This is my all-time favourite thing that my mother cooked while I was a child. I still ask her to make it for me whenever I see her. We even had it one year for Thanksgiving! She got so tired of making it, she forced me to learn the recipe when I was in college. If you tend to shy away from bacon grease, you can substitue butter...but in my opinion it will compromise the flavour. I wouldn't changed a thing. This is all Mom!