Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Master Fat Madness

Tonight, a longstanding kitchen mystery was solved. It is something I wish I had never seen -- something that cannot be unseen.

M has long had a habit (that I've never condoned) of gathering leftover bacon grease and storing it in (what used to be) a favorite coffee cup. He sits this goupy gelatinous mess in a corner of the kitchen window. At certain points, it disappears. And then returns.

I assumed when it got close to full he disposed of it in the trash, and then started anew. I never asked, being kind of grossed out by it, but figured he had to collect the grease somewhere because it was too hot to immediately throw in the trash after he cooked his bacon. And I just figured it wasn't a good idea to send such glop down our pipes, so that's why he didn't dispose of it in the sink.

Well, the veil has been lifted and the full horror of the fat revealed. He has been putting it in our food!!!!!

Yes, apparently this is a "thing" done by many big chefs and most Southern households. One collects all the grease from cooking meat (and other offal) and stores it, to use as flavoring or rendering in other dishes. Real chefs throw grease in from whatever they are cooking -- a mix-and-match of all types of fat (aka, 'master fat').

Tonight I caught M dabbing some of his disgusting brown fat goop into my spinach, onion, garlic and mushroom mixture. Oh, the humanity!!! And the calories!!!

I wonder how many extra calories in brown fat I've consumed every time we ate M-prepared quinoa, beans, or anything veg-related? What kind of a nut does that?

It reminds me of the time my friend couldn't figure out where all her butter was going. It seemed to fly out of her kitchen. Finally she realized her foodie husband was slathering everything he cooked in the stuff. She gained 5 lbs while he lost a ton of weight -- turns out he'd developed Type 1 diabetes and kept losing weight no matter what he ate, even a pound of butter a day.

So, I can go back and recalculate my calories for every meal eaten over the past year or so, or make sure M understands he is NEVER to put brown fat on my food again.

To top it all off, my weekend in Boston was great but I burned almost zero calories (that with long bus rides up and back). The only time we moved was ice skating at the Frog Pond (so beautiful).
I checked how many calories I burned...about 230. Yeah. About the same amount of calories you'd find in a tablespoon of brown fat.

But overall, the trip was grand. We had so much fun, and I didn't overeat. Struggling back into the regular routine, sans master fat (I hope).


  1. O-M-G. I'm not a twitterer, but seriously -OMG. HAHAHA, ok you have to admit it is funny now that you know, right? Too soon? Yes, that is nasty, but pretty common apparently. I pour the shit down my drains, which isn't good but it isn't going anywhere else in my kitche. Yikers. The more you know, right? ;-)

    So jealous of your Boston trip-I love beantown.

    Polar's Mom

  2. Ug...quite the post. Glad you had a good time in Boston.

  3. I only save bacon grease, but I save it in the fridge.

  4. Actually, we do like to cook with bacon grease :D

    However - I *always* know when it is coming. It's a shame it was sneaky on you. Those unaccounted calories are what get you every time.

  5. Oh, too bad about all those extra calories. I love the flavor bacon grease adds to food, but don't want to be side-swiped by it calorically-speaking! Gorgeous picture of Frog Pond, by the way. I wonder if you'll notice a difference in the taste of your food now...Good luck and best wishes.