Why did my Grandparents Save Cooking Grease?

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Why did my Grandparents Save Cooking Grease?
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 4:43 PM

The story I have got is that since WW1 and or WW2 is that grease and oil was needed by the army and war industrys and that folkks saved there cooking grease and took it down to the depot and got war ration coupons for them. I just stayed at a AirBnb run by a older lady and reached for the Coffee in what I thought was a Folgers Coffee cansiter and I got a handfull of nasty bacon grease! The fact that older people still save grease seems like a leftover from Depresion days.

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 07, 2017 9:20 AM

Bacon grease is a nifty adjunct to Southern cooking, assuming the bacon was good quality and not 'watered'.  You use it anywhere something like olive oil would be used to avoid sticking, and I put a little in vegetable soup to add flavor.  Any sediment or pan scrapings go to the bottom of the bowl by gravity when the next 'installment' from bacon cooking melts all the grease in the bowl...

 

... and who reaches into a Folger's can in someone else's house with their bare hand?  Sounds like instant coffee karma to me... Whistling

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Posted by bedell on Thursday, December 07, 2017 10:00 AM

We save the cooking grease to help prevent clogs in the drain pipes - especially in houses on a septic tank system.  We sometimes have mixed bird seed into the grease to make a poor man's suet in the winter.

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Posted by Victrola1 on Thursday, December 07, 2017 10:20 AM

Grease into gunpowder. 

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/04/reluctantly-turning-bacon-into-bombs-during-world-war-ii/360298/

During the Civil War confederate women saved their urine. Nitrate to make black powder. 

 

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Posted by steve24944 on Thursday, December 07, 2017 10:23 AM

Growing up in the 50s-60s, my Mom always had a can in the refrigerator where she poured the bacon grease.  When the can was full we just threw it out.  It was from habit from the war years,  she did not like pouring grease in the sink.  I was told that durring the war grease was collected  and was used in making munitions.  See the attached video with Pluto and Minnie Mouse. ( after the ad )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6qprRVvMYE

 

Steve

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Posted by zugmann on Thursday, December 07, 2017 10:51 AM

Overmod
... and who reaches into a Folger's can in someone else's house with their bare hand? Sounds like instant coffee karma to me... Whistling

If you're dumb enough to let strangers stay in your house via AirBnb, then that's what you get.

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Posted by selector on Thursday, December 07, 2017 11:06 AM

Those who have spent any time on a property with a septic tank and field soon learn not to let grease go down the drain. Try about $10K for a new weeping field, or about $5k if the fat only clogs your main or second tank. Londoners discovered that whale-sized 'fatberg' in their sewers not long ago.  Nothing says, "Wanna spend some big bucks??!!" more than having your plumber tell you your main sewer pipe to the city service has a severe stenosis of waxy fat.  Probably backing toilets will be kind and tell you first.

We keep some of our bacon fat the few times we have it each year.  The rest is allowed to cool, and then spatula'd and paper-toweled out of the vessel before we wash it.  I learned from a cooking show that bacon fat improves just about anything.  One in particular is Brussels sprouts, and the others could include kale, kolhbrabi, and even green beens if they aren't your favourite.  Steam for a bit to suit your palate, then add a couple tsp of bacon grease, stir fry another 20 seconds, place in serving dish and onto the table she goes.

Num-nums!!!

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Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, December 07, 2017 1:25 PM

I still save grease - when I accumulate enough in cooking that I can pour it into a container - which is seldom.

         

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Thursday, December 07, 2017 1:50 PM

   As Jeff Foxworthy said:  Grease is one of your basic food groups.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Thursday, December 07, 2017 1:52 PM

The glycerin in the grease was what was needed to make all kinds of explosives.  1lb of bacon grease had enough of it to make 1 lb of high explosives for things like bombs HE shells for arty battleship main gun rounds things that our troops needed to win the war.  Why do you think animal rendering plants are still around they are used to make what is needed to blow stuff up.  

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, December 07, 2017 1:57 PM

The American Fat Salvage Committee-

Headquartered in Buffalo,New York USA

Also home of Chicken Wings,Perogies,Glumkies Beef on Weck,Potato Pancakes and all other fried fatty foods and long winters.

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, December 07, 2017 2:03 PM

http://www.buffalobiodiesel.com/  collects grease from greasepits from the back of diners around here to make into fuel oil. Some of it is shipped off in Tank Cars owned by Darling Co via the CSX or NS bulk transfer yards.

 

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Posted by spsffan on Thursday, December 07, 2017 3:00 PM
Back when I was a kid in the 1960s, my mom would save grease in old coffee cans. When they were full, they were given to our Mormon neighbors who, I was told, used it to make soap. But regardless of what you might or might not use it for, it's never a good idea to put grease down the drain.
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Posted by bedell on Thursday, December 07, 2017 3:50 PM

We used to live in WNY and you are making me hungry with all those Buffalo food memories.  All those authentic Greek restaurants too.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, December 07, 2017 6:31 PM

Well the best use I heard of for bacon grease was to mix it into your cornmeal to make a dough, roll the dough into a snake, wrap it around your ramrod and cook it over the fire.  To a southern soldier in the 1860's that was called sloosh.  Maybe one of these days I'll get to try it.  Wink

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Thursday, December 07, 2017 6:35 PM

My Mom came over from Slovakia in 38, my Dad was first generation Slovak American.  My Mom ALWAYs saved the bacon grease.  She used it in her cooking from gravy to biscuits!  Nothing better on a cold winter morning than oat meal with flakes of crispy bacon and a spoon full of hot bacon grease smeared on top!    

