The average American housewife has no conception of the value of fats as food, and as a result much fat is wasted that should be used as food.

Fats are one of the principal sources of energy. We buy fat in the form of butter and spread it on our bread. We use lard as shortening in bread and pastry and as a medium in which to fry other foods. The grease which melts out of ham and bacon is sometimes made into gravies; but more often it is thrown away, because the housewife does not realize its value as a food. Beef fat is less appreciated as a food even than lard, and yet pound for pound it is as valuable as butter or lard or any other animal fat.

When we buy a beefsteak the butcher carefully trims off the fat and throws it into a box under the counter with bones and other waste which goes to the soapmaker. This fat has both a food value and a money value. It belongs to you and you should have it. You can render it and use it in cooking.

The fine lumps of sweet beef fat or suet which adhere to the roast are used in roasting to give flavor, but most of the fat melts away and is not served at the table. Beef suet is occasionally used in cooking, but rendered beef fat is rarely used as a table fat in this country, although in Europe it is often eaten on bread in the place of butter. Beef suet has a rather pronounced flavor and a comparatively high melting point. These are probably the reasons why it is not more commonly used as a table fat. Much of the objectionable taste may be readily removed. One household method which may successfully be followed is to mix milk with the suet when it is rendered, using one - half cupful of milk to a pound of suet. When strained and cooled the flavor of the milk is absorbed by the beef fat and changes the characteristic flavor.

We must not longer allow beef fat to be sold for soap stock. To-day butter is about fifty cents a pound and lard about thirty cents. Beef fat, which pound for pound is as valuable as either lard or butter, is fifteen cents a pound in most markets. Indeed, in some places butchers sell it for less than that.

If housewives would use beef fat instead of butter in every process of cooking in which they could possibly introduce it, their families would get the fat they need at one-third the cost of butter.

Get into the habit of using beef drippings as food. Every pound of beef drippings you save takes the place of a pound of expensive butter.

Drippings

As a substitute for butter in cooking certain foods, and also in seasoning vegetables there is nothing better than sweet, savory drippings. The following fats make savory drippings and can be employed alone or in combination. The fat from fried sausages, ham, bacon and pork and from roast pork, veal and chicken. The fat skimmed from the water in which poultry has been boiled and the fats skimmed from the gravies of most roast meats should be clarified and saved. Great care must be taken that all these fats are clean and sweet, and that the temperature at which they are tried out shall not be so high as to impair the flavor. Burned or scorched fat is not only unpleasant in flavor, but is a frequent cause of indigestion.

Not all meats supply fats that are savory in the sense in which the word is employed here. Most people do not use the fat from mutton, lamb, duck, goose and turkey because of their flavor; but these fats can be used just as well as any other fat if you do not object to their flavor, or if they are combined with a larger quantity of other fats.

How To Prepare Fat For Frying. Fats are "tried out" or rendered, to free them from connective tissue, then clarified to remove water and impurities. Suet and scraps must first be tried out, and then clarified; soup fat and drippings need only to be clarified.

To Try Out Fat. Cut the fat into bits, put it into a frying-pan, or better, a double boiler, and let it cook slowly for several hours. When the fat is melted and nearly free from water, strain it, pressing to obtain all the fat.

To Clarify Fat. Melt drippings or tried-out fat, add to it a few slices of raw potato, and heat slowly in the oven until it ceases to bubble. The potato absorbs some of the impurities; most of the rest settle to the bottom. Strain the fat through cheese-cloth, and let it stand undisturbed till solid. If stirred, it absorbs moisture from the air. Since it keeps longer if left unbroken, it is well to strain it into cups or any small jars you may have on hand, so that a portion may be used without disturbing the rest.

When rendering the trimmings of fat meat, add a small onion (do not cut it), a teaspoon of salt, and a little pepper. This seasoning is enough for half a pint of fat.

Keep the drippings covered and in a cool, dry place.

There are many substitutes for butter on the market such as oleomargarine and nut margarine. Such butter substitutes can frequently be used to advantage in place of butter. As they cost about one - half the price of butter you can effect a decided saving by using them.

An Excellent Substitute For Butter. An excellent substitute for butter can be made in the following manner: Put 1/2 teaspoon of powdered gelatine in a bowl and dissolve it in 1 tablespoon of water. Then add 1/2 cup of moderately hot milk (the top of the bottle is best) and 1/4. lb. of oleomargarine. Beat the mixture until it is creamy, and then put in the ice-box to cool. This makes a splendid butter for table use.

As oleomargarine costs only one-half as much as butter and as you get 1/2 lb. of butter substitute by using only 1/4 lb. of oleomargarine, you really get 1/2 lb. of butter substitute for 1/4 the price of butter by using the above recipe.