Bacon has magic in it.

 

Bacon has magic in it.  The aroma.  The sizzle.  The taste.  The grease.  Bacon grease is a staple for Southern-born cooks.  We put it in cornbread and biscuits and a good gravy roux isn’t possible without it. Sometimes it’s butter and bacon grease creamed together, but only one of those is crucial.

Gramma kept a grease can like this near her stove.  It had a strainer inside because some people filter out the chunky bits.

 

 

Here’s my jar.  Layers of delicious bits are in here. I scoop them up and they go right into my cooking.  When the jar runs low, I render bacon just to refill it. Put bacon on to cook and every creature in the house gravitates to the source. Two times lately I’ve been cooking up a couple of pounds of bacon while repair people were here working. The refrigerator service person and the pilot light fixer both left with slices of bacon and paper towels.

I come from a family of gospel gypsies, led through life on the road in the Deep South by a preacher and a singer. Our big sedan was filled with musical instruments and Daddy’s cooking implements. A cast iron skillet went everywhere with us, providing suppers from hot plates in motor court kitchenettes. A jar of bacon grease made every trip.  Sometimes supper was only cream gravy, featuring fresh milk from a nearby dairy, poured over anything – rice, potatoes, or leftover biscuits, and in a pinch, over white bread we picked up at our last stop.

If we stayed at a tent revival site for a couple of weeks, we’d get fresh churned butter nearby, which of course, didn’t go on the road with us when we left, but the bacon grease jar, refreshed, emptied and cleaned, was the constant companion.

A sale on thick-cut bacon is still cause for celebration around here.  There’s always room in the freezer.

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Music this week is “Tea For Two” from our friend, Colin Tribe, in England.

 

 

 

The Warmest Spot

Listen to this blog here.

In this space last week it was Broadway.  This week it’s the kitchen, the place where everybody gathers, and it’s not just because of the stove. The coffee pot’s in there too.

In the kitchen, several old things are new again. In the 70’s we went to each other’s houses for dinner, which was often potluck, and our Crock Pots ® stayed on the counter because we used them so often.

Then the Crock Pot was relegated to a shelf in the garage and last time I went to a potluck supper, many of the dishes were store-bought. Not a single tuna and noodle and peas casserole in sight.

Crock Pots returned in sleek versions we call slow cookers and we’re all exchanging recipes. Here’s mine: put one onion in a crock pot and the house smells like home all day.

Casseroles are now known as one-dish meals with many more than the three or four ingredients we relied on.

We’ll need to buy some new casserole dishes.  I gave away the last one a long time ago and I don’t know where we stored the Pyrex. ?

“Tea For Two”  performed by Australian guitarist, Gilbertt Kat.

Here’s his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/gilbkat

Artwork above generously loaned by Susan Branch, whose blog and books I read faithfully. www.susanbranch.com