Monday, March 23, 2009

True Grits

I'm a far cry from what you'd call a Southern girl (unless of course we're referring to Southern Ontario) but this morning, I had hominy grits with breakfast - right here in my all-Canadian kitchen.

Earlier this month, Angie Ledbetter of Gumbo Writer published a post about grits on her blog. I commented that I had never tried them before but believed them to be something similar to Cream of Wheat. Angie never scoffed at me for that remark. Instead, she graciously offered to send me a package of grits so that I could find out for myself, and I gratefully accepted.




On Friday, I arrived home to find this parcel from Baton Rouge, Louisiana at my front door.




The Quaker's familiar face greeted me when I opened the package.




As did Angie's friendly message.




This morning Frank cooked eggs while I prepared the grits. Following directions, I measured enough product and water for two portions. Salt was optional.




I mixed the two together, and stirred.




The timer on the microwave was set for four minutes. Almost done.



Et voila! It did look suspiciously like Cream of Wheat...

And tasted rather similar.

I know that's supposed to be the wrong thing to say, but they're truly very much alike, except for their source (grits comes from corn) and the grits were... grittier. A dab of butter made them quite tasty and I found myself nibbling at leftover portions occasionally through the afternoon.

Thank you, Angie, for your generosity, and for enabling this Canuck to sample grits for the first time.

61 comments:

Protege said...

What a nice thought of a friend and what a great way of trying out grits.;)
Having lived in the southeast US I know the grits very well.;)
Glad you enjoyed it.;) And your breakfast pictures look delicious.;))

Angie Ledbetter said...

So glad you got them and liked! Now, experiment with the texture and adding salt & pepper & butter in different amounts. I'll be posting another grits recipe soon too - maybe garlic grits. :) And thanks for the linky love.

Crabby McSlacker said...

How come food looks so much tastier when you photograph it? Actually, all of life looks much more appealing through your lens. I want to live my life on the other side of your camera!

So that was very sweet of your friend to send you grits and let you make up your own mind about them.

(I'm with you--they taste like Cream of Wheat to me, which is problematic since I don't like Cream of Wheat. If I'm going to have a Louisiana breakfast I think I'd prefer cafe au lait and beignets to grits).

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

can't you buy those? we have them here, just across the lake from you---my wife is southern, sort of, and like buttery grits in a bowl topped with scrambled egg and tabasco, and that is totally tasty, although I agree with you--they are the same as cream of wheat, except larger particles and more gluey, sort of
(and I LOVE cream of wheat)

jinksy said...

That slice of fried bread is cruelty to the taste buds of one who views... Can't remember the last time I had some!

Mental P Mama said...

Because I am an actual GRITS (Girl Raised In The South), I will also tell you that salt and pepper with that butter will send them over the top. And Cheese Grits? Maybe the best thing on the planet!

Leah J. Utas said...

Damn that looks good. I'd like to try some grits someday myself. Glad to know you've blazed trail for me so I know what to expect.

RiverPoet said...

Cheesy grits are really good. You can mix in any kind of cheese you like and serve them up that way. I grew up with grits served up every morning with breakfast - bacon, eggs, toast, and grits. Lots of butter, salt, and pepper was the way Mom served them. Mmmm-mmmm. As Mom would have said, "So good, it'll make you swallow your tongue!"

Peace - D

Daryl said...

Grits are cream of wheat ... NOT .. tho they do have similar texture and .. well, taste.

I am betting in a blind taste test only those who have eaten grits can tell them apart

Add cheese and the calories go up but so does the taste

Tabor said...

Ah yes, I have some in my cupboard and they are wonderful with grated cheese stirred in gently just before serving.

My favorite breakfast of the South is the Beignets of New Orleans!

Frank Baron said...

I'd like to try them again with cheese and garlic. And maybe some crumbled bacon - for a little added grit.

Nice-looking eggs. ;)

Renae Meredith said...

I have such fond memories of my grandmother cooking grits for us whenever we visited. Just butter is good, as a child I loved them with butter, milk and sugar. Recently, at a family get-together, my aunt from Texas fixed delicious cheesy grits with mild green chilies as an accompaniment to barbeque. Thank you for posting your pictures. I think I need to put grits on my next grocery shopping list!

Tricia said...

What a nice thing of your friend to do. I've been living in the south for many years now, and I've not developed a taste for grits, but I keep trying.

ds said...

I'm a total Cream of Wheat gal, but Mr. Long-Suffering--who has deep Southern roots--is grits all the way. Butter, salt & pepper only says he. Glad you enjoyed them.

