I joke a bit about zombies but I don’t really worry to much about the more dramatic apocalyptic scenarios. I believe we are far less likely to have our planet destroyed by an asteroid than we are to suffer through a house fire. The odds of New York being buried under 45 feet of snow in a rapid, climatic catastrophe is not something I waste a lot of brain power imaging although winter storms routinely leave millions without lights and heat. Because I’m a pretty pragmatic prepper, I read a lot about the actual events that disrupted the lives for a good deal of the planet throughout history and apply that information to my particular time and place. I then use what I learn to make choices about how I live. Take bacon fat. We keep a couple of pigs on a fairly small plot of land behind the house. We get the piglets in the spring and butcher in the fall. Even when we trade some of the pork for other local meat and give a good bit to our adult kids we still end up with a lot of bacon and hence, a lot of bacon fat. Over the years, I fed some to chickens but most was tossed out. However, after reading about the rationing of fat during World War II, I began to look at what I was tossing through a very different lens and I began to keep the fat. The process is very simple. When I cook bacon I drain the fat into a mason jar. As you can see in the picture above, it come out with some bits of grit and rather on the yellow side. I keep the jar of fat in the refrigerator until I have a full jar. The I render it like I would render lard. I melt it down until the solids drop to the bottom of the pan. Then I pour the melted fat through a layer of damp cheese cloth. This leaves a much cleaner fat behind. I find a lot of uses for the fat.
- Use it for frying. Eggs are quite good friend in fat as are bland things like pancakes.
2. Replace some of the butter in dishes where the taste won’t be affected with bacon grease. I like it in cornbread. 3. Season your cast iron with a good coating. 4. Mix it with bird seed and freeze in a mold. Your feathered friends will thank you. 5. Lubricate a tight screw. 6. Condition old leather boots. 7. Use it when popping corn. So good!!! 8. I’m stretching here but you could drop a wick in a jar of fat for an emergency candle. The point here is that we waste a lot of that is very useful, especially food items. Imagine if your fat ration was 1/2 cup per week as it was for British citizens during the war. I’m guessing they would not have dreamed of throwing any fat out.