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Grits? Gaack!


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It's not just grits, northerners are suspicious about many of the favorite foods of the south. Boiled peanuts, for instance.

A neighbor down the street, who moved here from Woodstock, NY a few years ago, had never tried cracklins/ fried pork rind or skins/chicharrones....

At one of our block parties, he gingerly bit into one and had an epiphany. Just because something looks odd and has an odd name does not mean it is not tasty.

I often seen him in line at the Mexican supermarket buying the big slabs of chicharrones, along with hot sauce in which to dip them.

Both he and his wife have eagerly taken to the multi-ethnic foods in our neighborhood.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I subscribe to the Cream of Wheat theory: Northerners see grits and think it's hot cereal, so they try to eat them plain. They don't know to mix their egg into them, or red-eye gravy, or fried ham.

It couldn't be that they don't have red-eye gravy or fried ham, right?

To my Yankee ear, red-eye gravy sounds like something served aboard a 3 A.M. airplane flight. :raz:

Just what is it, exactly?

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I subscribe to the Cream of Wheat theory: Northerners see grits and think it's hot cereal, so they try to eat them plain. They don't know to mix their egg into them, or red-eye gravy, or fried ham.

It couldn't be that they don't have red-eye gravy or fried ham, right?

To my Yankee ear, red-eye gravy sounds like something served aboard a 3 A.M. airplane flight. :raz:

Just what is it, exactly?

See it here!

Although there are many versions, depending on locality. There is often great argument about the exact procedure and ingredients, even in closely related families - especially in closely related families!!!and the recipe here.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I'm a Yankee going back to 1630 and I love grits. They're standard fare at my local breakfast place.

"Last week Uncle Vinnie came over from Sicily and we took him to the Olive Garden. The next day the family car exploded."

--Nick DePaolo

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There are also many stories about the origin of the name.

In addition to the two mentioned in links above, my granny, who was a legendary southern cook and restaurant owner, told me that the best red eye gravy always has a little bit of bone marrow in it.

One morning, while she was fixing breakfast, I asked her about the name.

"Come over here," she said, "and look into this skillet."

So I looked, and in the skillet was a big slice of country ham. It had been sliced right through the bone. She pointed at the bone and asked me, "What does that look like to you?"

"A big red eye."

"That's right, hon. Now when I finish cooking the ham, I'll cut the meat away from the bone and use that bone to make the gravy."

I watched as she did just that. She cut the meat away and removed it to a waiting hot platter, leaving the big red eye of bone in the pan. And then she poured in some hot black coffee and carefully scooped the red marrow out of the center of the bone, and stirred it all together.

Fabulous.

And to me, that is where it got its name, and always will be.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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There are also many stories about the origin of the name.

In addition to the two mentioned in links above, my granny, who was a legendary southern cook and restaurant owner, told me that the best red eye gravy always has a little bit of bone marrow in it.

One morning, while she was fixing breakfast, I asked her about the name.

"Come over here," she said, "and look into this skillet."

So I looked, and in the skillet was a big slice of country ham.  It had been sliced right through the bone.  She pointed at the bone and asked me, "What does that look like to you?" 

"A big red eye."

"That's right, hon.  Now when I finish cooking the ham, I'll cut the meat away from the bone and use that bone to make the gravy."

I watched as she did just that.  She cut the meat away and removed it to a waiting hot platter, leaving the big red eye of bone in the pan.  And then she poured in some hot black coffee and carefully scooped the red marrow out of the center of the bone, and stirred it all together.

Fabulous.

And to me, that is where it got its name, and always will be.

That is the best kind of story, Jaymes! always a story that involves family history and traditions, is the best to read.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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This is what we had for breakfast Sunday:

Cook a pound of sausage and place in casserole. Cook 2 cups of your favorite grits and spoon over top. Make 6-8 indentations in top of grits and crack and egg into each one. Salt and pepper, cover with 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.

Yum!

If you can't act fit to eat like folks, you can just set here and eat in the kitchen - Calpurnia

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I'm not at all sure that residence decides taste except if you've been served a paricular food since childhood, you're more apt to like it.

I've tried grits numerous times in different places prepared different ways and I still don't like it.

Now, being a Rhode Island boy, I love jonnycakes, which is basically ground white corn that is fried.

I also like eels, tripe and head cheese!!

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I really don't have any grits stories, but I really love them.  With butter and freshly ground black pepper.  Even if I didn't love them so much, it would be a great excuse to eat butter.  :wink:

We love grits with cheddar cheese and poblano chilis-- you can get away with this at a fancy dinner.

