written by: Carl “Papa” Palmer
My sister grew up watching Mom cook in the kitchen,
alarmed the day her home economics teacher declared
that southern choices of oils for frying were not healthy.
I’m not sayin’ your teacher’s wrong, Mom tells Ann.
Most cooks use a favorite shortenin’, cookin’ oil, lard
butter or oleo when optin’ to pan fry or deep fry foods.
And every meal doesn’t need to be fried, but when it
is, my essence of cookin’ southern is bacon grease,
half filling the reclaimed Crisco can on her stove top.
Handing Ann a bottle of Wesson Oil from her cabinet,
Read the contents label. Lots of additives and acronyms
are in this oil Betty Crocker suggests in her recipe book.
Wesson has 14 grams of fat and 120 calories compared
to bacon grease havin’ 13 grams of fat and 115 calories.
About the same per tablespoon but this oil adds no flavor.
Imagine me servin’ my fry bread, eggs or hash browns with
no bacon-y taste, or roasted chicken breasts not rubbed with
drippins, or not brushed on oven biscuits or hot cornbread.
Ann learned well. She prepares her iconic gravy using two
tablespoons each of flour and bacon grease skillet-browned,
then stirs in dairy cream and ladles it over baked biscuits.
My best meal ever, served, of course, with 6 strips of bacon.
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