Gym class was torture as a kid! Surely I'm not the only one who thought so...
Who could have known that novelty trivia books aren't scrupulously edited for factual content? More on that in a moment.
First, though, I made chicken the other day, and generally can't do so without singing the 'Chicken Fat' song, along with Suzanne Vega's 'Fancy Poultry Parts Sold Here...' (What? You know I'm a nerd already, so shut up). I found chicken backs at the store, a big package for two dollars (two dollars!) and since they're gelatin-laden, thought they'd add a fair amount of stock to the dinner, which I ultimately cooked with rice. I was also left with nearly a pound of pure, golden chicken fat.
Not growing up in the Great Depression or pre-war Europe, I don't have a habit of spreading this on toast. Mmm, schmaltzy! However, I do still know when throwing something out is wasteful, and I know there must be something exciting to make with this. Something that isn't just simply a matter of replacing olive oil or butter as a cooking agent. Something that won't give me some sort of coronary artery disease.
Who am I kidding? I'm probably going to have to just chuck it, but don't think for one second that I'd ever do that to my pure, snowy bacon fat. Rendering, not just a term for sketch artists. In fact, I've had some of the best French fries and donuts of my life cooked in rendered beef tallow. Um, why is my left arm tingling?
Rendered fat can be used to make soap, if you're an extra in a bad Western or just a hippie earth-mother greenie. In fact, rendering plants often render beef fat for use in soap, so you don't have to worry that I've somehow missed the opportunity for a proper segue.
So, yes, there is that urban legend that Ivory soap floats because some slacker fell asleep at the soap mixer and incorporated too much air into the bar. Not true, at least according to Proctor and Gamble, the floating was intentional. So there's that little myth debunked. And irrelevant, since changes in the soap formula have since made Ivory sink like a stone.And really, who still takes baths for sanitation purposes? Isn't that just like making You Stew, soaking away in warm water while all your oils, body salts and juices melt away into the brine? Sounds like rendering to me.
Which leads us to today's trivia question:
Which two actresses both featured in Ivory soap ads before they became famous, and which one caused her ads to be pulled by Proctor and Gamble by her subsequent work?
One hint, they are NOT mother and daughter, as my cheaply thrown-together trivia book would have you believe.