Sandi McBride said...

I'm so glad that you have a chance to try grits...next time, cook them on the stove top, for the love of all that's holy, add salt and butter...and cook for at least fifteen minutes...and I promise you won't mistake them for cream of wheat, lol!
hugs
Sandi

Sagey said...

My true southern friend makes some good grits (the only time I have ever had them). Now you have me thinking of them I will have to email to see what they use. :-)

On a totally side note, what are Native Canadians now called? My son has a silly little school project and one of the questions is "Native Canadians are now called _________". I googled and came up with First Nations, is that correct? :-)

Reb said...

I think we had Cream of Wheat when we were kids, but I don't really remember. Good of your friend to send you some grits though.

HeatherPride said...

Try melting some cheddar or American cheese into them and adding a dash of Tabasco - YUM!

Cheffie-Mom said...

Your blog friend sent you grits! How fun! Love it. The eggs look super yummy!

kcinnova said...

Grits with salt, pepper, and butter = a little taste of heaven! The rest of your breakfast just made it better! Now I'm really hungry...

(I grew up 2 hours south of Vancouver, B.C., and didn't taste grits until I was an adult.)

photowannabe said...

What a thoughtful gift. I like grits too but they do need salt and butter to give them some zip. Think I will have to try the instant box you showed.

scarlethue said...

Instant grits, while good in a pinch, are nothing compared to the slow-cooked, full-of-flavor grits you can get down here. Just yesterday I went to a diner and had the Best Grits on Earth, flavored with parmesan cheese and butter, lots of butter. My grandmother used to make the best cheddar garlic grits too.

So nice of her to send them to you! Us southerners are very proud of our food. :)

Country Girl said...

Love your post title! I tried grits a couple of times and wasn't feeling the love. I do like cream of wheat but grits are just different.

Lover of Life said...

Hmmm maybe I should give them a try - I always thought grits were cream of wheat, cooked differently.
You learn something new every day!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Just popping back in to make sure you cooked those grits the slow way...on the stove top vs. nuking them. Whole 'nother flavor! (Do y'all have garlic cheese in the tube there? If so, it's a great addition.)

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Protege. Yes it was very sweet of Angie to send them to me. It was a very cool way to share. :)

• Thanks again, Angie. I will experiment. I like the cheese idea but garlic with breakfast.. just doesn't sound right to me. But fear not, I'll keep trying different things. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much for those always-kind words, Crabby. I think your breakfast idea sounds pretty tasty too. In fact it could be dessert! Thanks for the visit. :)

• Gary, I have never seen grits on the shelves here. I'm going to have to make this package last. I'm in trouble if I grow to LOVE them. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Jinksy, I can't say that I've ever had any. That was actually just a piece of buttered rye bread toast. Frank is heavy-handed with the butter knife. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• MPM, it sounds like cheese grits will be my next go-round for sure. I'm hungry right now and they sound wonderful! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Leah, keep everyone else's suggestions in mind too. They sound pretty yummy! Thanks for the visit. :)

• River Poet, you said that so convincingly, I think I could develop a southern accent. ;)

• Daryl, I figure that unseasoned, they're both pretty much alike. Just the texture would give them away. But dressed up, like everyone is so kindly suggesting... well I've never considered doing anything like that to my cream of wheat. Grits would have to win for their versatility. :)

• Tabor, I'm guessing that Southern beignets are better than your average doughnut. It sounds like a wickedly wonderful breakfast. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Frank. I'll give your compliments to the chef. ;)

• Welcome, Renae. It seems there are quite a number of ways to cook them. Your aunt's way sounds wonderful! Thanks for visiting. I hope you'll be back soon. :)

• Tricia, I suppose you either like them or you don't. I found them to be pleasant enough, with a lot of potential considering all of the great suggestions. Thanks for stopping by. I've missed seeing you around here. :)

• Thanks DS. They are similar, but different enough to each claim their own fans. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Sandi.. yes, ma'am. I shall follow yours and others' suggestions next time and the times after that.. for all that is holy. ;) Thanks very much for dropping by. :)

• Sagey, your son's school project can't be too silly if they're acknowledging Canadians. ;) Yes, First Nation would be the correct term. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• It sure was nice of her, Reb. We used to have Cream of Wheat or Oatmeal all the time as kids. All courtesy of the Quaker. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Sounds good, Heather - except it would have to be Canadian cheese in place of American. ;) Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Thanks Cheffie. A true compliment to Frank coming from the fine chef that you are. :)

