by K. G. Sims
Being the Southern boy I am, (well my wife still calls me 'boy'), I enjoy grits. Yep, hot grits with plenty of butter is good by itself. Notice I said B-U-T-T-E-R? If you put that stuff called margarine on them, just go ahead and throw them away. The dog wonít eat Ďem either.
Grits are a whole lot easier to prepare nowadays. Used to, my grandmother and mother would cook them for half an hour and then load them up with butter and sling them on the table. Now, if you use boiling water, those instant grits are just as good.
Some of you immigrants and Yankees may ask, "But what are grits?" Grits are made when corn kernels are milled by people like the Quaker Company. First, they clean the kernels and steam them, to loosen the outer hull. The grain kernel is then split, removing the hull and germ and leaving the broken endosperm. The endosperm is broken into granules. The large granules are separated for grits and the smaller ones go to make cornmeal and corn flour. See, didnít think you were going to learn anything today, did you?
Grits are a good source of iron, calcium and a bunch of B-vitamins. They donít have any fat or cholesterol, that is, until you add the butter.
Having traveled over much of the world and the U.S., I can tell you that you cannot buy decent grits anywhere; period. Lord knows, I have tried to get a good batch of grits to toss over my fried eggs or to mix in with my black-eyed peas. But, the best grits you will ever have will be at your home or your mommaís -- that is, if your momma really loved you and made you grits.
So this is how hard it is: Buy a box of instant grits (I prefer Quaker). Put a small 1-quart boiler, filled with water, on the stove, and bring the water to a boil. Take that little package of grits and open it and pour it in a bowl. Add one tablespoon (or more) of butter. Pour the boiling water in slowly, stirring with a fork until you get the consistency you like. (I like mine as runny as my over-easy eggs). Make sure the butter is all melted and mixed. Now, you can eat them alone, put them over fried eggs, mix them in with black-eyed peas, mix in grated cheese and mushrooms for a casserole or dollop them into a greased, hot black skillet and fry them. Umm-Umm, makes me hungry thinking about it.
Grits are grainy. The texture is a little rough. But if you are being served grits that are almost crunchy, the cook didn't get the water to boiling. And if you donít like butter, donít even bother, because they go together. If someone tells you that grits have no taste, either they are not using any butter or not enough.
So, donít be afraid. Go get you some grits and try Ďem. And if you donít like Ďem, then you can kiss my grits!
K. G. Sims was transplanted from Mississippi to Illinois and then to Missouri. He does his best to spread "Southern-ness" around the area. Be sure to visit his web site at SouthernSpeak.com and watch for his new book, recently released, titled NORTHWEST TRAIN.
Read many more great stories listed on our USADS Articles pages.
Here's another story from K. G.!
A Southerner Looks At Chicago
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