Learning where to pour the grease

by Katie on March 3, 2010

This is one of those household issues we began discussing while we were dating…and continue to do so today.
So, one evening in College Station I was making supper. (Yes, Arizona folks, supper. That’s what we call the evening meal in Texas. “Dinner” is the noon meal, especially on Sundays.)
Anyway, Brandon walks into the kitchen just in time to catch me pouring the grease from the ground meat into the drain.
What are you do-ing?!” he shout/asks.
“Pouring out the grease. Duh. Don’t tell me you don’t do that.”
“Of course I do. I just don’t pour it down the drain.”
I inquire why he doesn’t do that, I mean, it’s just so logical.
“Katie, let’s think about this. What happens to the grease when you just let it sit in the pan?”
“It turns white and solid,” I respond, still not seeing why this was such a big deal.
“So what do you think happens to it in the drain?”
“Ooohhhh.”
“But, I guess this is just a rental…”*
So, I guess there are some things an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M just doesn’t teach you. You have to learn them in graduate school. From your boyfriend.
I don’t really remember what we did about this while I was still in school, but since then, I’ve worked through several different ideas.
First, I tried grabbing a glass bowl and pouring it in that. But know what happens when you pour something super hot into a relatively cool glass object? Of course you do. I, on the other hand, did not. Apparently, it cracks, and leaks said grease all over the counter.
(Now, you would think I would have learned this when I put a glass casserole dish directly into the oven from the fridge and had it shatter on me…not so much.)

My third memorable solution for dumping grease was the yard. I figured the dogs would lick most of it up, and the rest would settle into the ground. Perfect, right?
Brandon didn’t think so.
This time, it was bacon grease from breakfast. I dumped it right off the porch, pretty much on the dirt berm around the yard so the dogs could get to it. When Brandon came home that evening, his first words were, “Tell me whatever you dumped right in front of our porch was not the bacon grease from this morning.”
“Well, I could tell you that…but I don’t think I’m supposed to lie to you.”
And then I got the very familiar head shake, with the “Kaaa-tieee…” under his breath. One of those “what in the world am I going to do with this woman” kind of thoughts.
Anyway, I found out the yard was also unacceptable to Brandon. He says it leaves a stain that takes “forever” (his word) to go away, and looks just plain awful.
At this point, I ask him how he expects me to dispose of grease. He suggests a plastic cup. And I swear this is what he said at the time.
Some time after the yard incident, I again have grease in the skillet I need to get rid of before I can finish food preparations. I remember Brandon’s plastic cup suggestion. So I grab one of the 25 plastic cups we use daily.
Brandon comes home.
And complains about the grease he sees sitting in the plastic cup. He says we’ll never be able to get rid of the stench the plastic is soaking up from the grease, and that any future beverages from that cup will taste like beef fat.
For the record, he’s had about a hundred drinks from that cup since. And I don’t recall any of them tasting like beef.
This time, he explains that what he meant by “plastic cup” was something disposable. Again, I swear these are the words he used. And I really need you to be on my side here.
The next time Brandon comes home to find grease in a container, it’s in one of those throw-away (that’s the Texas word for “disposable”) red plastic cups.
He throws a fit, saying how lucky I am the cup didn’t melt right there, send grease all over the counter, and be stuck there forever. Mr. Dramatic, let me tell you.
Needless to say, he once again didn’t like my solution.
Now, he explains that what he meant by “disposable” was an aluminum can. I ask what I’m supposed to do if I’m not cooking anything that comes in an aluminum can, just keep one handy all the time? Now, I was being sarcastic here when I asked if I should keep an old can sitting on my counter.
Brandon? Thinks it’s the best idea ever: “Exactly!”
I am so not sold on that idea.
In the meantime, until our grease saga finds a real solution, I have settled with pouring it straight from the skillet into the dog feed buckets (yeah, Wilbur has a bucket, not a dish).
But, this only works for things like bacon or sausage, where you remove the meat from the grease.
Not so well for things like ground meat, where you are typically trying to remove the grease before you add another substance to the meat, like enchilada or spaghetti sauce.
Don’t tell Brandon, but I’m still using the red plastic cup for ground meat. Hey, it hasn’t melted. Yet.
*Aunt Michele: This was before I lived in the house you owned, promise.
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