Grits

Grits: A coarse cereal made from something called hominy, which apparently is a type of corn.

Anybody from the South, or with roots in the South can tell you what they are. Anybody not from the South will look at you funny wondering why you're talking about eating sandpaper. Anybody not from the South over the age of 25 will recognize grits as something Flo from Alice is always telling people to kiss.

My first encounter with grits was on that TV show, Alice. It was one of those sitcoms that I grew up watching, because it was funny and had strange characters. Flo was always telling people to 'Kiss my grits', which didn't really mean much to me at the time. Perhaps it was some unknown part of the female anatomy or something.

My second encounter with grits was many years later, when I made my first trip to NY to visit my future wife. There I learned it was a white gloppy substance that people ate for breakfast.

So over the years, I've learned to eat grits, and even how to cook them. Grits aren't something that I'll go out of my way to eat though. When I do eat them, it has to have lots of cheese. I've been told I cook a mean pot of grits though.

When cooking grits, caution must be exercised at all times. Cooked grits have high viscosity, and a very high specific heat. Anyone who's had grits splashed on them will tell you it BURNS. And it sticks to you, prolonging the burning process. If you try to lick it off, you'll burn your tongue, and the part that got splashed will still burn. I've always imagined that if there were grits back in medieval times, they would have been used for castle defense when the caudrons of burning pitch ran out (or even before).

Castle Defender: "They're coming! Prepare the grits!"

And I'm sure if the US military could come up with a way to keep grits steaming hot in a bomb, it would be far more effective than napalm.

Anyway, how do I cook grits?

2/3 cup water
2/3 cup chicken broth or stock
1/3 cup grits
pinch of salt
Cheese (whatever kind you want)

If your chicken broth/stock is homemade, go with all broth/stock. If it comes out of a can, go with half water/half stock. Canned broth tends to be a little on the salty side. Add grits to water/stock in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir often. Grits will stick to the bottom of the pot. When the grits become thick and gloppy taste for texture and add pepper to taste. If the grits are still a little hard and coarse, add 1/2 cup water/broth and stir. Cook until they become thick and gloppy again. Stir in the cheese (as much as you want). I like extra sharp Cheddar in mine, sometimes with a good healthy handful of Parmesan (freshly grated, not the stuff in the can) on top to garnish. You can use whatever kind of cheese you prefer. Serve in a bowl or over a fried egg. Immediately immerse the empty pot in hot water and let it soak. Don't ever let grits dry in the pot, or you'll need a chisel to chip it out.