Readers Chime in with Great Tips for Summer


GRAPE ICE. Frozen grapes work like ice cubes to chill white wine or other summer drinks, but without watering them down. And they look great, too. Des, email 

SUMMER FUN. A visit to our local library recently, reminded me that public libraries across the nation often have free concerts, puppet shows and other programs in the summer. Many events are geared toward kids. And the price is right. Check your loal library’s website for information. Molly, Pennsylvania


QUICK RELEASE TRASH BAG. To avoid suction, which causes resistance,when removing bags from a trash can, drill a couple of holes in the bottom of the container. Bob, Kentucky

ICE CREAM TRICK. For easier serving, cut ice cream with a knife. If serving ice cream from a round container, cut down the middle of the full container from top to bottom. Lay ice cream on its side, peel off the container and slice. Suzie, Colorado

NO-DRIP ICE PACK. For do-it-yourself ice packs that don’t drip, saturate a sponge with water, place it in a zip-type freezer bag and freeze. Useable straight from the freezer. Sid, Germany

Dear Readers: Last week one of our reader-submitted tips had to do with rinsing browned ground beef in a colander, allowing the grease to “wash” away down the drain. Oh my, that tip certainly struck a dissonant chord with a number of readers.

I heard about everything from septic tanks to county laws and all the reasons that this was not only distasteful, but the fact that I printed it could be grounds for arrest. I’m not so sure about that. After all, I and millions of others in this country have garbage disposals, which are quite legal. We put all manner of stuff down them including greasy things from time to time.

However, given the impassioned pleas for me to “retract” that suggestion, I’ve chosen to print one of the nicest and most helpful responses that arrived in response to that dubious tip.

Dear Mary: Please encourage your readers to not dispose of unwanted beef fat down the drain as was suggested by Diedre in a recent column. Instead, let the unwanted liquid solidify in a bowl. It separates into two parts. The top part is tallow, beef fat, and the bottom is actually useable beef stock. If the writer paid $2.50 a pound of the original 5-pound package of 20-percent fat content ground beef, then she is throwing away at least $2.50.

Who the heck wants a hunk of tallow? Well, I bet, with the fast growing hobby of soapmaking, Deidra could find a local soapmaker, savonnier, who would gladly take it off her hands.

Butchers have discovered that tallow soapers covet their fat trimmings. As a result, they have started charging for what they used to give away.

Besides, disposing of the cooked-off liquid clogs up the system eventually. If you have budding savonniers out there, have them look up Tallow Soapers on Facebook. Carol Isler, Handcrafted Soapmaking Guild Certified Instructor

Question: How do you dispose of unwanted beef fat? Do you make soap?

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26 replies
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  1. Guest
    Guest says:

    While not exactly on the topic of beef grease, I believe today marks the first time I’ve been accused of “bordering on immorality” in my life, but especially here at Everyday Cheapskate (unless of course we want to talk about that $100,000 slide into credit card hell). Get a load of this from Betty A., Minn:

    “I was appalled where you promoted the idea that it would be a good idea to intentionally go to the grocery store late on a busy day so you could obtain a rain check for advertised London broil and then go back months later and claim not 1 or 2 but 10 cuts of the meat for the sale $3.99 price when it was now at $7.99.

    “I feel that this would be not only unethical but bordering on the immoral. The store offered you a good sale but to misuse a coupon in that way is greed of a very despicable sort. And to advise shoppers all over the country to do the same is a very sad use of your column.

    “I realize this ran more than a month ago, and I am still so disappointed in your column that I now look only sadly at what you write.

    “I would certainly feel better if you would run a correction of that advice in your column admitting that it was bad advice and a mistaken recommendation.”

    So there you go. I’m evil because I accept a raincheck to purchase a product the store ran out of before the sale was over even tho’ had they not run out I could have, and would have, purchased multiple cuts at the time of the sale. Have I and my supermarket management team missed something that Ms. A. knows about ethics and morality having to do with raincheck redemptions?

    Okay … got that off my chest.

    Carry on.

    • BethSh
      BethSh says:

      short and sweet, Betty, who made you the morals police, get over yourself, the store is not hurt or they a) wouldn’t offer rain checks, b) would limit the number of packages allowed for everyone during the sale and on the rain checks

  2. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    I brown the meat and pour off the fat into a small glass or cup. I let it solidify in the refrigerator. I have a large black lab dog and he loves to have about a teaspoon of the solid fat mixed into his kibble dinner. I think this helps to keep his fur good looking.

  3. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    I have another great use for the beef fat for anyone who feeds birds. I sometimes drain it and make my own suet with it, or other times I use
    bread that is getting close to stale, and the crust and soak the fat up with
    that. It gets most of the fat out of the pan which I’ve tilted to the side to drain.
    Then I feed it to the birds in my bird feeders. They love it and gobble it right up. So less suet I have to buy.

  4. cpark
    cpark says:

    Freeze that tallow. In the winter, mix it with bird seed, put it in those mesh bags you have saved from buying onions, and hang them from trees to feed the birds.

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