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Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Feel Healthy -- and Ever-So-Slightly Shiny...

We gravitate toward certain foods. My husband, for example, consumes candy like a seven-year-old. If someone were to tell you that they’d seen Willie sitting on a park bench somewhere, clutching handfuls of Pixie Stix*, you could believe them.

I happen to know that he hides candy in his underwear drawer.

Have you ever?

Personally, while I will never turn down the good chocolate, particularly of the dark persuasion, I am not interested in candy corn, Hershey bars, SweeTarts, or any of the other sugar bombs we give to children who don’t know any better.

I do not hide candy in my underwear drawer.

No. Spare me your sugar.

And hand over all your salt and fat.

What, you think I’m kidding? I said hand over your salt and fat!

And if you have any crispy chicken skin on ya, I’ll take that, too.

I’m not alone in this. My father is the same way, and the brutal free-for-alls we had over the fat that my sister trimmed from whatever she was eating bordered on the comical.

“Ya see that?” he’d whisper. “She’s gonna trim all the flavor from it.” And then, aloud, he’d proclaim, “I knew that was too good for you kids. Pass that over here. I claim Karen’s fat in the name of the United States.”

And then we would battle for her fatty leftovers.

OK. So we didn’t really pass around plates of salted fat, unless you count the “cracklin”: bits of pork fat and meat my father fried up hard, coated with salt, and cooled on brown paper bags.

So I guess we did pass around plates of salted fat.

So you know where I’m going with this, right? That’s right, I’m about to blame one of my parents for my fat habit.

I primarily blame my father. He grew up poor enough that sometimes dinner was a matter of reheating the pan that meat had been cooked in earlier, spreading a bit of the heated grease across a slice of bread, then adding a slice of onion and salt and pepper.

“It was a Wish sandwich,” he said. “Because you wished there was some meat in it.”

Have you ever had a Wish sandwich? You know, if you’re hungry enough, it’s not a bad thing.

I'm making myself peckish over here.

You know, this has been helpful. We should talk more often. I started out thinking about my craving for fat and salt and went on to discover that it is both my father's fault and a comfort food.

Mmmm. Comforting, comforting fat.


* Basically flavored sugar in a straw.

49 comments:

Ponita in Real Life said...

Ha! I remember Pixie Stix! But then I am older than you, Pearl. Isn't cracklin' just the best!?!? My mum would roast a whole ham, skin on, til the skin was crisp and when she peeled it off to glaze the ham, we'd all 'pig' out on the crispy, oh-so-tasty skin.

I, unfortunately, have been afflicted with both the candy and the fat craving... not good.

Sioux said...

One of the "Sweet Potatoe Queens" books talks about how white fat is so much more unsightly than brown fat. Think of it. The fat on an uncooked pork chop is downright disgusting but brown it up and it is pure heaven.

Camille said...

And let's all pause to remember that big ol' can of bacon grease my Yankee mother and others of her generation always had sitting beside the stove 24/7. It was added to frequently, used constantly, and never, ever quite emptied.

You betcha I got that delicous fat and salt habit - and the thunder thighs to prove it.

Jhon Baker said...

I don't really care for candy unless it involves peanut butter - but in general avoid the sugary stuff as well. Also a fat addict, my little family has gotten use to simply passing over the cut off from good meat - the part where the flavor is hidden. I don't know how or why you would eat a perfect steak without the flavor band, but I benefit from their diet ignorance.

Gary Baker said...

Your hubby has an underwear drawer? (Marginally better than, 'your hubby has underwear?') My underwear is forced to share with socks, jammies, long-johns, stopped watches, belts that have mysteriously shortened and a croakless plastic frog. Just so's you know ...

Pearl said...

So I'm not alone in my love of fat...

Gary? A croakless plastic frog? That's not code for something, is it?!

Roses said...

I lurve anything full fat, salted and double creamed.

Give me steak with lots of fat on it. Lamb...more fat please and as for fried chicken skin, honey we'd wrestle for in this household.

I will eat good chocolates...by which I mean the dark stuff. So dark, you pop it in your mouth and have no saliva to chew it with. But that's to be savoured in small doses.

Candy? Nahhhh...not when there are olives, sun dried tomatoes and anchovies to be munched.

*realises she has the most boring underwear drawer on the planet, with only panties and bras in it*

Sausage Fingers said...

Funny, as bairns we were always to to "Suck the marrow" (All fat) from any meat bones so we could stay warm in the winter! Funnily enough I now live in the sub tropics where the winters are as gentile as a wee mouse.

powdergirl said...

Maybe its a Prairie thing, but my Dad made cracklings too, served on a slice of homemade bread with plum jam.

He and my brother fought over the fat that I "dissected" from everything on my plate. I still do that.

Also, yeah, sugar? Who cares about sugar when there's salt to be had. If I had the nerve I'd be out there with the cattle licking the big blue salt blocks, but the neighbors talk... its awkward.

becca said...

i never turn down chocolate

Eva Gallant said...

