Pleasure Practices with Sami Schalk: Get appetized

“Bacon and brie are soulmates of the mouth.”

“Bacon and brie are soulmates of the mouth.”

Illustration by Rodney Lambright II.

Note: I wrote this before the terrorist attacks on the Capitol and I didn’t change it because those white men aren’t gonna make me work more. Read this shit as is. It’s fine.

 When I was a kid going out to eat at a “sit down” restaurant with table service was A Big Deal™️ and it was an even bigger deal if my single mom let me order an appetizer. An appetizer! The chance to experience an extra, totally different food before your actual meal. I fucking love appetizers. Give me some fried cheese curds or potato skins or fancy roasted Brussels sprouts or a bomb-ass cheese plate and I feel like a kid again being treated to complete and total decadence. 

My latest pandemic pleasure practice has been making appetizers as part of my dinners. I set the table for myself and eat the appetizer first while my meal is still finishing or is hanging out hot and ready on the stove. It encourages me to slow down a little and not rush through my meal when I make it an experience. You too can be a fancy multi-course-meal-eating babe when you make these tasty treats.

Bacon & Brie Turnovers

-1 tube of crescent rolls (if you feel confident in your dough-slicing abilities you can also get the sheet dough kind but the crescent roll kind is already in cute lil triangles for ya)

-4-8 slices of cooked bacon depending on the thickness

-Some brie

-Fruit jam or preserves (apple or peach are always good choices)


Preheat your oven to 350. Pop that tube of dough right on open and unroll it. Split into the triangles and put the smallest four on a baking sheet (why are they never perfectly even?). Spread about a half teaspoon of the jam or preserves onto the triangle starting at the center and working your way out. Place a hearty slice of brie and two to four half-ish slices of bacon in the center of each triangle, leaving enough of an edge to seal. Place one of the larger triangles on top to cover the bacon and brie and then seal the edges by pressing them together firmly. Have a weird open spot? Rip a little from an edge that has some dough to spare and stick it over the open spot. You’re not on a cooking show (except for the one in your head—or maybe that’s just me). It doesn’t have to look perfect. Imperfect-looking things taste great all the time (a lesson for us all amirite?).

Cook those babies about 12 to 15 minutes. They should puff up slightly and be golden to light brown. Remove from the oven and let them sit for a minute to cool then serve with additional jam/preserves on the side if you’d like. Boom. You’ve been appetized. 

Addendum: OK, so here’s the thing, you could literally put almost anything inside some crescent roll dough and it would probably be delicious (remember pigs in a blanket?). This is just one example because bacon and brie are soulmates of the mouth, but you could also put pizza sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni inside and make a fancy-ass lil Hot Pocket, ya know? 

The point is, make an appetizer sometime with one of your meals. Hell, light a candle. Play some music. Use cloth napkins. Have your partner, child, or dog pretend to be a waiter. Whatever floats your boat. Just give yourself a multi-course meal experience at home (dessert too!) and remember, the food always tastes better when you say “I’m a badass bitch” (or another affirming statement) first. That’s just science. 

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