A Soulful Indulgence

My friends tease me for being a “social butterfly,” and it’s no secret that I love to meet new faces and host events. That being said, there will always be a set of friends who are nearest and dearest to my heart; those who have been with me through the good and the bad. Brian McCarthy is hands-down one of those friends. Getting ready to join the 25th regiment in Hawaii, he decided to visit Boston to hang with friends before deployment. The other day for dinner, we were both exhausted after a long day of work, and needed something quick yet therapeutic. Given the healing powers of bacon, Brian had the perfect idea: Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Feta and Almonds.
Dates – an ancient fruit whose historical and nutritional clout have pushed them to the upper echelon of dried fruits. They are one of mankind’s oldest cultivations, having traces in the Persian Gulf as far back as 6000 B.C. As such, it holds significant religious and cultural importance for the region. It is said that the Prophet Muhammed survived for months eating only dates and water. Such is why Muslims break the daily fast of Ramadan with limited quantities of each after sunset. Dates are also seen as being part of a healthy diet – they are loaded with fiber, potassium (more than bananas!), iron, and are fat free and cholesterol free (well, minus the bacon…)
Filled with feta and almonds, these snacks are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. The warmed feta and dates blend to a creamy consistency, while the crisped bacon and almonds provide a satisfying crunch. You have to allow them to rest for a few minutes after baking, which I can guarantee will be a true test of your willpower and patience…The result is a poppable treat that practically melts in your mouth. Care to indulge? As Brian would say, “40 rounds!” Click HERE to try these irresistible treats!
Indulgence, luxury…both dates and bacon can provide delicious refuge from the chaos of everyday life. When combined, they create an experience that defies the limits of our senses. Such an experience called for a musical pairing that could indulge the soul with beautiful refuge. Brian had the perfect suggestion: the Intermezzo from Pietro Mascagni’s opera Rusticana Cavalleria. An instrumental respite, the implicit intensity leaves listeners breathless in its wake. A tale of tragedy, betrayal and lost love, this opera is rich with soulful melodies. Even though the Intermezzo lasts no more than 4 minutes, it fully captures the emotional clout of the tragic tale.  A similar experience can be said for these dates, whose taste and complexity is nearly impossible to forget for days on end. Enjoy this beautiful piece!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xvdig4N0bpk

Brian hard at work 🙂

Sources Cited:
“Dates: The Holy Fruit of Arabia” Oregon State University
“Cavalleria Rusticana – Synopsis” Music with Ease

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