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And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

Posted by OnAHolliday (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 28, 12 at 13:16

Sorry for stealing from your thread mammie.

I thought this was the common routine for cornbread but more and more I'm starting to believe that it's a disappearing method.

Spoon (or pour) about a half cup of bacon grease in your cast iron "cornbread" skillet and put it in the oven to heat. After the skillet/grease is smokin' hot you pull it out and pour the grease into your cornbread batter. Whisk it all together and pour the mix back into the pan. It sizzles and spats and makes that crunchy crust I love so.

I was just wondering if that is more or less the same routine everyone here does.

Something else. I've had more than a few people look at my bacon grease container in horror and ask me:
"You mean it just sits there on the stove?" lol

I'm like, yeah, it just sits there on the stove. In winter the grease is firm and I have to spoon it out, in summer I just pour it.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

Actually, I think Lindalou started the first cornbread post and we all spun off hers. :)

I do remember that people used to keep bacon grease unrefrigerated but I never have. I agree that heating the bacon grease or oil really hot in an iron skillet before pouring in the batter makes a good crispy crust. I mostly make corn cakes anymore. Just make up your favorite cornbread recipe and pour small puddles in a hot greased skillet like you would pancakes. Then spread on the butter. YUM


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

Well, when we were kids, we'd have a tub of lard outside in the cellarway--but I think that was in winter. Otherwise, no, I'd not use an animal product that wasn't properly refrigerated. And no--I don't use bacon fat in my cornbread.

I do dearly love bacon, but one of the reasons I cook it over very low heat, very slowly, and very well-done--is to render out as much of the fat as possible so I can discard it rather than laminating my veins and arteries with it--LOL!


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

My Grandma used to keep her's on the stove, I think.
When we have bacon, which is not very often, I
let it solidify in the pan then throw it away.
I did find some good bacon with out the nitrites and
nitrates. that is a good thing too! If I am frying
eggs for dh, I will put a little bacon grease (if we
are having bacon that day) into the pan before I put
the eggs. If I'm scrambling them, I don't!


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

I'm not trying to sell anyone on this but I don't want us to be confused about animal fat and animal protein. Before refrigeration came along preserving meat in animal fat was a common practice.

Bacteria cannot live in fat, fat does not spoil. That said, fat will go rancid. Believe it or not rancid fat is still safe to eat and down south a soul food "Collards w/rank fatback" is a well known dish. Not my cup of tea mind you but it's an ethnic favorite.

Don't eat stored bacon grease because of it's high saturated fat content, not a misguided notion that it's a bacterial danger.


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

That is how my mother made cornbread. I don't make it that often, but when I was growing up, we had biscuits or cornbread every night. I just grease a pan and put it in the oven when I make it. I like cornbread okay but I don't get all warm and cozy about it like some people do. Same for home made biscuits, or really well made gravy. They are were such staples of our lives that they weren't a big deal. I recall a lady who used to come to visit my mother, who went on and on about her chicken gravy. She said it was so good, she wished she could "bathe in it". It sounded like a silly thing to say....until I grew up and found out lots of people can't make gravy.


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

I didn't use your method but I saved bacon grease for lots of things. When I made cornbread I put Crisco in the skillet, put it in the oven till it got steaming hot, then poured the batter in it. The crust was nice and crispy. I no longer make cornbread or save bacon grease....... :-(


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

My mother saved grease in an empty can on the stove. When it was full, she sent us to the butcher to turn in the grease for making soap. I suspect that all started with WWII, but it continued for some time after that.


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

I USED to save bacon fat in a little coffee pot on top of the stove. My mother did, my MIL did, and I did.

My mother always made cornbread the method you described!

GS loves a bowl of butterbeans and cornbread!

Remember the song, just a Just Bowl of Butterbeans!


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

OAH, Absolutely, that is the old-school way to make cornbread!

I even "beg" for bacon grease, since I rarely buy bacon any more. My friend worked in the hospital food department and she would bring me bacon grease. Now she has retired and sadly, no more bacon grease.

And yes, the bacon grease always stayed on the stove top, in a container made for that purpose. It had a removable top with holes in it so the grease could be strained through and the 'bits" wouldn't go into the grease.

Ah, for the good old days.