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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It's not just grits, northerners are suspicious about many of the favorite foods of the south.  Boiled peanuts, for instance.

Boiled-peanut suspicion always puzzles me. Peanuts are legumes, so why would it be weird to eat boiled peanuts when it isn't weird to eat boiled kidney beans or pintos?

On the other hand, a good many Southerners are suspicious of boiled peanuts, too. In my experience, you only find them in South Carolina, Georgia, North Florida and Alabama. I was raised by Georgia natives in North Carolinas and our neighbors thought our boiled peanuts were downright disgusting.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion of grits, already in progress . . .

Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte (NC) Observer

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Boiled peanuts are also popular in Hawai'i, and you don't get much more "south" than that! hee hee. :D

Actually, I personally first ate grits with cheese when I attended college on the mainland. Dated someone that cooked me up real grits. Yum! On the other hand, he offset any culinary points he gained with me by cooking minute rice. Yuck!

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  • 1 year later...
Has anyone ever seen grits on the menu at a Northern restaurant?  International House of Pancakes (IHOP) is pretty popular up here, but all they ever sling at you with your eggs is hash browns.  :sad:

Actually, the IHOP on Rt 22 in Plainfield, NJ DOES serve grits, iirc. They have a separate menu of "specialties" which are mostly southern - fried chicken & waffles, grits, eggs & fried fish, etc. DH gets the chorizo omelette from that menu fairly often. I've never seen a specials menu at any other IHOP, though.

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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Grits are not a regular breakfast item here either. Grits are definitely a regional dish, unless you realize that polenta is Italian grits and served at a lot of fancy schmancy restaurants all over the place. I make them at home all the time.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Growing up in Manhattan I've never seen grits on a menu. Cream of Wheat, farina, polenta yes as very similar items. I am sure there are places in NYC where you can find them on though if you went looking.

-mike

-Mike & Andrea

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Ditch Plains has grits on their menu. They aren't bad, the few times, I've orderd them, they've been a little lumpy but pretty good.

Clinton Street Baking Company has grits. As does Wichcraft.

I find the few places in New York serve grits fully seasoned unlike in the south where if you order grits you get them plain and you dress them yourself adding the amount of butter and salt or other things you want yourself.

Thus most of the times I've had grits in NYC, they've been too salty for me, but still manage to satisfy if I've been craving grits.

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I find the few places in New York serve grits fully seasoned unlike in the south where if you order grits you get them plain and you dress them yourself adding the amount of butter and salt or other things you want yourself.

That is a really interesting point. In my limited experience with grits on a regular rotation on our menu (less than 1 yr) the real beauty of the stuff is the versatility. They are really a blank parchment waiting to be dressed up. Salt, butter, bacon bits, gravy, the kids like grape jelly in them...whatever is on hand or tickles your fancy, the options are unlimited.

-Mike & Andrea

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I find the few places in New York serve grits fully seasoned unlike in the south where if you order grits you get them plain and you dress them yourself adding the amount of butter and salt or other things you want yourself.

That is a really interesting point. In my limited experience with grits on a regular rotation on our menu (less than 1 yr) the real beauty of the stuff is the versatility. They are really a blank parchment waiting to be dressed up. Salt, butter, bacon bits, gravy, the kids like grape jelly in them...whatever is on hand or tickles your fancy, the options are unlimited.

Grits are like Couscous, other pastas or rice, until you do something with it, it isn't all that appealing. Noodles by themselves are blah, but when you add some butter and garlic, now were talking.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Nothing to add really, just wanted to chime in on my love of grits! They are a winter breakfast staple in our house, plain with a little butter. I also make a cheesy grits casserole that it is a huge hit in our house, it has grits, cheese, crumbled turkey bacon and beaten eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper, dotted with butter, and baked until golden brown....absolutely delicious!

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See, here is the problem with grits, for me. I adore them, but crave fat and salt mixed with them. I am going to try making my grits with chicken broth this weekend, perhaps that and a lemony chopped salad will be a good combination. Because of the medications that I am on, I just really feel the need to avoid the fatty salty thing. Even though the oncologists have assured me that my triglyceride levels (from under 200-500+ in 5 weeks!) are completely from medications, who wants to add to that? :wacko:

Edited by Rebecca263 (log)

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See, here is the problem with grits, for me. I adore them, but crave fat and salt mixed with them. I am going to try making my grits with chicken broth this weekend, perhaps that and a lemony chopped salad will be a good combination.

Try roasting several garlic cloves and mixing them into the grits with some chives added for color. Yummy!

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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