• Well that makes two of us, KC. It took me over five decades to taste them. Now I'm glad that I did. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Sue, that seems to be the going advice. Salt and butter or cheese. Both sound pretty good to me. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Scarlethue, I'm sure as with most things, they're best from scratch but they sure were enjoyable anyway. Maybe one day I'll be in your neck of the woods and enjoy them as you Southerners do. Thanks so much for dropping by. :)

• Thanks, Kate. I didn't taste enough difference between them to like one but not the other. You must have more developed and discerning taste. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• They're close, L of L, but it seems that grits are more versatile. I hope you enjoy them too. :)

• I did microwave them, Angie. Stove top next time for sure. I'm not sure about garlic cheese - it doesn't sound too appealing to me. Frank, on the other hand would love it. ;)

Andrea said...

I think I would like these! Your pictures look delicious!!!! :)

blunoz said...

Ahhh the memories! Soon after the Navy sent me to Charleston, South Carolina, I met a really nice girl who showed me around town. She took me to Hyman's Seafood where they served boiled peanuts as an appetizer ("southern caviar" I think she called it) and she had her favorite shrimp & grits.

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYUCK!!!!!

Can't.

Stand.

Grits.

Now, don't get me wrong. I LOVED Charleston, and overall I LOVED the food - catfish, hush puppies, pecan pie... :-9 I just did NOT like the grits. Oh, and I TOTALLY agree they're JUST like cream-of-wheat.

Hilary said...

give me a good ole' bowl of oatmeal any day!!!!!

the Bag Lady said...

What a nice thing for her to do! I've always wondered about grits - thought they would be somewhat like corn meal....

Shammickite said...

I've bought Cheese grits occasionally when I've been in the USA, and I quite like them. But then, I love cheese in any form. I could probably toast some cheese on a pair of old boots and enjoy them for breakfast!

Suldog said...

That was really nice of Angie. She made me a similar offer, but I told her that I had had them before, enjoyed them, and didn't need her to send me a CARE package :-)

Missicat said...

mmmm love me some grits! ESPECIALLY cheese grits - you MUST try those!

The Things We Carried said...

I very much enjoy Angie's blog! For some reason, I am not surprised she did this for you. She seems generous and filled with good humor on her blog, and here is a great example that she matches the blog she writes.

I lived in the south a small time as a child and aquired the taste for grits early. MMMM.

Hilary, thanks for your kind comments to my blog! I do appreciate you.

bettyl said...

Ah, yes! I do remember grits from my days in Georgia. I just liked them with a bit of butter no top. Or occasionally, a dab of jelly. I do miss them. *sigh*

lime said...

i have to admit, i'm a yankee but i do enjoy some good grits.

SandyCarlson said...

That's the rib-sticking good stuff of breakfast. We love grits. A helping of those, and we're good for the day!

scarlethue said...

Oh yes, squirrels, rabbits, bees, leaves, the doorbell on tv, random breezes that catch his fancy... he's an enemy to them all. Cats are his favorite prey. You just say the word "cat" while outside and he goes crazy!

Dave said...

it was interesting to read of your 'cross-cultural' experiment Hilary. Nice of Angie to send it to you. - Dave

Maggie May said...

I have never heard of grits before but am familiar with Quakers oats The packet looks the same........ but its made of wheat you say.......

Indrani said...

Looks new to me... delicious shots!

JC said...

Yummo. I like mine with sugar or cheese. Better yet if your even in the deep south as in Dixie (Alabama, Lousiana, Mississippi, etc) you have to have shrimp & grits. LORDY!!!! That's some good eatin. Not waist friendly but still good eating.

At one time, GRITS shirts were sold around here GRITS (Girls Raised In The South). HA!

Shrinky said...

I've no idea of what grits are, either! But that box made my eyes pop - we have the exact same packaging for Quaker Oats, which is porridge. (I love me porridge, so's I do.)

What a lovely thing to receive! When I sometimes receive something from one of my blogger friends I get all unnecessary and excited - it validates how REAL we all are, doesn't it? This net is a wonderful thing indeed.. smile.

oldmanlincoln said...

Gosh. I never thought of it before but mom used to make cream of wheat herself and if she had money would buy the instant kind and then I liked the chocolate flavored. LOL

Grits are the same to me or taste the same to me or used to. It has been years since I have had them, and my taste has changed a lot. I can even eat peas now.

