Older Southern women keep theirs next to the stove. Younger Southern women keep theirs in the fridge. Other women wouldn’t know what to do with theirs. Of what do I speak?
Bacon grease, of course. You know, that hot liquid that you drain off your bacon. My goes straight into an old coffee can. But, then I put it in the refrigerator. My grandmother and her generation of Southern cooks kept it handy, right by the stove, so that when something needed a little extra flavor, it was within arm’s reach. These days, I don’t use bacon grease to cook as much as my cooking forebears did. I tend to use it only when I’m frying chicken. How else are you going to get that crispy outside and juicy inside?
My can is a well-kept secret. Most of my granola-crunchy neighbors would look askance at me if they knew that we eat bacon, much less cook with its drippings. Some of them might go so far as to contact Child Protective Services for endangering the health of a child by feeding them anything that is cooked with my beloved bacon grease. What they don’t understand is why my fried chicken seems to be eaten first at potlucks.
I’m not planning on telling them my hush-hush ingredient. Let’s just keep it our little secret between friends.