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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Monday, January 09, 2006

grits - 1

As the last few drops of the slightly gone-to-sugar honey dripped onto the large patty of real butter, it occurred to me that I had never written in depth about grits. Then the honey and butter was whipped by fork into a golden delicious frenzy and consumed by way of sopping it up with my morning bread. But even this delightful, sticky mass couldn’t take my mind off the aforementioned ground corn product – and yes, it comes from corn, not from a tree. The guy that wrote the romantic piece “Don’t sit under the grits tree with anyone else but me” was just spoofing.

The first mention of a grits-like product in the U. S. takes us back to Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, when the Indians offered the newly arrived settlers a ground maize food item. But my association with grits doesn’t go back that far – not quite.

Being from the south and grits being a southern staple, I don’t remember the first time I consumed this food and it may well have been my first solid food. Grits were most always eaten at breakfast, sometimes at lunch (this used to be dinner for us) and many times at supper. The evening meal being called supper is scriptural - if Jesus ate supper in the evening, that’s good enough for me – even though I don’t think they had grits back then.

We moved to Augusta when I was in the third grade and somewhere during that time was when I started realizing how important grits were to me. When I turned 12, I was able to get a paper route not too far from home and from then until I graduated from high school my rising time was 4am every morning, 7 days a week. The route would always give me a huge appetite and Mom would have a big breakfast waiting before I went off an institute of higher learning – and this meal always included a lot of grits.

Let me state here – and I can hardly bear to even think about this sacrilege – that no sugar should ever come in contact with any grits product – even the instant ones!! To me this is the worst offense one could do against this noble corn product. I wouldn’t even treat my dog – which I don’t have – this way. Even though the cat – which I don’t have either – would probably enjoy seeing the dog that I don’t have getting sugar poured all over him/her. If salt and pepper, real butter, eggs, bacon and cheese don’t flavor the grits enough, just say no. ec

To be continued.


Blogger bubba said...

I'll have to agree with you on Grits. I eat them every day. I am currently on parmashan cheese flavor.

1/09/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I've had them only a few times, and I think I've cooked them wrong. They remind me of Cream of Wheat. Perhaps you have to be raised in the culture that eat them, to know how to cook and serve them.

1/09/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

bubba - They are not eaten here every day, but are a staple quite often.

bonita - Being brought up in the culture is possibly true but having been raised on them, I can't imagine not having some around. ec

1/09/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger thebeloved said...

Up here in the Northwest, grits are a rare thing. I think I have only had them once and that was part of a history class or something. My dad was raised in Maryland so he talks about eating grits sometimes. Maybe I should go see if I can even find them in the grocery store...

1/09/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

thebeloved - When my younger daughter lived in Pittsburgh it seemed that she could get them but not in larger sizes or the kind she was used to. They are hard to get in some parts of the country and when we would visit we would take her some grits in 5 pound bags. ec

1/09/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Lis said...

I've never had grits. They are definately not a "Canadian staple." but if they are like Cream of Wheat I think I might like them....IF I put maple syrup on them. Is that allowed Mreddie? :)

1/09/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger adannells said...

My grampa is from Texas and it seems that everytime we have gone to a restaurant that has had grits on the menu he has ordered them. But, I am sorry to say, I have never tried grits. Now I am very curious and want to try some! :)

1/09/2006 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I love grits. For a long time we in Louisville were too far north to have them on our breakfast menus. However, that has changed in recent years. I often get them as part of a breakfast bar at a restaurant not far from where I live.

I have even gotten my Yankee-bred friend, Candy, to go for them each time we breakfast at that resturaunt.

1/09/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Not part of the culture we have impoted from the USA, there's plenty we have but not grits.

1/10/2006 03:51:00 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

Grits are grittier than Cream of Wheat. I agree with you on the seasoning but my girls eat them for dessert as well (sweetened - sorry).

I like them fried the next day as well. With bacon fat of course. I can hear my arteries hardening.

I lived first in Memphis, and then in Jonesboro, AR many years ago. On one of our Memphis/Jonesboro relative visiting trips we stopped for breakfast in an AR restaurant. When we asked for grits we were told we were a little too far north. Arkansas and Kentucky suddenly became Yankee states?

Boxed grits are available locally (CA central valley) right alongside the other hot cereals. They make a nice change.

Happy de-lurking week.

1/10/2006 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

lis - As long as I don't have to watch. :)

adannells - It's all in what food you eat them with and I've enjoyed them with anything.

SSN - Of course you can get them everywhere around here, even a lot of the fast food places.

peter - Curiosity makes me ask, what do you have there as a regular breakfast? Don't know as I have ever heard.

granny - Way back when I was in the army there was a line circling the deep South and beyond that line, no grits were served, they had to be smuggled in. Now they are much more widely available - didn't know they had gotten to CA though. About the sweetened grits - you have to train them not to when they are very young. :) :) ec

1/10/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Forgive an ignorant Brit - but what ARE grits? I thought grit was the stuff put on roads when it's snowy, but don't think I've come across the word as a foodstuff. I gather it's some kind of corn/maize... so if they're eaten for breakfast, is it kind of like cornflakes??

1/10/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

sue - Grits are a ground corn product, coarser than corn meal and have to be cooked. It looks like a white mush after cooking and is used as a side dish mostly for breakfast. A local resturant uses it as a side dish for cooked fish. It is really big in the American Southern states. Hope that helps - and thanks for stopping by the "patch". ec

1/10/2006 12:03:00 PM  

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