Unfortunately, I love anything chocolate, salty potato chips, salty buttered popcorn, and crispy fried chicken skin! And the crispy skin on roasted chicken or turkey! I am on my 6th day without any of the above. I will either lose weight or jump off a bridge soon.

Joanie said...

I'm sitting here with a small box of Godiva chocolates that I won, among other things and glad you can't take it from me. :)
Reading about the fat, though, reminded me of my friend, Janice, who used to love to eat the fat off the edges of the pork chops and steak (I can see her in my head, right now) She dropped dead of a massive heart attack, at the age of 39.
I love me some fatty foods, but the fat along the meat has to go and if the skin on chicken can move in any way (it has to be super extra extra crispy) I can't touch it!

Don said...

Pearl, you lured me here by a comment you posted on Mynx's "It's freakin raining" @ http://just-tish.blogspot.com/2011/01/its-freakin-raining.html

I guess I was wrong thinking that we poor southern rednecks were the only ones who know what cracklin' is. I love cracklin' cornbread, but my high fat diet of too many years has resulted in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and becoming a borderline diabetic, so I can't feast on it as often now as I would like to.

You may have snow up to your "whatever" but here in central Alabama a rare snow event is forecast for Sunday and Monday.

WrathofDawn said...

As a kid, my dad used to have to take pork fat sandwiches to school for lunch. Ick. He died of a heart attack, but not until age 83, so I guess he was one tough cookie!

But the fat on the edge of the pork chops? YUM!!! I don't often eat it, but I sure would love to.

Lynne H. said...

Oh crap!!
I do hide my candy.. I now have Chico-stix and somer Werther's..LOL

Well, I'm honest about it!!!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Like Camille, I remember well that my mom kept a stash of bacon grease on the stove and used it to fry eggs, hamburger, whatever. I did that too, until I found that if you seldom cook, the grease will go rancid. But Pearl, you can't live in this climate without comfort food and fat, so no guilt.

Bossy Betty said...

I keep fried chicken skin in my underwear drawer. Now you know all my secrets.

Kate Mohler said...

No candy in my lingerie drawer (sorry guys), but park me in my LaZBoy and give me a package of licorice, and I'm good to go! I was raised on the following sandwiches: egg-n-mustard, peanut butter-n-banana, peanut butter-n-tomato, braunschweiger-n-onion, Spam-n-anything. My mom's mom was the chicken skin eater...kinda glad I missed that gene!

Kay Dennison said...

I believe that the for basic food groups are salt, grease ketchup and beer. Chocolate is a deity to be worshipped often.

Andrew Green said...

I keep lots of breakfast cereals around the house....
No need to hide my candy, as I tend to lose lots of it, only to find it in random places later. There's the potential for a surprise in my life every day!

Oilfield Trash said...

Ha being that I live in the south, I have had my fair share of cracklins.

mrwriteon said...

I think it's a female thing. I'm like your husband. Not so much about candy, but about things like ice cream, cake and pie. Wendy is savory and salty always as a preference. Though, I do like cracklins and don't let me get started on salted cashews.

De Campo said...

I spent years in a seven step program battling my Pixie Stix addiction.

Anonymous said...

And friends thought I was strange cause I used to hide candy in my underwear drawer so the kids wouldn't eat it! The really scary part was that my teen-age son discovered my cache.

who said...

Well I NEVER!

SOME kids felt and SOME adults felt up lucky to have just jam sandwitches (two slices of bread continuously jammed up and into together)

John McElveen said...

BRILLIANT!!

I go to Bojangles and just order the Skin!!!!

John

Kittie Howard said...

My grandmother used to keep a jar of cracklin' in the kitchen. But pork and I never got along, so I kinda lucked out. Not so with potatoes...are you gonna eat yours?

Tracy said...

hah, my son loves Pixie Stix...I gravitate toward ooey-gooey foods :)

Belle said...

I hide my cigarettes in my underwear drawer. Honest. I hide them from my grandsons who used to steal them. I guess I don't need to any longer as they are now 19 and 21.
I know - cigarettes are way worse than fat or candy. Hope I can stop some day.

Simply Suthern said...

OMG, I love me some Cracklins. I sure you are shocked.

bruce said...

pork loin wrapped in bacon in a whipping cream wash and a dark beer batter wash, then deep fried!

Bruce
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GYPSYWOMAN said...

oh, dear! you've outed my own family secret! it was MY MOTHER who hid the candy in her lingerie drawer!!! yes, she did!!! all our lives! but the candy-lingerie fetish DNA stopped there, thank goodness - and all i keep in my lingerie drawer is.......oh, wait, i nearly slipped and told my OWN secrets!!!

and on that fried chicken, was it dipped in eggs and then buttermilk and then flour and then double-dipped before being dropped gingerly into the cast iron skillet filled with bubbling crisco? to be served with mashed potatoes colored yellow from real butter and then canned milk added to mask the yellow color - with white gravy to be poured freely over everything on the plate - well, there you have just one of her small lunches -

very neat post, lady!!! always such fun here!!!