Sue


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

Sue-va, I remember my Mother having that same type of strainer container on top of the stove. When she passed, I couldn't find it and wanted it just because of her and memories. :)

When I make cornbread, I use the recipe my Mother did (without the bacon grease). I also use her cast iron skillet. For that good crust, I'll heat a small amount of oil in the pan, sprinkle with corn meal, then pour in the prepared batter.


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

My mother had that same grease container that was kept by the stove. I save my bacon grease but keep it refrigerated. There are lots of things that have to have bacon grease to taste good.

When we travel in the motor home I always put bacon grease on my packing list so I won't forget to bring my container along.


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

I always save bacon grease, in a jar in the refrigerator. I use it for cornbread, just a spoonful to grease the pan and pour what is left into the batter. I also use it to sear fresh green beans or black eye peas. If I don't put salt pork or bacon into dried pinto beans I will use a spoonful of bacon grease.


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

Grew up with a tin of bacon grease on the stove. We used it for everything. I don't do it today since I don't fry things that often.

I agree with OnAHoliday. Rendered fat does not require refrigeration. We stress far too much about food today. We're becoming a nation of orthorexics. People used to eat to live. Now we eat for "health" and are fatter and more unhealthy than ever.


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

Cornbread isn't fit to eat without bacon grease!! I save & use bacon grease in my cornbread!!


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

"orthorexics?" (Basically, an unhealthy obsession about eating healthy) Wow, I had to look that one up!

I think wildchild isn't too far off the mark. Not only about the "stress" but a general disappearance of basic, from scratch, cooking techniques. I'm not referring specifically to vitamin BG kept on the stove so much as the instant, boxed and half prepared foods many people seem to rely on.

We are bombarded by the government and a hysterical commercial driven media with an endless parade of e-coli, lysteria and mad cow stories so it's not surprising how many people are nervous when it comes to food preparation.

Again, what I said above refers to a general decline in home prepared meals not the understandable avoidance of too much saturated fat.


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

My Mom also kept a can for bacon grease with the strainer on her stove top. She used the bacon fat in her home fries. They were the best.

In the little diner where I used to work, the cook also used bacon grease in her home fries. They tasted just like Mom's. Can't get them that good any other way.

dody


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

I use that method (hot fat into batter) but with olive oil instead of bacon grease.


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

Granlan, I have one of those containers with the strainer like you and Nita. I keep it in the refrigrator. I used to have Harry's mothers metal container with the strainer, but I have no idea what happpened to it. I had it in the mountains in our camper and I'd clean it out at the end of summer when we came home. I think my brother-in-law remembered it and took it to his house. No big deal.

My grandmother always kept her grease in an iron skillet in her oven and she put it in cornbread, too. I'll have to remember this next time I make Glenda's cornbread. I remember grandma's skillet being just about full, since they had bacon and eggs every morning along with coffee and enough cream to make the coffee barely visible. Grandpa lived to be 80-something and grandma was 86 when they passed for unrelated heart conditions.


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

U gotta listen to this

Here is a link that might be useful: butter beans and cornbread


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RE: And speaking even MORE about cornbread ...

Forgive me Homer, but I gotta say it... MMMMM BACON! My mother always kept a can for grease and would use some, but often it'd get thrown (horrors!) but fear not, there was an ongoing supply that kept coming through. Occasionally I'll save some bacon grease if I'm planning a use in the next few days.

While camping, grease is a great campfire starter. Again, shameful waste! But oh what a fire!

And one of my secrets to great coleslaw is pouring a drizzle of the bacon fat over the cabbage. Not so much that it's greasy, but boy does it add flavor. Most people think it just comes from the ample amount of bacon that goes in there (after all, bacon = better, so more bacon = more better) and don't realize there's the extra flavor.

Wildchild hit it right. And one has to laugh at the number people who get in their cars to drive to a gym or mall to walk. It speaks volumes. And the difference so often overlooked is while the couch potatoes count carbs and calories, previous generations worked it off in the fields, doing chores or whatever. 5000 calorie diets kept them healthy, and they burned it off without buying a miracle buttmaster from an infomercial.

Yeah, getting off topic a bit I know. Back to the topic. I don't have a good cast iron pan to do the bacon grease cornbread. That's the type of cornbread I like.


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