There was bacon fat in my childhood home. After frying bacon for baked potatoes or BLTs we’d pour the hot pan drippings into a small brown crock jar with a matching lid that slid all the way off and was held in place with a thick, hinged wire. I remember using those drippings to make scrambled eggs. Then my mom decided we weren’t healthy enough — I guess. The brown crock jar with the wired lid stopped making an appearance. Cooled bacon drippings were trashed. The memory is so short it feels unreal…forbidden. But, I know that brown crock jar existed. I know it did.
Then I was looking at Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagan. I’m something of a whimp and a wuss when it comes to meaty parts — it was Bitter that got me to look up her other cookbooks — but fat seemed like a safe subject and it was on the library shelf on the day I craved a cookbook. I was hungry. It was just before lunch.
There’s a little too much “go to your butcher” in the book to make it something easy to cook from. Ah, yes, the butcher is the one who puts the meat into those little plastic and styrofoam packages. Going to a butcher means going to a specialty store. I do intend on buying the good cream in order to try my mixer at homemade butter, so maybe I’ll pick up some marrow bones then. But, bacon fat — that’s everyday.
Instead of a crock jar a small canning jar now sits in my fridge. Dollops of soft, creamy, meat white fat are melted to a sizzle for grilled cheese. It might be really fantastic for pancakes too, doncha think?