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Grits, the West Coast Yankee way

June 17, 2017

I’m not native to Alabama, or the South, but I got here as soon as I could.  There are a few foods here that reminded me of growing up. Grits is on that list.

We had corn meal mush for breakfast sometimes.  It had the consistency of Creme of Wheat, and with enough brown sugar/butter/maple syrup/jelly it went down well.  A “stick to your ribs” type breakfast when oatmeal got boring.  And it was cheap; much like grits are.

I was introduced to grits at the truck stop I got a job at when I first landed in the Florida Panhandle.  Pretty sure my mouth was hanging open when I watched some burly trucker mash his fried eggs into a stack of steaming hot grits, yolk and all.  And some co-workers returned the dumbfounded look when I dipped my toast in the yolks of my fried eggs, and skipped the grits.

I did try grits several ways, though.
I mashed with eggs – nope.
I added jelly – not a fan.
I salted and peppered – still not a fan.
I added cheese – that was palatable
I added diced up ham and cheddar cheese – okay, that’s better.
I added bacon, cheese and onion – better still.
I added garlic and cheddar cheese and paired this with fried mullet – NOW, we’re getting somewhere.
I added garlic and cheddar and paired with shrimp – I’m all in!

So I did find a few ways to cook and serve grits that I liked, but my Southern-born kids like grits so I made grits for them.  I noticed when chilled, grits hold their form, which gave me an idea.  I took the leftover grits and filled up a small bread loaf pan.  I stuck it in the fridge.

Later that night, I put the grit loaf on a plate and sliced it like bread.  It was similar to thick jello and held it’s form.  I got out my trusty skillet.  After the pan was hot, I tossed some butter in it and a slice of grit loaf with cajin’ seasoning salt.  What a treat that turned out to be.

I got the pan hot again, but this time, salted and peppered my grit loaf slice and fried it in bacon grease. Holy Crapola – another winner!   Pretty experimental for a bland breakfast dish.  Turns out I do like Grits.  I had to West Coast Yankee them up a bit first though.

I haven’t been so quick to experiment with Chitterlings.  I’m just leaving that Southern mess to the folks around here who appreciate them.


From → Family, Misc., Recipes

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