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Every Time I Toss the Bacon Grease I Feel Guilty

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by scotrace, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Ever since a wisening-up episode with a plugged kitchen sink drain, I've been saving cooking fats and grease in a coffee can by the stove for tossing when it gets about half full. Every time I do, I think about the government wartime program to collect excess cooking fats for turning into glycerine and thus explosives.
    Here's a good article about it in The Atlantic:


    The article mentions Disney propaganda film exhorting families to save their grease. "Every pan of grease is a little munitions factory..."
    (removed from Youtube due to copyright)

    Is there any good use for the stuff in our time?
    1mach1 likes this.
  2. Fry your eggs in it. Or use it as the base for macaroni and cheese instead of butter. That's good eatin'.

    Also, my grandfather used to use old cooking fat to waterproof his work shoes. It kept the rain off and the dog was always glad when he got home.
    belfastboy likes this.
  3. We use it to fry eggs, in batter (particularly waffles or biscuits), and to grease pans.

    We store it in our freezer in canning jars to keep for the next use. We only collect the good fat, though. Not all bacon is created equal, and the fat isn't either.
  4. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots I'll Lock Up

    Grew up on the stuff. An old coffee percolator could usually be found on the stove with the filter basket used to collect the particulates as the fat settled in the bottom. A slight warming of the percolator would release the necessary amount of the bacon grease, easily poured from the spout; used for frying eggs, baking, frying other things and just general flavoring.
    belfastboy and 1mach1 like this.
  5. This is an excellent idea. I have an incomplete percolator that will do the job just fine!
    Bamaboots likes this.
  6. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    When I make a dish of red beans and rice, hoppin john, moors and christians and similar I stir in a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease. It adds flavor and the dish does not seem so dry. I mean a couple of tablespoons to a casserole dish or pot of beans and rice.
    belfastboy and Bamaboots like this.
  7. emigran

    emigran Practically Family

    Bacon fat... in some places it is used for money...!!!
  8. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    We never have bacon and do not have that problem. One recipe I have waiting for the right moment calls for "drippings." Where on earth do you get drippings if you don't roast meat? In olden days when I was little, we ate a lot of beans. Green beans for us, brown beans for my relatives across the street. An essential element was supposedly fat back pork, still available wherever fine foods are sold. But I don't use any pork additive when I fix brown beans and they turn out just fine. Even my wife eats them. The only thing I add is some chili seasoning and salt and pepper. They go good with the bannock bread I fix whenever I fix brown beans (pinto beans), which is a day and a half exercise.
  9. The pork in pork-and-beans is merely there as seasoning. One can leave it out or not as taste requires. The essential thing is *don't* use tomato sauce in baked beans. That will give you something akin to Campbell's canned beans, in which the small atom of pork they use in a recipe is the only thing to relieve the blandness.
  10. You can make your own drippings base if you are vegetarian/ vegan by roasting/ pan frying some veggies in a little grease of your choice (like olive oil, coconut oil, etc.) The next time you roast some veggies add a little extra oil and scrape the pan really well to get all the drippings.

    Drippings are just flavored fat. If you're a meat eater, the meat does both, but with veggies you need to add the fat, while veggies add flavor. I like to roast onions and root veggies with olive oil for vegetarian drippings (to make veggie gravy with the drippings, stock, and flour), but I suppose there are some recipes onion/ root vegetable drippings might not work well in.
    David Conwill likes this.
  11. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    No offense, but that doesn't sound like exactly like what the recipe calls for. I'll have to read it again (haven't tried it yet). It's a meat loaf (yes, I eat meat and lots of things I wouldn't eat as a child). My wife says what I make is better than what her mother made, which I doubt, so maybe I shouldn't mess with a good thing. Of course, recipes are flexible things, otherwise there would only be one meatloaf recipe, the one that came on the top of the box of oatmeal.

    I still haven't understood why you need to use beef broth when making beef stew, which I happen to like very much. Only I don't really care for it after about the second or third day. Contrary to theory, it doesn't seem to get better.

