Wise Women Friday: Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker

Words of wisdom from Irma and Marion, the mother-daughter team who brought us The Joy of Cooking:

It is a sobering fact that unless you 
use the rendered grease [of bacon], 
you are eating only one-fifth of what you buy.

First printed in the height of the Depression, The Joy of Cooking is nothing if not a thrifty homemaker's bible.  And now, in these austere times, who among is not, on some level, a thrifty homemaker?  But what to do with the rendered bacon grease?  How can one use the total package, as it were?  That is the question. 

Of course, you can cook with it, as is commonly done in the south. (Think: pie crust.)

But must economy doom us to heart disease, strokes, and fat thighs?  I say no!  With a little creativity, bacon fat can be as versatile as that favorite black dress you dress up or down for any occasion.  Why wait?  Start today: Use your bacon fat in any of these fabulous ways:

1. Moisturizer.  Perfectly natural and chemical free (as long as the bacon is organic), but do pass through a sieve first as little bits of bacon on the face are not at all attractive.
2. Scented crayons.  Just mix with a little paraffin and food coloring.  Bake until hard.
3. Humane dog call.  Don't torment Fido with one of those high-pitched whistles that only canines can hear.  To dogs, that's like scratching fingernails on a blackboard.  Slather a little bacon fat on your wrist and Fido will come running.  Even better, he may bring a few friends.  The more the merrier is what I say!
4. Candles.  Enough said.
5. Bird Feeder.  Just douse the fat in some bird seed, attach some yarn and hang from a tree.  You'll have a regular aviary!  (Warning: do not leave small pets or children unattended.)
6. Lubricant.  Enough said.
7. Chapstick.
8. Volumizing hair gel.

Why stop there?  There must a million things to do with bacon fat.  As the old saying goes: The world is your oyster and bacon fat is your Swiss Army Knife.


Cafe Observer said...

Yes, MF, if you bring home the bacon we dogs may come for you. I'm sure you'd love it.
Just be sure it's organic.

Susan C said...

Since I like to multi-task, I think I'll use the bacon lard as a hair gel and then throw in some bird seed. Feed my hair and the blue jays simultaneously.

Palm Axis said...

I'm over at Pasadena Adjacent

I tried using non organic bacon grease to tan a moose hide. I was going through my Sioux period back then. Things went rancid pretty darn quick. I threw the hide under my parents house. I thought time might tan it.

Margaret said...

Susan: Now that's economical and efficient! PA: Your poor mother.

Petrea said...

I can't get past the lubricant idea. I don't want to say I'm stuck on it.

JCK said...

Oh...my, my, my... Bacon. I'd be afraid the moisturizer or lubricant might attract wild animals. Like...howling coyotes.

Very funny post, Margaret!

Virginia said...

I have to take issue with the southern cooking idea. As far as I know, we will cook our vegetables in it all day long (literally) but wouldn't be caught dead using it in pie crust. Come to think of it, I wouldn't be caught dead making pie crust period!

Hair gel? Are you kidding me? Although Susan may be onto something here. And I'm with Petrea on the lubricant thing. I can't begin to go there so I'll say au revoir for now.

Margaret said...

Virginia: I only know what I google:http://www.recipezaar.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?t=200471

Nice to hear from you. I often admire your comments over at AltadenaHiker. Where's her post, by the way? AH? AH?

Petrea said...

It's there and it's a hoot. Or a snort. Check it out.

CB3Dot said...

Ah! Ms. Susan C, CA & Virginia. There’s an axiom from the old south. Bacon Be Sacred. Lard be good. But the grease from the bacon be sacred and good. You start with a cooked pot of Grits, and bacon fried, jes’ right. Ya got your eggs already broke in a bowl waiting for the moment. The skillet is hot, but not smokin’. Ya’ take the grease from the bacon, drop it in the skillet, and when it jeeeees starts to bubble, ya drop in the eggs so the yoke don’t be broke. (If that happens, you go and eat in the pantry away from the rest of the family.) But this is about bacon. The bacon fat is bubblin’ in the skillet, the eggs have started bubblin’ around the edges, and you take the spackle and give them a quick flip. You have about 6 seconds to lay a layer of grits on the plate, place the bacon fat flavored eggs flat atop the grits, move the hot biscuits, also cooked in bacon fat (if you had saved some) on the side of the plate (we didn’t have bread plates). Now breakfast ritual starts. The best moment is when the fork breaks the yoke and it flows over the grits. Take a bite from a piece of bacon, a fork of the grits, and for a moment, you have learned how to spell nirvana

CB3Dot said...

AltadenaHiker at www.altadenahiker.blogspot.com, once you take the bacon out of the kitchen, has the outside track on bacon as it relates to the universal condition. If I could turn a phrase like her, I'd quit my jobjob!

Margaret said...

CB3Dot: I think your comment counts as an entry. Welcome to the party.

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