Hey-o, Worker Bee here. There’s been recent talk about how to render bacon fat, so with that in mind I’ve put together a how-to photo blog, as well as a follow-up recipe for how to put that leftover fat to good use.
Rendering bacon fat is as easy firing up a skillet and cooking bacon like you normally would. Place a few pieces of thick, nitrate-free, uncured strips on the surface of a cast-iron skillet and cook until crispy. Once bacon is done, remove it and place it aside.
Cool as a cucumber. In the summer months, this phrase takes on a literal meaning. Cucumbers are primarily composed of water, making them the perfect summer thirst-quencher. Look for cukes that are dark green, firm, slender and un-waxed so you can eat the fiber-rich skin. Persian cucumbers, smaller and rarely bitter, are especially popular these days.
When you have a stash of cucumbers on a hot summer day, the first step is cutting four round slices. Next, find a relaxing place to sit, preferably by a pool. Place two slices in a glass of ice water for sipping. Place two slices over your eyes. Ahhhhh. Pure relaxation. When your stomach starts to growl it’s time to slice more cucumbers, this time for dinner.
Next time you’re in the vicinity of a hardware store, stop in and ask for the sledgehammers. They are a relatively cheap, easy way to get an effective Primal workout. Building your own exercise equipment is fun and satisfying (and inexpensive) in its own way, but sometimes you just want a simple, over the counter alternative. We aren’t all DIY types, after all. It fits the general criteria for Primal workouts: natural movements that engage the entire body in a full range of motion; heavy thing on stick that can withstand vigorous pounding. Men and women have been working with large hammers for millennia, as tools of work and of war. Smashing things with heavy objects is in our blood.
The best part about the sledgehammer workout is that it doesn’t really seem like work. It takes me back to childhood when, for whatever reason, I’d often wander around the countryside interacting with the environment in various (and sometimes destructive) ways. Throw rocks and logs into ponds (nothing better than a big splash on an empty, tranquil lake), smash rocks together or against tree trunks, test out my boxing skills on whichever tree had relatively soft bark. Just the pure, uninhibited release of bottled up boyish energy.
Of the tropical oils, coconut gets the most attention, while palm oil gets mostly ignored. The virgin coconut oil has a fairly distinct flavor, but it’s one most people are familiar with, and it lends itself well to both sweet and savory dishes. Palm oil, especially the virgin red variety that gets all the attention for its positive health effects, also has a distinct flavor, but it’s one many people seem to dislike, probably because it’s so unfamiliar (in the US, at least; worldwide, palm oil is the most widely used cooking oil) to our palates. Scott Kustes had a guest post awhile back discussing the tropical oils, but I thought it would be good to give a short, comprehensive primer on the multiple varieties of palm oil.
Past “Dear Readers” blog posts (1, 2, 3, 4) have started some great discussions. As I always say, I’m lucky to have some of the most intelligent and thoughtful readers on the internet. It’s always a a pleasure getting feedback from all of you, so from time to time I’ll continue to do this style of blog post.
It’s a mixed bag this week. Email topics ranged from Primal survival food and Primal weddings to food cravings and bucking the trend as a registered dietitian.
Check out the questions (and photos!) below and make yourself heard in the comment board.
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