One of the pleasures of staying for a time at a relative’s house (in this case my parents', also the house I mostly grew up in) is the opportunity it affords for poking around in their closets, bookshelves and refrigerators. In my parents’ house this is especially amusing because my mother is the 1963, 1976, 1985,1987, 1999 and 2007 World Champion Organizer and Labeler; so it is possible to discover a stash of tiny change purses in assorted colors on a shelf in a closet in a distant bedroom, and they will be neatly lined up like sardines inside a box, and labeled: "Bonne Maman’s Top Drawer 1997". It is also possible to find a full length turquoise gown with a matching jacket and fox fur collar, inside a clear garment bag, with a hand written label affixed to the hanger by a satin ribbon that reads: “Given to MBL by Gene B in 1968 [his wife had just died and she had great clothes, really great clothes]; worn to Architectural Historians Gala 1976; worn to Prague Castle 1995.” It is even possible to find, in the same closet, a plastic bag filled with free hotel shower caps, labeled: “Shower Caps”.
But I did not intend to catalog the contents of any closet, at least not today. Last night my sister B came to visit and (in search of grainy mustard) together we enjoyed a stroll through the byways and pathways of my mother’s vast refrigerator. We found many delightful condiments and tidbits, but here is what intrigued us the most.
Goose fat, indeed, from a long ago Christmas Eve. It begs the question: what does one do with 11-year-old goose fat? What does one do with fresh goose fat? Being helpful sorts, my sister and I briefly considered purging the above goose fat. But why? It had been there for these 11 years and the label wasn’t even smudged. Who were we to second-guess its permanent place on a shelf in the fridge? We put it back exactly where we found it. For the next generation.