    Someday I must ask Miss Lizzie of LizzieMaine about New England boiled dinners. I have fixed that a time or two and it definitely did not improve with age. Probably something I did wrong.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
  12. It's basically the old Irish dish of corned beef and cabbage -- having the right meat is essential. You need real corned beef for best results -- a salt-cured beef brisket. If it looks an unappetizing grey color when you get it at the meat counter, it's the right stuff. Put the brisket in a big pot and cover it with water. Simmer it for about ten minutes until there's a scum on the surface of the water. Skim that off and throw it away. DO NOT ADD SALT. The brisket's got all the salt you'll need. Add a small palmful of whole peppercorns and maybe half a dozen cloves. If you've got a bay leaf, throw that in too. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about three hours. Poke the meat now and then in the last hour until it's tender enough to suit you.

    Cut up eight or ten carrots -- and maybe half a dozen small potatoes -- put them in the pot with the brisket. Simmer for another fifteen minutes. Cut up a whole head of cabbage into large chunks -- a big, tight, white one -- and put it in the pot. Simmer *with the cover on* for another fifteen minutes or so. Open a window or your kitchen will smell like you're boiling old overalls.

    Some people put onions in this dish, but they're helots and barbarians.

    Serve with hearty "Canadian style" white bread to sop up the juice. If you partake of alcoholic beverages, have a cold Narragansett with it.
    vitanola and David Conwill like this.
  13. None taken. I assumed vegetarian because if you are an omnivore, typically there's drippings of some sorts around.

    We rarely eat meat and we still just about drown in drippings. But I am a "hoof to snout" person having been raised on a farm, so we try not to waste anything decent.
  14. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Interesting going on hilarious comments here. As for the onions, we put them in just about everything, including the meat loaf and my brown beans. If you put in the brown beans too soon when you're cooking them, you might as well not bother.

    Regarding the N.E. boiled dinner, which was have not had almost within living memory, we are undoubted doing something that is not kosher. Either that or it's an acquired taste (most things are). Or maybe we just didn't eat it up fast enough.

    We do have enough meat to suit ourselves, at least if you count hamburger, but we rarely fry anything in the kitchen and we grill outside a lot. So no drippings survive.

    Regarding what we do eat, however, we now consume a wide variety of foods that I never even knew existed when I was little. We ate nothing that was "ethnic" in spite of having immigrant neighbors (and that was in the 1950s in West Virginia). Even spaghetti was unknown at our house even though nearly all immigrants that I ever personally met as a child were Italian. They rest were Syrian! This week we're eating something my wife will only make once a year and this is the week. It is what she calls a layer salad. Mostly lettuce, it also includes peas, chicken, water chestnuts (I think), shredded carrots, a fair amount of mayonnaise--not salad dressing--and probably one or two other things I haven't noticed. Perfect for this time of the year. It was 81 when I left the house this morning at 5:30.
  15. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    For a more elaborate version of the boiled dinner here is the Newfoundland Jiggs dinner. This is a special occasion meal, traditionally Sunday dinner served when you have company.

    The name Jiggs dinner dates back about a hundred years to a cartoon called Bringing Up Father but this style of cookery is much older. The whole thing could have been cooked over an open fireplace in the Colonial era before the invention of the cook stove.

  16. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    Fry some chicken livers in it and make pate.
  17. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    I don't remember anything food-like from Bringing up Father but I remember the comic. He always wore a top hat, tails and spats. Has anyone here ever mentioned spats?
  18. Joe50's

    Joe50's Familiar Face

    grandparents kept a mason jar of drippings for frying / potroasts they were poor farmers who never wasted, potato peels also were used for making a semi sweet jam which was just 1/2 cup of sugar 2-4 cups milk, your potato peels, and 2 hours of stirring on low heat and skimming the foam off to make a jam jar portian of milk jam. from what i have read it's what grocers sell as dulce de leche
  19. Haversack

    Haversack Practically Family

    BlueTrain wrote: "I don't remember anything food-like from Bringing up Father but I remember the comic."

    Jiggs was always trying to sneak out of the mansion to return to his old neighborhood hang-out, Dinty Moore's tavern for a meal of corned beef and cabbage. (And Maggie would lay about him with whatever was handy when she found out. She didn't want 'the better people' to know about their Shanty Irish roots.) This was such a popular running gag that Hormel created their Dinty Moore brand of canned meat items like beef stew and corned beef hash.
  20. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    I would hate to suggest comics were better then than they are now, because they weren't but I do miss some of them. Some I vividly remember (not necessarily accurately), others barely at all, like the Toonerville Trolley. Hope I'm remembering the name right. I also remember Moon Mullens (and Lord Plushbottom), Dick Tracy, Nancy and a few others. My favorite probably remains Blondie, who has aged really well.

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