach to dine on a dozen bacon roses, I later chopped them up and used them to make his favorite pasta carbonara.

Here are the simple steps to follow if you, too, want to surprise you sweetie with a flavorful, cholesterol-filled gift he or she will not soon forget.

Supplies

1 package of thick-cut bacon

12 artificial roses from a craft store

24 toothpicks

1 edged cookie sheet

Aluminum foil

One oven-safe baking rack

One small vase and greenery or one decorative red ribbon

Steps

1. Gather your artificial roses and carefully remove the artificial flowers from the stems. Discard or save for sprinkling about your bedroom later.

2. Set your oven to 375 degrees. Line the cookie sheet with aluminum foil to catch grease. Place cooking rack on top of foil.

3. One by one, roll pieces of bacon up into tight rolls. Poke two toothpicks, crossways, at the bottom of the fattier, white side of the roll and place, pinker side up, on cooking rack.

4. Place in preheated oven and watch closely. Roses should be crispy and darkened in 45-50 minutes. Don’t let them burn.

5. Remove roses and let them cool. Carefully remove toothpicks and spear each rose with the de-flowered stems. Arrange in vase with greenery or tie up with a ribbon.

6. Remember to refrigerate before presenting.

7. The bacon roses are delicious snacks, but they also can be re-purposed into other Valentine’s Day dishes like pasta carbonara or bacon and potato soup and also could be used as a pizza, salad or baked potato topping.

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