Or, Why I always save my bacon fat.
I do indeed, and yesterday used a couple of tablespoons to saute onions and ground beef as the base for a simple chili. Add some chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and salt, add a can of pinto beans with their nutritious liquid (what, you were going to waste that?), and a can of tomatoes, and you have an easy and tasty meal.
The Depression and World War II rationing taught our parents to make the most of the good things they had (they also came up with some unpleasant substitutes for good things, but that’s another story). My mother will often comment that her mother, my Babci, could make a meal out of nothing. I never really knew what she meant, but an offhand comment from her got me thinking about ways to use what we have–and sometimes make something better. Thanks, Mom.
Quick fridge pickles:
When you finish the jar of pickles you made this summer (see my Sow-ah Pickles post), you still have about a half a jar of pickle juice, which is perfectly good. Buy some fresh cucumbers–Kirby or Persian mini cucumbers work best–wash, dry, and slice about 1/8 inch thick. Submerge the slices in the jar of pickle juice and refrigerate for a day or two. The cukes will still be a crisp, but will have taken on some of the tangy marinade. Great with drinks or a hamburger.
Waste not, want not!