DON’T FORGET TO STIR THE GRITS should get the talking pot a little hot with discussion points. I am diving into my southern heritage with the anticipation some of my readers have never tasted this food staple of the south. As usual, if you stay with me throughout this message, you will find a life lesson recipe but you can learn how to make a great pot of grits.
Southerners use grits to enhance a meal as many people use potatoes. It is a filler and sticks to the “bones” filling the person up. It is a great breakfast dish but is also the ultimate staple for a fish and/or seafood recipe. I want to take you back to my childhood for a few observations on how I learned to love grits.
My mother’s father, Cecil Holt, was the head security guard at a local prison camp in Irwin County GA. He was a tall man and walked with authority. With earned respect, he did his job without any obvious fear. Somehow, all of his grandchildren were attracted to him and I like to think he had charisma along with a disciplined personality. We would visit him and our step grandmother and I have to say she was a wonderful cook. However, I looked at my plate during breakfast and was not immediately drawn to the pile of white blah looking grits with over easy eggs and fried bacon. They were so white except for the pat of butter on the top. I wasn’t sure I wanted to eat them but then Granddaddy introduced me to how to make them delicious. Not everyone will agree with this method as I have continued to eat breakfast grits the same way……mix the eggs into the grits and crumble the meat in there too. It may not suit your fancy but Granddaddy scored a big point with us and grits became a delight.
On one of my special Mother-Daughter vacations, Missy and I went a five star resort in Florida. We ordered grits with our breakfast and were introduced to a plate of grits unmatched byany other grits we had eaten. Have I ever told you I am not shy (lol) so I asked if the chef would tell us how she made those delicious grits. I explained that I was not interested commercially but praised her on her five star or maybe ten star grits. I will say her secret was cream and butter and lots of stirring. It works and when my daughter comes home for holidays or vacation, we make long cooking, creamy buttery grits and believe me, we stir the fool out of them.
As the grits cook, it is a requirement to stir them on a regular basis or they form clumps and are not smooth consistency. Having stirred many pots of grits that turn out smooth from the stirring process and also the episodes when I was distracted and seeing the clumps form, I have given this process some thought. Life is similar to a pot of grits and let me share why I have come to this conclusion.
Life starts as an empty pot. We develop experience as we begin to figure out what we want to cook or be in life. We throw in our education and everyday encounters the same way we addbland grits, salt and pepper (if desired) and water (which I like to think is our faith in a higher power). As in faith, water is not a solid matter but a fluid that is there but we can’t hold it in our hands freely and it has to be placed in our hearts the same as we need it to cook our lives the same as the grits need it. We begin the process of life, going about the normal routine, and sometimes forgetting we need to stir things up. We need to give attention to those who make up our lives, stirring requires work and so does life. If we regularly stir our lives by helping others, inspiring those who are not as strong, sympathize or empathize (I call this adding seasonings), the grits or life begins to get thicker which represents a fuller life which can include marriage, friendships, and a successful career. At this time, when the grits seem to be bubbling away and a lot of stirring or interaction occurs, an opportunity to make our lives delicious and filling is presented in the form of adding the cream and butter (the finer things or accomplishments in life). Life can be ordinary as grits can be bland if the cook doesn’t take the time to add the extra or as I like to say, “go the extra mile by adding the things or activities that give you happiness and fulfillment.” One more bit of advice…..Stir the grits because no matter if you add the cream and butter, life will be lumpy and clumpy if you don’t take the time to pay attention to what is going on in your pot of life. Enjoy!
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