Friday, August 7, 2020

Constantia. Mom. Bacon. Trust me it will all make sense.

Photo credit Tim Purdy's Blog

If you follow local historian Tim Purdy you know Lassen County used to move a whole lotta buildings. Homes, churches, barns, businesses have been relocated.. I was surprised to learn in Tim's recent blog that the adorable little chapel in Doyle was moved there in 1904. It had previously been in Constantia since being built in 1898 ish. How the heck do you move an entire building? No idea. BUT I do know that the previous generations really understood reduce, reuse, recycle. Nothing that could be used went to waste. We used to roll our eyes at our parents and grandparents using the cottage cheese container instead of the perfectly matched tupperware that was in the cupboard. Now my husband and I discuss, actually discuss, how we might 
use the empty container. It happens.

I promise you this will all come together in the end.... I can absolutely say, without fear of contradiction, my Mom made the best Potatoes O'brien EVER. I have spent years trying to replicate the perfectly caramelized onions and peppers, the tender yet golden crispness of the potatoes. Mom used cast iron, got the oil hot then would salt and pepper the bottom of the pan (liberally) before adding her ingredients. I did ALL that. So what's the problem? I have even pre baked the potatoes so they just needed to be diced and browned. Still... not as good as Mom's.  Until now. 

Yukons OBrien

One Saturday morning I filled a sheet pan with bacon to cook in the oven, it's a super clean way to cook it. I like to cook a full pan, that way after breakfast the rest goes in the fridge to crumble over salads, make BLTs and such. Then it came to me! That old coffee can that was always on the counter, filled with her personally curated blend of bacon grease. Like I said nothing went to waste.  THIS was the secret. I did a little google search so I could create my own amber deliciousness. I poured the oil from my bacon through a sieve right into a canning jar and popped it in the fridge. Momma would be proud. It has been used to sear everything from eggs to halibut (that halibut was heavenly). A tablespoon of bacon drippings is like a 1/4 cup oil, no idea why, plus it adds a smoky/saltiness that you can't get any other way. I highly recommend ALWAYS having it on hand. Just. Like. Mom. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. NOTHING went to waste!

Oh bacon, how I love thee.
See I told you it would come together :) 

THE SECRET. That wasn't so secret.

Thanks to Tim Purdy for all the Hometown History. Thanks to all those Moms out there for all the good food~

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