After the Randy’s rejection of the first two batches of frozen/ice box cookies I decided to see if I could indeed make cookies with bacon grease. However, the use of bacon grease presented a problem as Randy and I are both on cholesterol meds and are not supposed to be eating bacon in the first place.
It would take at least four to five pounds of bacon for me to collect the amount of grease I would need for his mom’s recipe. I was determined but not willing to sacrifice my body just to make a batch of cookies. So what to do?
And, then I thought of our very favorite place to eat Sunday breakfast, Mary’s Place. Mary’s Place is a small breakfast/lunch restaurant and diner in the town of Belleview, Florida. A place where you want to become a regular, a place you want to go because you know you will always be greeted with a friendly smile, good conversation and great home cooking. Surely they would have bacon grease. How to ask?
That afternoon I put a two-cup container in my purse and off Randy and I went to see if I could procure some bacon grease. I was really happy when we pulled up and noticed that Mary (yes Mary’s Place is really owned and operated by a woman named Mary) was sitting outside taking a break with a friend.
I was a little nervous as I walked up and all I could think of was that she was going to think I was nuts. But I screwed up my courage and explained that I was doing a cooking project and asked her if she collected bacon grease. She looked up at me with what could only be described as very quizzical expression as I was talking and then smiled and said, “Yes I do”. Then I asked if I could please have some for my project. Without hesitation she got up and headed for the backdoor of the restaurant. I called to her and said, “Would this help?” as I pulled my container out of my purse. She turned and laughed and said, “As a matter of act it would indeed”.
While Mary was retrieving my grease I started telling the woman she was chatting with why I needed the grease. I was like this possessed weird person telling this perfect stranger all about Randy and I taking cholesterol medication and not being able to eat bacon anymore, the project and the rest of life’s history. I do that when I get nervous I just starting babbling.
When Mary returned I said thank you profusely and asked her if she used the internet and told her that I was going to blog about my project and would mention she and Mary’s Place and would, on Sunday, give her the website so she could read all about it. She just laughed and said, “Yes she did and wished me good luck” as I walked away armed with my prized acquisition.
Randy was laughing when I got into the car. When I asked him why he said that he couldn’t believe that I came prepared with a container for the grease. “Well”, I said, “I wanted to be prepared with the right size container in case Mary said yes”. I have never been a girl scout but I am always prepared when it comes to a cooking project.
All right this is it. I am now armed with all the right ingredients. I mixed, blended, chopped, rolled, wrapped, refrigerated and baked once again.
I nervously placed a few on a plate and approached Randy with it. Now this time I really did imagine that I would see wonderful signs of joyful recognition on his face as he took his first bite of the cookies from his childhood and, once again disappointment. He said, “they are well okay, but I am having a hard time with the taste of bacon and the cookies fell greasy and they aren’t dark enough.” Not dark enough? What is with that? I already asked him if they were chocolate, spice or molasses cookies to which he always replied, “No”.
While I was disappointed at his reaction to the cookies I was pleasantly surprised when sitting in his office he started to regal me with stories about his childhood recounting, “My mom and I were very close and she would take me to the beach, bake cookies and we would go places together. I remember her preparing Ice Box cookies and putting them in the refrigerator/ice box. I also remember her cutting them and cooking them on a baking sheet and we would sit there and eat them all as they came out of the oven. It was a time of closeness, which I will never forget, a time when my Dad was terribly missed and my Mom tried to make up for it. (Randy’s dad was away a great deal while he was growing up serving in the Navy during WWII in the Pacific theatre and other ports of call over his thirty-three year Naval career).
Is the project over? No! That night Randy sent out an email to some of his cousins on his mother’s side and asked if they remember their mom’s making icebox cookies with bacon grease and to please send along. We have since received several replies, which I will now look over. We shall see what we shall see. I see a Part III in the near future. Stay tuned!