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, December 07, 2017 6:36 PM

Penny Trains

Well the best use I heard of for bacon grease was to mix it into your cornmeal to make a dough, roll the dough into a snake, wrap it around your ramrod and cook it over the fire.  To a southern soldier in the 1860's that was called sloosh.  Maybe one of these days I'll get to try it.  Wink

 

I Think they sell that at carnivals around here like Canal Fest.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, December 07, 2017 7:12 PM

I found an interesting and handy use for bacon grease a few years back, well, more than a few years back.

I was going to a shooting range one Saturday and was going to shoot a reproduction Civil War revolver, the type commonly referred to as a "cap n' ball" revolver.  When you shoot a black powder revolver it's VERY important to seal the end of the cylinders so the flash from one won't ignite the others. It's called a "chain-fire" when it happens and it's not good.  I used a commercial grease made for black powder shooters for that purpose and found out I was nearly out of it.  Oh, great, now what do I do?

No problem, we had a can of bacon fat in the 'fridge, so I melted it down and funneled it in the tube, then it was off to the range.

Started shooting, "Pa-THOOM!  Pa-THOOM! Pa-THOOM!"  And something strange happened, all the other shooters stopped firing and began sniffing.

"What's that smell? Bacon?"

"Somebody makin' breakfast?"

"I don't know, but it's makin' me hungy!"

"Me too, is there a diner close by?"

I just smiled and kept banging away.  That improvised chamber sealer worked pretty good!

Made me hungry too, by the way.

And of course, there's no reason to suppose Billy Yank and Johnny Reb didn't use bacon grease in their sixguns!

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, December 07, 2017 7:20 PM

Firelock76
I found an interesting and handy use for bacon grease a few years back, well more than a few years back.

Seems to me the British thought of that interesting and handy use, to their sorrow, a few years before the American Civil War...

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, December 07, 2017 7:35 PM

Overmod
 
Firelock76
I found an interesting and handy use for bacon grease a few years back, well more than a few years back.

 

Seems to me the British thought of that interesting and handy use, to their sorrow, a few years before the American Civil War...

 

 

Ah, the Sepoy Mutiny, supposedly caused by Moslem Indian Army troops going beserk when they found out the paper cartridges used in the 1853 Enfield rifle were lubricated with bacon fat.  The thing is, it wasn't true.

Turns out there was an Indian Rajah trying to stir up trouble.  He told the Hindu troops the cartidges were lubed with beef tallow to stir them up.

In fact, the cartidges were lubed with whale oil. It lasts for years and doesn't spoil like animal fats would.  The only people whale oil might drive over the edge are the Greenpeace folks.

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Friday, December 08, 2017 1:52 AM

Firelock76
"What's that smell? Bacon?" "Somebody makin' breakfast?" "I don't know, but it's makin' me hungy!" "Me too, is there a diner close by?"

   Why does bacon smell so good?

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, December 08, 2017 8:33 AM

As mentioned, bacon grease was often used in cooking, rather than buying cooking oil or Crisco or whatever.

I believe I still have a 78 of the original 1940 recording of Don Raye's "Down The Road A Piece" by the Will Bradley Trio.

If you want to hear some Boogie, then I know the place
It's just an old piano and a knocked out bass
The drummer man's a guy they call eight beat Mac
You remember Doc and old Beat Me Daddy Slack
There's fried chicken cooked in bacon grease
Come along boys it's just down the road a piece.

Stix
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Posted by 54light15 on Friday, December 08, 2017 1:39 PM

I've read a book on the Sepoy rebellion many years ago called "Dando on Delhi Ridge." A pretty good read. I do recall a movie about it with Tyrone Power, I think that had him demonstrating how to open the cartridge with your fingers, like anyone is going to do that and not use thier teeth. 

The golden rule of bacon is, don't eat it more than four times a day. You might get tired of it and that just won't do. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, December 08, 2017 5:08 PM

I remember that Tyrone Power movie, "King Of The Khyber Rifles" was it's name, and Tyrone does a good job demonstrating the loading procedure for a muzzle-loading rifle-musket, and he does bite the end off the cartridge like you're supposed to.

If I remember the segment, he's trying to demonstrate to his Moslem troops (who admire him greatly, he's half-Indian) that it's OK to use the ammunition and the world's not going to come to an end if they do.  They DO follow him into battle, but not with the new rifles, they use cold steel!  Good movie.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 08, 2017 6:11 PM

Firelock76
Ah, the Sepoy Mutiny, supposedly caused by Moslem Indian Army troops going beserk when they found out the paper cartridges used in the 1853 Enfield rifle were lubricated with bacon fat. The thing is, it wasn't true.

The actual problem was that it didn't have to be true: the British were arrogant about forcing the Indians to 'accept the new cartridge' without even a hint of explanation that the rumors were false...

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, December 09, 2017 10:40 AM

And weren't they sorry afterwards!

I tried to find the loading sequence from "KOTKR" on You Tube so everyone could see Tyrone doing it, the whole movie's posted but not the sequence.

So, Plan B.  Here's a Johnny Reb re-enactor demontrating the procedure with an 1853 Enfield.  Keep in mind, the beginning is a "by the numbers" training procedure that was used to teach the soldiers how to get it right.  Right after that, the First Sergeant shows how fast soldiers had to load and fire in battle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLkCjIRjDJ8

Of course, the cartridge might have tasted a lot better if it DID have bacon grease on it!

And while I'm thinking about it...

Major Tyrone Power, USMCR.  Rest in peace sir!

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