March 24, 2011

things i should have taught my children, but didn't

well, it's thursday. i feel much better now and i will be my regular self, randomly posting stuff that comes to mind - still working on my disappearing act.

so here is something that i should have taught my children, but didn't...

it is another dad thing. we always drained extra fat from cooking, like when cooking bacon, ground beef or my favorite - frying up some okra, into a jar and stored it in the refrigerator. dad says one should never pour excess fat down the kitchen drain. sometimes, if some ended up in the sink, we had to run the disposal with cold water so that it would solidify before it clogged the drain.

now, someone could say, "that is a little too much extra work. it's pointless."

so NOT true.

this is what was on our fort worth water website:

Sewer backups and overflows are frequently caused by fats, oils and grease being placed into the sewer system by customers. Because these items are lighter than water, they accumulate in the sewer pipes, similar to how cholesterol builds up in the body’s blood stream and arteries until a blockage occurs. The backup could result in damage to your property or it could overflow into the storm drain causing environmental damage to our rivers and streams.
Tips for preventing sewer backup
  • Don’t put greasy food scraps down the kitchen sink or garbage disposal. Instead, always use a paper towel or rubber spatula to thoroughly scrape and swipe plates and pans into the garbage can before washing.
  • Don’t pour melted oils used for cooking down the sink or garbage disposal. Let them solidify in a container on the counter or in the refrigerator. Then place them into the garbage.
my dad was right. it is bad to pour fat down the drain. after reading the very descriptive and somewhat gross reason by the water department, it makes me want to be more diligent and to check my blood for cholesterol levels.

what i don't like is putting it in the garbage. i wish that there was a neighborhood oil pickup like the big commercial oil pick up for restaurants and fast food places have. i don't like the idea of having all that show up in a landfill. i guess i could cook with less oil, but without fried okra? not possible.

i have 2 jars in the refrigerator: one for bacon grease (on the right) and one for all other fats (left). my grandmother fried chicken in half Crisco and half bacon grease for the most delicious fried chicken in the world. i have never been able to replicate it exactly the way that she did, but it is still pretty tasty. the best thing to do with the bacon grease is to make the old fashioned version of Party Chex Mix.

Party Chex Mix (from

1 1/2 c real butter                                     10 oz box Cheerios
1/2 c bacon grease*                                   1/2 16 oz box Wheat Chex
1 T Worcestershire sauce                           1/2 16 oz box Corn or Rice Chex (i LOVE Rice Chex)
2 t seasoned salt                                       4 c thin, salty pretzel sticks
1 t garlic salt                                            12 oz can cocktail peanuts - optional (so NOT optional, but i use half because...)
1 t celery salt                                            9.25 oz can cashews - optional (...i use a much bigger can of mixed roasted nuts
1 t hot sauce (i use Tabasco sauce)               instead of just plain cashews)

melt butter and bacon grease in a saucepan
stir in seasonings until salts (mmmmmmm salt) have dissolved
pour cereal, pretzels and nuts in a large bowl (a very very large bowl)
pour hot mixture over and stir to coat well
divide mixture into 2 - 3 13"x9"x2" baking pans
bake in 200 degree oven for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes
allow to cool 4 hours before serving
*if you don't have enough bacon grease, you may substitute necessary amount with more real butter.

so...michelle and jason, always drain your fats from cooking into a jar and put in the frig till filled then throw away in the garbage. separately store the bacon grease, be a good citizen and recycle it into the recipe above and invite me over to help you eat it.

and that's another thing i should have taught my children, but didn't.

1 comment:

  1. Ohh, but what you don't know is that I currently have a mason jar with my bacon grease in the fridge :)