homemaking

Dripping

Dripping pot

I am on a crusade. For many, what you are about to read will be the most nutritionally politically incorrect information you have come across in some years. In fact, I would say at least 40 years. I am about to extol the virtues of the rendered fat from roasted protein – dripping. Purists please turn away.

Recent generations have been severely lectured to about the dangers of diets weighing high in saturated fats. Nutritionally sound advice, I would agree. However, the tsk tsking  and finger-pointing my grandmother and her compatriots have been subject to for the use of dripping in their family cooking, from subsequent nutritionally ‘informed’ generations has been quite intense. Yet considering her apparent lack of dietary insight, she and her cronies were lean little birds who lived into ripe old ages – meanwhile, the current dripping-free population is fattening and dying. Hmmm.

From my observation, it seems that dripping has become the baby thrown out with the nutritional bath water. It has been demonised – unfairly I believe – to the point where our current generation no longer recognises it, let alone its culinary worth.

Inside the dripping pot

This sweet little vintage pot bears testament to this. Many would be puzzled by its design. It is a dripping pot and it works quite simply. The roasting juices are poured through the strainer, which catches the meat and pan remnants, allowing the rendered fat to flow through. This little pot then takes residence on the refrigerator shelf. After chilling, the fat solidifies and separates from the meat juices.

This jar contains the pourings from my roast chicken pan.

chicken dripping

Now, when I need some fat to brown off vegetables and meats for curries or stews, this flavoursome, natural product is the go to. You can have several little pots of power on the go by saving the drippings from pork and beef roasts as well. This is a wonderful old skill to relearn and reinstate into future kitchens.

Processed foods don’t tend to end up on our table very often, so therefore room has been made for some flavoursome animal fat in our meals. These small amounts, used in moderation, deliver so much oomph to the dishes you make, and chances are, if you are using them then meals from fresh vegetables and meat are under construction. Not an autolyzed yeast extract or modified cornstarch to be had.

Roast beef

Postscript: and just as the purists are picking themselves up off the floor, I have one more arrow to sling – roasted potatoes in dripping.

personal style

Kitsch

Hula girl air freshener

It may interest you to know that this fetching lass exudes an exotic fragrance as she stands hula-ing on the dashboard as you motor along on your daily commute. If you are not immediately repelled by this concept and its accompanying figurine, then you are one of us – a lover of kitsch.

The individuals responsible for coining the term kitsch and then defining it as tawdry vulgarized pretentious art, would never have been referring to my china double-fish serving dish, which has pride of place on the kitchen wall (as an example of course of unpretentious art). There is certainly nothing that could be described as vulgar about the luminous scales or the piercing eyes that these beauties exhibit. Is there?

wall hanging fish

And who could possibly consider these two wooden Canadian flying geese above the clock anything but the height of 2013 kitchen chic?

flying geese

I blame the era I was raised in, where impressionable minds were subjected to cringe-worthy nodding dogs, cuckoo clocks and ‘here ’tis’ plaques on restroom doors (fortunately I did manage to escape the garden flamingos and crochet dolly toilet roll covers of an earlier, yet equally kitschesque era). The legacy this early exposure has left behind, is an irresistible attraction to the quirky, character-filled odd stuff, that was all produced in Japan and shunned by those of sophistication as kitsch. If you consider yourself part of this cultured few, then this bright little fisherman with his nets at the ready situated amongst his quaint village infrastructure, would have little effect on your heart and soul as he appears at the bottom of your cereal bowl after the last spoonful is scooped away.

Alfred Meakin Fisherman

The slightly unsettling part of writing this post was the fact there was no lack of subject matter around this home to capture…..even down to the tea caddy.

Postscript: To clarify, the hula girl and her corresponding dashboard do not belong to me….not that there’s anything wrong with that of course.

homemaking

Pot

There is a lot of satisfaction to be gained when you use an object of beauty or interest to fulfil a utilitarian purpose.

I found this old dear in a thrift shop and she now resides next to my computer holding pens, tape measure and other assorted paraphernalia necessary for online browsing.  Any clutter vital items that land on the desk, get tossed under her lid. In fact she is the extraordinary who creates orderly.

We do have a tendency to organise ourselves this way in other areas of the home, with the potatoes living in a pottery urn, the eggs in a ceramic ‘chook’ and the washing powder in a large preserving jar. All containers are quirky, thrifted and repurposed.

Giving new life to objects with a history is a way of saluting the past and making a commitment to a sustainable future.

Post script: if anyone knows the history of this fruit jar, don’t hold back.