Sunday, 20 December 2009

A big ol' pan of fat

The shortage of fat in World War II was often got around by the presence of a frankly disgusting pan of fat. The idea was to fry everything in a single pan, thus collecting the run-off fat each time. This fat was then kept, congealed, until it was needed next time.

The pan provided a useful source of dripping - bacon and other fat that you can dip toast or bread in as a tasty alternative to plain, tasteless margarine (there wasn't enough butter to waste on toast). And the fat keeps - regular boiling and congealing kills off most nasties, and anything that did turn could be scraped out, leaving the bulk of the fat available.

There's no other way of saying this: this practice is disgusting. It looks disgusting, it smells disgusting and it is, to 21st century minds, disgusting. And I'm starting my fat pan today, when CJBS has his bacon sandwiches for lunch. The pan will likely be vital toward the end of January, when fat will be hard to come by.

Edit: CJBS didn't want bacon cooked in a frying pan (only grilled), although he did offer his bacon rinds for further use (?) so I've made a start on a vegetarian fat pan instead, beginning with some baking marg and some vegebacon. This'll be very useful for me in late January...

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