Grits 2

If you haven’t taken a look at Randy’s blog, you’ll not know that while he was here he had his first encounter with that great Southern breakfast food: grits.

For you non-southern readers, grits are simply fine-ground corn. Not flour, mind you — or corn meal, as it is more properly called. Corn meal is used in making cornbread and breading vegetables such as squash and okra for frying. Grits are a corn product in their own right, cooked one part grits to two parts water, just as you would any other cooked cereal.

How we eat our grits is open to debate. How not to eat them, if you please, is with what Randy calls “oleo.” That’s margarine for the rest of us. Unfortunately, that is how the Your House restaurant serves everything. Cold is another way you do not want to eat grits; Your House did not commit that offense.

Salt, pepper and lots of butter seems to top the list of grits dressings for people who’ve responded to me after reading Randy’s post. I happen to not like pepper, and I do like sharp Cheddar cheese on mine (reminds me, I’ve got to find my grits souffle recipe). My buddy Steven recommends butter and crumbled bacon. Ed reminds us that Yankees like theirs with milk and sugar — which (sugar) is how my ex-father-in-law eats them, and he’s from Texas. My grandmother Carter liked hers with red-eye gravy, which is simply the gravy made from the drippings of fried country ham and very strong black coffee.

There is also an unhospitable tendency among southern cooks — which Your House does not do — of dishing the grits out on a plate so they sort of run and pool over your eggs and breakfast meat. Me, I want my eggs (over easy) separate from my grits, and my drippy golden egg yolks uncontaminated by them. The restaurant served their grits in a separate bowl, which was mighty nice of them to do. I was pleased to see that their grits had a little bit of “body” to them, weren’t as runny as my grandmother’s usually were (once you add the butter, they do get runnier, so you want to start out a little thicker than you ultimately want the food to be).

Next time: okra!

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