Jul 23, 2008

True Grits

We had a Limerick Writing Contest here at Eye-dyllic not too long ago. It was a hoot! I might even have another one up my sleeves; but for today, I'm using a Southern limerick to introduce today's topic.

A lady from South Carolina,
Was eating her brunch at a din-ah.
She wolfed down the grits,
And then licked her lips,
And muttered, "my grits are much fin-ah."

The Hominy Grill in Charleston, South Carolina
Sarah Copeland of "Behind the Scenes" at the Food Network Blog

Here in California, I didn't grow up with grits: just cornmeal. Adulthood acquainted me with polenta. In the last 5 years or so, I've begun to eat grits for breakfast. I like them.

Cornmeal, polenta, and grits are related. Each product starts with corn and the classification depends on how finely it's ground.

My awareness of grits came through the TV show Alice, where Flo, a frank waitress, became famous for her comic exclamations, "Kiss my grits!" (Listen to the sound clip HERE.) Although polenta and grits are staples all over the world, Southerners are territorial about the food. GRITS has even become an acronym for "Girls Raised in the South." Does Southern California count?

The subject of grits can stir up quite a controversy. Just like the limerick implies, Southerners each have their own way of cooking things and each method is right.

If this didn't butter your grits, perhaps sharing your favorite grits recipe will. I am accustomed to eating grits with butter, honey and a little cream. PLEASE INSPIRE ME WITH YOUR FAVORITE GRIT RECIPES.


  1. I'm not a fan of grits. But my husband is... he likes them with butter. I'm not even sure if he adds sugar. Isn't that odd that I don't know? I told him the other day, I know how everyone in the office takes their coffee... but I can never remember if he like it black or with 2 sugars! Guess I better pay more attention. :) xoxo, Joanna

  2. As a northerner I'm not that familiar with grits & I'm not Italian so I don't know polenta either. Guess my PA dutch is showing! I have eaten grits with butter & salt & found them ok but not great. Maybe someone will post a yummy recipe.

    I stopped by here last night but my computer froze up.....come checkout my GiveAway.
    Hugs, DebraK

  3. A recipe for grits? Hmmm! I've been cooking grits since I was old enough to cook, but I've never used a recipe.

    In our family, I like my grits very creamy, and my husband likes his very "gritty". I take his out of the pot, and then I cook mine longer. After I take his out, I add a tiny bit of cream to the pot. That makes them so smooth. He likes his with butter, and I like mine with butter and pepper. It is also delicious to throw in some grated cheese - any kind you prefer.

    No real Southerner eats their grits sweet. Yuck! Oatmeal and cream of wheat are supposed to be sweet - not grits.

    One of my specialty dishes to prepare is Shrimp and Grits.

    We like polenta, too. But, I've never been much a fan of hominy.

  4. You've got to try grits with a can of Rotel and a small block of velveeta cheese. Yum-O!!!!

    Other than that, I prefer grits the regular "quick" grits, if I can help it. Get the long cooking kind. Make sure you stir them real well as you add them to the boiling water or they'll be lumpy. And nobody needs lumpy grits. lol


  5. I have never eaten grits, so I'm no help!! Also do not enjoy cooking, although I do make a nice meal for my hubby every night!
    Hope you get some good recipes!

  6. You saying "Grits" is like calling my name! I LOVE grits! We all love grits here...including my neice and nephew from Iowa who are visiting me..oddly. HA!
    But they know a good thing when they TASTE it. sugar in grits my friend.
    Not to my knowledge.

    I make mine with butter and when I can ESPECIALLY with Cheese in them....YUMMY!!
    We like them.....smooth....not too runny...but not dry either.

    We usually use the "Martha White" kind down here..that is a very popular brand of Grits. You just follow the recipe on the bag.
    Again....the secret to Grits is to not make them dry...they need to be "smooth." Otherwise you will just choke on them.

    But you can use the little pacakaged ones too if you wish when your in a hurry and just want a single serving or whatever. :-)

    If I order "grits" out in a's just with butter usually.
    Cracker Barrel or Waffle house or IHOP have decent Grits usually. Depends on the day I guess.
    This is making me hungry!!! HA!

  7. I did kick up a little Southern sass with the "honey" on grits statement. I think it's pretty clear that my practice is simply not "Southern."

    In my behalf, I did read an article summing up Southern eating habits and it did include honey as one approach, but it wasn't the norm. From what you ladies are writing, grits with butter, cheese, or both is more acceptable.

    Bring it on... I'm learning here...


  8. I'm one of those who doesn't care much for the taste of grits. My husband has a tradition of preparing them for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner because it was a 'thing' in their family. They add cooked crumbled sausage, cheese, and a few other ingredients and bake it and it's known as 'Scrapple'. If I have to eat grits, the sausage and cheese helps, but it's still not one of my chosen dishes.

  9. My only contact with grits has also been "Kiss my grits!" I don't believe I have ever had any.

  10. The two girls with the no sugar (or honey) and no lumps are right on in my book! And no recipe required...just cook 'em and add butter, s and p :) My neighbor Betty makes Cheese Grits casserole which is so wonderful as a side item with many meals (not just b'fast...) she is have a down right fit because Kraft just stopped making the roll of garlic cheese required for the dish. I found some Mennonite version recently and Betty is thinking about trying it :) She puts sliced almonds on top which I would have never thought of but OH are they good. I have been dying to try Shrimp and Grits because I see in so many cookbooks that southerners supposedly have this frequently living here...but I've never (maybe because I'm to far inland????)
    Thanks for tackling this very sensitive subject matter KJ!


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♫ Karen