I made bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches this afternoon. As I poured the bacon fat left in the pan into a paper cup before throwing it away, I thought about how my mother would not have done that.
My mother and her six older sisters grew up during the Great Depression. They learned to let nothing go to waste. Any bacon fat left was poured into an old OJ can and put into the refrigerator for later use. That same bacon fat was later used to fry up potatoes or eggs or maybe flavor baked beans. I could guarantee that there would be a container of bacon fat in any one of my aunts’ refrigerators, maybe tucked way in the back behind the leftovers.
I have kept up making many of the family recipes handed down by my mother and her sisters, but the OJ can of bacon fat is a tradition that is dying with me.