Maven Moment: Leftover Cooking Oil

Maven Moment: Leftover Cooking Oil

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My mother-in-law as soon as instructed me about how she saved her used cooking fats throughout World War II for the struggle effort — they used it to make explosives. I wasn’t round then, however I do bear in mind Grandma saved her cooking oil, notably through the holidays when she did quite a lot of deep-frying for zeppoli and struffoli. After she completed a batch, she filtered the cooled oil by means of an outdated dishtowel right into a espresso can. She often reused the oil from the can to deep-fry fish for our vacation meal.

But Grandma didn’t all the time prepare dinner with quite a lot of oil. If she used solely a bit of, she would pour the used oil into her milk carton by the sink to discard later. She did this so it wouldn’t soak by means of the paper rubbish sack. She by no means poured cooking oil or grease down the drain as a result of she didn’t need clogged drains. Keeping the drains clear was a severe matter to Grandma.

Mom didn’t use as a lot oil as Grandma, so she merely poured cooled extra oil into the plastic bag of kitchen rubbish. If a little bit of oil received down the drain when she washed a pan, one in all Mom’s methods was to “wash the drain” with a squirt of dish detergent earlier than rinsing it out with water. I bear in mind her utilizing water left over from boiling pasta for this function. I nonetheless use this outdated trick right this moment.

Like Mom, I don’t use a lot oil for cooking — just a few olive oil on my salads, to sauté greens, or to make a stir fry. So I by no means have a lot oil left over to get rid of. But after I do, it poses an issue for me.

I gained’t put cooking oil or grease within the compost pile; it hinders the composting process and attracts pests. And though cooking oil can be recycled, there aren’t any organizations close to me that settle for it. So my alternative for disposal, like Mom, is to place small quantities of it within the kitchen rubbish. I scrape my bowls and pans earlier than washing them so the oil gained’t go down the drain and create fatbergs.

Until I’ve entry to a facility that recycles cooking oil, that is probably the most sustainable resolution for me.