Last weekend when we visited Savannah, Georgia we ate at the Pirates’ House Restaurant. The Restaurant has 23 unique dining rooms and the small adjoining building to the restaurant that was erected in 1734 is said to be the oldest house in Georgia. Around 1751 when Georgia had become firmly established, the site of the current restaurant was developed in a residential section of the city. Because is was situated a block or so from the Savannah River, the inn became a rendezvous for blood thirsty pirates and sailors from the seven seas. The validity of The Pirates House has been recognized by the American Museum Society which lists this historic tavern as an authentic house museum. The classic book Treasure Island written by Robert Louis Stevens includes references to Savannah and some of the action is supposed to have taken place in The Pirates’ House.
The Restaurant began in February 1950 when Frances McGrath first opened it as a tea room. The Pirates’ House has always boasted of superb food served in the original romantic setting of yesteryear. It is definitely one of the nations most unusual restaurants. Personally, I think the food is superb and includes wonderful traditional Southern dishes. I have featured their candied yam recipe on my blog before and I honestly believe that has to be one of my favorite Southern recipes of all times. Here is a link to that post: http://sodoesthatmeaniamsouthern.com/2012/11/12/my-favorite-candied-yams-recipe
Luckily, Mr. D bought me a Pirates’ House cookbook and I have really enjoyed browsing through it and look forward to preparing many of the recipes. I do plan to share some of the recipes with you this week. However, today, I want to share a true Southern tradition from my past, bacon grease. I know that sounds disgusting but I grew up eating vegetables cooked in bacon grease. My mother and grandmother had a small container on their stove where they kept bacon grease after frying bacon. That grease was used to cook vegetables. I don’t use bacon grease in preparation of vegetables now but I have used it to season vegetables in the past. Many people have the idea that Southerners drench their vegetables in grease but that is not true. When I used bacon grease I would never use more than 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the bacon seasoning per vegetable.
The Pirate House Cookbook has The Wonders of Bacon Grease as the first page of the vegetable section of their cookbook. I wanted to share it with you because I think it is written so well and explains why Southerners used and still use bacon grease as a seasoning.
After reading this, it really brought back memories for me of my childhood and the vegetables that were so good and tasty. I know the current food trend is to eat healthy and having a diabetic husband makes me very conscious of that. Sometimes though I chuckle to myself when I see how bacon is used in so many different recipes today. I just pause and think that maybe that love for bacon came from all those wonderful Southern cooks of our past.
Thanks for stopping by.