Just the Fats Ma’am: A Kitchen Epiphany

So Marc and I often discuss things that other people may find odd. Our observations of the world around us, what the reflections on the wall tell us about where the light source is coming from, picky eaters, and how we use a fat to remove fat from a fat. Stay with me here.

For years I’ve seen cooking shows insist that it’s imperative you use a metal bowl (preferably copper) for whipping egg whites into meringues, since no fat must enter the white, and fats stick around on plastic bowls. Marc had made some comment about how fats and plastics have similar properties. I had just nodded, not thinking too much about what he meant by that. Then, the other night we made chocolate chunk, macadamia nut, coconut oil cookies baked on silpat mats. Silpat mats are great for baking, so things don’t stick, but after a few uses, they always feel greasy, regardless of what you do to wash them.

As I was washing the mats and being annoyed at how hard it is to get them to feel clean, I had an epiphany. Of course fats and plastics are similar! Plastics (I know it’s a broad term) are petroleum based products, and we know petroleum is crude oil (fat). Then I realized that in old-timey days soaps and detergents were made using animal fats. Today they are predominantly made from…you guessed it petroleum. The soaps we use in our house are all vegetable based biodegradable soaps, but can you see my train of thought? Using fat (soap) to clean fat (coconut oil) off of fat (plastic). Hmmm…I don’t know what to do with this revelation other than blog about it. Interesting though, huh?

What kind of kitchen epiphanies have you had lately?

6 thoughts on “Just the Fats Ma’am: A Kitchen Epiphany”

  1. Totally makes sense! My kitchen epiphany came when I took a can of coconut milk, opened it up, did not stir the content and poured the top layer that usually separates out: instant cream of coconut without having to purchase a separate product!
    For the silpat, washing them with some white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar takes a little bit of the greasy feeling out.

  2. Tartelette – It’s a great honor to see you. Thanks for your kitchen epiphany. It is funny how we assume things have to be one way (cream and milk all mixed up), only to rediscover it another day (scoop cream off for separate use). It’s like seeing the world a whole new way.
    Thank you for the silpat suggestion too. I’ll have to try out the vinegar. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Not really a kitchen epiphany. Not an epiphany at all, actually but a real life story. When my daughter was a toddler, she brought home lice from the day-care. And needless to say, I got them, too. My husband was extremely patient and would sit for hours picking the nits and the live lice from her hair but would not help me in any way. I did the shampoo and the comb routine but they were still there. I was so desperate I was willing to try anything – I read on the ‘net that putting vaseline (petroleum jelly) on your hair smothers the lice and they stop breathing. It worked! But I couldn’t get the darned vaseline would not come off. I tried everything – even harsh dishwashing liquid. I was very close to shaving off all my hair in sheer despair when I remembered that one of my ex-professors was a chemical engineer and manager in a well-known soap factory and I wrote to him about my quandary. He said to trust him and to first put any oil or shortening on my hair – this would break the strong bonds of vaseline and then to wash with a regular shampoo. I had to do this twice as I had a LOT of vaseline on my hair. But seriously, it worked!

    Now I am wondering…is this even related to your post? I used fat to get fat off my hair and then washed it with shampoo. Maybe… ya?!

  4. Manisha – Thanks for your story. So strange how some things seem like they will never work, and then…do. Life is funny that way. Thanks for your visit.

  5. One of the fat tips I got from a recipe book was somewhat along these lines: soap= fat + a base. Add a base, and your fat becomes soap. So whenever I have something greasy, I sprinkle it with baking soda. I let it sit for a little while usually, but the grease just comes right off in most situations.

  6. Muria – That is a great tip. I’ll have to remember that. Some of these things that are in everyone’s kitchen are so useful. We think we have to use all these fancy products when all we need is a little vinegar or baking soda to do the trick. Thanks!

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