This morning, it was thirty degrees in Philadelphia, with winds at thirty miles per hour. I woke up to howling outside my window, and made my way to church, coffee with friends, and later, the gym. I was disappointed – understandably, I think – not to be met at any of those places with laurel wreaths and congratulations for the courage I showed going outside in that cold.

So I decided to reward myself with grilled cheese and tomato soup. (I had to make a separate trip outside to get the soup. It was almost self-defeating, but I don’t want to talk about that now.)

First, I cooked a rasher of bacon in my big skillet, for two reasons. (Seriously, “a rasher” is the correct way to say “a whole lot of” bacon. Use it in a sentence as soon as you can.) In the first place, I like a slice of bacon as a between-meals snack, so I try to have some pre-cooked in the fridge all the time.

And in the second place, I thought the only way to improve gooey cheese on buttery bread might be a hint of bacon flavor in the bread from grease left over in the pan. Y’all, I was right.

I emerged from a food coma several hours later, happy, and lo did Thanksgiving week begin.