1. bard, noun - a person who recites epic poetry, often while playing the lyre or harp (i.e. not me)
2. The Bard, noun - William Shakespeare
3. bard, noun - any various defensive pieces for a horse (usually used as barding); also, bard, verb - to put bard on a horse
And the definition that primarily concerns us today...
4. bard, noun - piece of bacon or other pork fat placed on lean game and/or poultry to prevent drying; also can be used as a verb, as in "I'd love to run away to Italy with you, Mr. Cumberbatch, but I simply must stay and finish the barding on this pheasant!"
For our visual learners out there, it comes down to this:
|Will Shakespeare Glamour Shot courtesy of biography.com|
|Pheasant wrapped in bacon leg warmers photo courtesy of Yours Truly|
It's a tough call, I know. This is especially difficult for me, because I am a former English teacher, but I also live in Iowa, and I feel an acute loyalty to bacon.
The pheasants were gifted to us about two or three months ago by my father-in-law, an avid hunter. If these brightly colored birds have ever skittered across the road in front of your car during any of the fall or winter months, then you know they aren't very big. And, seeing as they are constantly on the run from orange-clad hunters, they're pretty lean birds.
And in the culinary yearbook, lean wins the honor of Most Likely to Dry Out Faster.
Hence, bacon. Wrapping the lean pheasant meat in slices of bacon provide an extra layer of fat to moisturize the meat. It also provides a modicum of flavor (just a bit, as my oldest son noted, it's too bad the bacon flavor can't get down in the meat, Mom).
There is nothing quite so quaint, rustic, or pastoral as wild game wrapped in cured pork, yes?
And here we will conclude our linguistic dialogue. Bard, barding, barded, The Bard. The English language is a great one.