"Bacon Fat" by Juliet S.K. Lee
After frying thick strips of flaccid bacon to a brittle crisp,
my mother drained the cooled leftover fat standing
in the pan into a small Mayonnaise jar that sat on
the counter upon a bamboo tray near the stove along side
the salt, pepper, MSG, shoyu, and sugar, ingredients
she used for cooking and seasoning meals. Passionate
about replenishing it, the oil never grew old or rancid,
the top layer coagulating into a thick white band, the rest
of the liquid slow swirling the charred bacon bits,
like mote, the heavier particles settling to the bottom,
darkening the glass. Fried the eggs, Portuguese sausages,
ham, Spam, bologna, this fat. We lobbed spoonfuls of it
on meat loaf. Foods larded over like this, browned well.
Was appealing, too, because of money saved. How it pleased
the buds of taste.