Willa’s Christmas Present

I accompanied my 5-year-old daughter’s kindergarten class recently on a field trip to a biodynamic farm in Malibu. The kids planted organic lettuce and petted goats and learned about composting.

For lunch, the farm served a “harvest soup,” made — as far as I could tell — with potatoes, squash, corn and water. “Dad,” Willa said scowling, “I don’t like this soup.” “Why?” I asked. “Because,” she whispered, looking around, “It’s awful.” Gagging sounds and howls of protest could be heard going up around the group of kindergarteners as the embarrassed teachers tried to hush the kids.

After lunch, such as it was, Julie — our farm tour guide — went around the circle asking the kids what their favorite healthy food was. When it was Willa’s turn, she said, “Bacon.”

Everyone loves bacon. A youthful recent babysitter of ours confessed to being a vegetarian. You don’t eat any meat, I asked? None, she replied. “Not even bacon??” A look of longing came across her face, like I had mentioned a long unrequited love. “Bacon,” she sighed sadly, as if the true magnitude of the loss had only just sunk in.

It’s hard to understate Willa’s love of bacon. When she emerges from her room on a weekend morning the scent will draw her to the kitchen like yellowjackets to a barbecue. “Do I smell bacon!??” she’ll say, her face alight with hope. Upon affirmation, she has a special bacon dance she does.

I was out shopping for Christmas presents, and stumbled upon the Bacon Press at a second-hand store. It was $4, and I had to purchase it for someone. I thought of various friends who might it humorous — probably many of you reading this might’ve received this fine addition to any kitchen. But as I pondered it, my mind alighted on the perfect recipient: Willa!

Willa's bacon press

I love to think of the joy it will bring my little girl on a weekend morn — she and I pressing bacon down together, dodging splatters of fat… and then digging in. What could possibly represent the spirit of the holidays better than that?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. paul
    Dec 10, 2011 @ 05:11:08

    Out of the mouths of babes. I just saw a very similar Bacon press; didn’t buy it but thought of many who would love it. I mean who doesn’t love bacon?


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