24 Corners said...

Dark chocolate, salt, and fat are my best friends...and sugar is my husbands! I blame his parents for his addiction, and 'Chicken In A Biskit' crackers for mine !
xo J~

Tempo said...

Yes, I remember having dripping sandwiches as a child when there was nothing else.
Whats a dripping sandwich you ask?
Basically its cooking fat.. when hams etc are hung to cure they drip fat which was collected and sold cheap for cooking...Like you said Pearl, when theres nothing else...

Symdaddy said...

Oh dear! Pearl what have you done?

How could you write THIS at THIS time???

And Tempo hasn't helped by bringing up dripping!

I could murder for a dripping sandwich and plate of pork crackling right now.

Oooooooooooo! And onions fried in dripping and coated in ketchup with just a hint of mint in there too!

Oh Pearl! What have you done????

Hilary said...

It wouldn't be right if we couldn't blame our parents for these things. I have one son who eats so healthfully that I'd never even know him to be my own. He doesn't particularly care for chocolate! He's not normal. As for me, I love a nice normal combination like salty and sweet. Potato chips and dark chocolate, please! Funny post. :)

Macy said...

Crispy bacon??? Oh Hi! For ten years I was the Vegetarian Who Ate Pigs.
It was a very small and select faction...

Gigi said...

I can see that there are plenty of us who love salt & fat. I can also see what I'll be having for lunch today.

Mamma has spoken said...

OH my aunt use to make a fat sandwich too!! I remember it being the best sandwich I had ever have! But she always used bacon grease to make it and she called it an onion sandwich but everything else is the same. We also make something called a poor man's steak. Take the drippings from broiling a steak and soak your bread in it. Yummy! It's not even 9 in the morning and I am making myself hungry for some good old comfort food....

Argent said...

Heh, my genes/environment handed me the double whammy of liking sweet things AND salf and fat. As kids we used to have bread and dripping and crackling was always a favourite- I still adore bacon with the rind on which has to be singed at the edges. OK, hungry now, catch you later after I see what's in the fridge.

Wynn said...

You're the perfect candidate for the low carb diet! Which can also make you un-fat (if you are, I have no idea =) and without missing sugar it'd be easier for you!

IndigoWrath said...

I salute this entry. And pass the lard, please.

haphazardlife said...

I'm with Willie. Sugar roolz.

My husband? He's all about salt.

I think the salt is somewhat disgusting - as does he regarding the sugar.

I figure we cancel each other out.

- jazz

Flea said...

Fritos. Pass the Fritos. And don't get me started on fried chicken skin.

My wish sandwiches, when there wasn't much to eat, were toasted whole wheat bread, ketchup and dill pickle slices. I still like them.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I'm with you - savoury over sweet any day. Not that I don't have a cake fixation too but you know. If someone held a gun at my head and said "CHOOSE!" I choose salty over sweet any time. Cheese, bacon, chips....why are these awesomely fantastic foods so unhealthy? It's blatantly unfair. And wish sandwiches for me was in high school, when we were trying to save money, we'd buy a dry bread roll from the corner store for pennies and a small sized portion of potato chips and we'd make chip sandwiches! Add a condiment and voila, you have a bitchin' snack for almost nothing. Sure it's not healthy but when you're sixteen and have the metabolism of a waterfall, you can do it! :)

Gaston Studio said...

I'm doomed... my cravings are for both salty and sweet.

Kyddryn said...

Sugar, you need to come on over here and sit by me - I keep a jar of bacon fat in the fridge because one should save all manner of bacon grease (you'll be instructed in its use later). I use it for making a sort of white pan gravy that is simply heaven with sausage, or ham, or on rice. It's also just fine for making a sort of redneck fry-bread or frying up potatoes.

A perfectly done steak at Casa de Crazy is rare but with crispy fat on it - a real trick, but do-able if one is motivated.

Alas, I am one of those cursed with a love for both salty AND sweet - have you ever had a chocolate covered potato chip? Sigh...

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

River said...

My dad was the fat lover in my family. All the fat I trimmed off my chops went straight on to his plate. Fat off a roast leg of lamb? Dad's plate. He also loved lard and salt on fresh bread as did my sister. My brother and me preferred butter (real butter, not that margarine ick)and salt. We'd race home from school, slice a thick slab off the loaf, slather on the butter and sprinkle liberally with salt.
I've never liked things like chicken skin or pork crackling, don't like pork either for that matter.I do love chocolate.

esbboston said...

You are so influential, in a bad way, I just had to go get a mini Butterfinger from my stash and then resume reading tale. Actually I only eat them every once in awhile now, I am nowhere near my promise of suicide by milk and Butterfingers that I had blogged about a few (?) weeks ago. Perhaps I want to live, yes, and discover fat! Yes, more fat! Fat is where its at!