Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So, so wrong... (post by Alana)

I have a confession to make.

Today, I bought something that should be illegal. Not drugs or guns, or anything so exotic, but deadly just the same. For the first time in my entire life, I bought...lard. I found it in a dark corner of the grocery store, on the bottom shelf, right next to the diced kittens.

Allan's dietitian might kill me. My doctor would surely have a stroke if he knew. We might as well load the stuff on trowels and plaster it to our innards.

The culprit in all of this? A Canadian delicacy known as the butter tart.

Allan hasn't seen butter tarts in years. I tried once to make them, but they were runny, and didn't look right, and I wasn't happy with them. (And they didn't contain lard.) So he put out feelers on recently, and a few kind souls (or makers of Tricor) responded. And one of the posts caught my eye. When the first line reads, "For the pastry, we just use the recipe on the side of the Tenderflakes lard package," you know you've got trouble.

So I looked at other recipes. Many other recipes. Read reviews. Debated AND contemplated. Finally, I decided that there are still 30+ million Canadians up there despite Tenderflake's efforts, and to just get on with it. So I bought it, earlier this afternoon. I had my child with me, and I went ahead bought lard, setting a bad example for all time.

It's still sitting on the counter in its deceptively cheery little green and white package.

Since getting home, I've made a batch of the mother of all appetizers/artery blockers--sausage cheese balls. Sure, I feel guilt over those. They're awash in fat and cholesterol, and have no redeeming nutritional value whatsoever. But they don't contain lard. Technically. Not listed in the ingredients. I know there's pork fat and dairy fat and god knows what else in them, but the word 'lard' is nowhere to be found.

What IS it about that word? It's so tainted now that it's hard to think about cooking with it. Shortening is bad enough; I haven't had it in the house in years. Butter is awful for you, but it's pretty damn tasty. But lard? Really?

I swear I'm going to try to make those tarts tonight.


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