I have this dream, fantasy….ok, completely unrealistic expectation that one day when I entertain everything will be perfect. Other people seem to do it. Martha Stewart comes to mind. A bit closer to home, my sister-in-law Kathe has the perfect home. It’s so perfect to the teensiest detail that the lamp in the guest bedroom has a tiny little decorative ladybug on it. My house gets actual infestations. Here’s another less out-there example: my sister, who lives an outrageously crazy life and whose house would at times scare a health inspector, pulled off a house-perfect event this August.
Some of you are choking on your coffee at this. Come on, you think, you’ve pulled off two wedding receptions, a cousin reunion, countless Thanksgivings and office parties. True enough. Here’s what has set me off: I just wish that getting ready for Thanksgiving (which involves the death-defying act of cleaning out the refrigerator) did not involve bacon drippings.
My daughter had done a preliminary pass of the fridge, dumping out her old lentils and such. She saved for me the dish of evaporated something formerly known as junket that had been pushed to the way back and managed to glue itself to the shelf. I had to remove the entire shelf–with dish attached–and run hot water over it to dislodge the dish. What made it more annoying is that I love junket and would never have let that get past Day 2 if I had known it was in there.
She also left all the containers of bacon drippings. She probably did not want to be the responsible party when her dad discovered their absence. I, however, am willing to “out-wrath” him. I need room in the fridge for two turkeys, plus a bazillion casseroles, and the fridge is already not big enough. I need every square inch of shelf space possible. Multiple–and I mean multiple–containers of bacon drippings are wasting valuable shelf space. So I pull them all out and discover that two of them are essentially empty! They aren’t completely empty. They are end of the peanut butter jar empty. You could scrape more out if you were desperate for peanut butter, but if you had a fresh jar in the pantry, you’d toss it. That kind of empty. But not so empty that you can just plop the greasy thing in the dishwasher with glassware. So I have to wipe them empty. I could just run hot water in them in the sink, but it would take a lot of running water plus that much grease is not so great for the pipes and septic system. So wipe, wipe, wipe.
Why, when I have actual party prep to do, am I cleaning out bacon grease containers? Why, you ask, are you cleaning out bacon grease containers? Why, you ask, don’t you just throw them out? Because, dear reader, they are not in tin (aluminum, whatever) cans–they are in coffee mugs. As a teacher, I have a plethora of coffee mugs–just yesterday I was given a lovely set of two from a parent who flew in from Korea for parent conferences–but that doesn’t mean I want to just throw them out.
So here I am cleaning out bacon-dripping filled coffee mugs when there is silver to be polished. And I’m gonna hear it when hubby discovers (probably by reading this) that the drippings are gone. It’s not like we won’t generate more. Sheesh. The way my husband hoards bacon drippings, you’d think they were gold. If only. If bacon drippings were gold, I could retire.