An easy appetizer for serving quality, pastured bacon.

This year’s Thanksgiving feast was a local foodie’s dream. Our hosts Steve & Liz of WellSpring Farm were serving a 30-pound turkey raised in the barn next door. They assembled a rich mixture of local farmers. Roots and fresh vegetables from Plowbreak Farm were prepared in traditional and not-so-traditional recipes. Deserts reflected the dinner guests’ bountiful harvest of apples, pears and berries. We enjoyed homemade cheese and bread, and plenty of Finger Lakes wine and home-brewed beer.

It was notable that we could determine the name of every animal used for our meat dishes. While most in attendance are engaged in farming, it seems the purveyors of the meal’s turkey, pork and other butchered items had saved their most prized animals–prized enough to be given a name–for this day.

Our contribution of bacon was no different, except that it was prepared with something we cannot grow in New York: dates. If you are looking for an easy, irresistible appetizer, try this. Pit dates (or use pitted dates if you are short on time) and stuff them with dollop of cream cheese. Fry up fatty bacon, but don’t let it get too crisp to roll. Before they cool, cut the bacon strips in half and wrap them around the stuffed date. We skewered three of them on a kabob stick and brought them to the event in an oven-ready container. Five minutes in a very hot oven warmed them for serving.