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Andrea. Much appreciated. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Blunoz, let me see if I understand. You're not fond of grits. ;) I keep hearing how people love them or hate them but I find them to be benign enough. Now all those other dishes sound wonderful too - well maybe not the boiled peanuts. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Oatmeal is good too, Hilary. And Oat Bran. And.. thanks for dropping in. :)

• Baggie, though they're from corn, I don't find them to be like corn meal. I had a cross between corn meal and cream of wheat in my mind, but it's much more like the latter. :)

• I'm a cheese lover too, Shammie and did try melting cheese into the grits today. It was pretty good but too filling for me. Generally I don't eat breakfast but I was hungry this morning. :)

• Yup, Sully. It was indeed very nice of Angie. I remember reading your comment on that post. I think you said you were one of the Northerners that likes grits. Well I'm another one. ;)

• Missicat, I did.. just today. They were good but I was too full after eating them. Thanks for the visit. :)

• MT, you're so right about how kind Angie is. It was a very sweet thing for her to do. There are so many wonderful people out here in the blog world, one of whom is you. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Betty I had them with butter .. well margarine the first time I tried them and it was tasty. Jelly.. hmm I'm not so sure about how I'd like that. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Lime, they're pretty good.. even to this Canuck. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Sandy, this morning's helping filled me up for most of the day too. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Scarlethue, that's a terrier for ya. :)

• Thanks, Dave. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It was indeed nice of her. :)

• Maggie, Quaker Oats was probably the original Quaker product.. at least around here. That package hasn't changed much at all through the decades. But the grits are made from corn, not wheat. Cream of Wheat is another cereal which tastes like grits. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Indrani. Much appreciated. :)

• JC, Angie has since posted a recipe for shrimp grits on her blog and yes, it looks artery-clogging wonderful. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Shrinky, you're so right about that. It's making a connection in the 3-D world like a snail mail letter, a parcel or a face-to-face meeting (like Lime and Suldog just had) that makes it all the more real. It's very exciting. And yes, we have similar boxes of the instant Quaker Oats here too. :)

• OML, chocolate-flavoured cream of wheat? I would have gobbled that up in a heartbeat! I'm amused how my sons' tastes mature. They're beginning to like foods that they've resisted for years. And I continue to learn to like new foods that I never thought I'd enjoy.. like Brussels sprouts. Thanks for the visit. :)

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Oh dear, I'm just visiting for the first time and I have to be honest, I hate grits! But I am a limey. We lived in Montreal for 6 years and I did try but couldn't get on with grits however I think sending them to you was very sweet.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

OH how fantastic. Seeing that plate of food actually made my stomach growl.

I'm thinking you've inspired me to make breakfast for dinner! :)

addhumorandfaith said...

Hilary -- I've tried them (mainly because Cracker Barrel always offers them with your breakfast) and can take or leave them. But, I imagine they're like lots of other foods (for me, mushrooms, refried beans and fish, come to mind) that if you eat them often enough you acquire a taste for them. I enjoyed going to Angie's site and reading the "history of grits". Hubby laughed out loud when I read the really funny parts to him! :)

Thanks for a fun post.

Kappa no He said...

Gosh, I miss grits. I wonder if I can introduce them to Japan. Oatmeal is here but I never see anyone but me buying it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hillary, it's Lisa, Franks' sister. We've driven to Florida a few times and my mouth waters for our first breakfast stop usually in Tennessee, I get a huge bowl of grits and ladle on hot maple syrup. It is unbelievably delicious!!!Last trip I brought back 2 big bags of them, we all enjoyed them. Stove top is the way to go. :)

Jo said...

Okay, now I'm hungry.

Boomka said...

I tell you man I am a yank and any debate with a southerner about grits has ended in screaming expletives about breakfast food. So I just eat what they tell me to. They are usually right.

TheChicGeek said...

My first visit. You have a lovely blog and lovely friend to send you such a fun surprise :)
Have a Happy Weekend!

Hilary said...

• Welcome, 123 and thanks for stopping by to comment. I'm a native Montrealer and can't say that I've ever seen grits there. Maybe when cross-border shopping? Thanks for the visit. Come on back soon. :)

• Mama Geek, breakfast for dinner can be just the perfect meal sometimes. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, kindly AHAF. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.. if not the grits. Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Kappa, if you're the only one buying oatmeal in Japan, I suggest you start checking the best before dates. ;) Congrats on having your book published.. that's just so cool! :)

• Hey, Lisa! Grits would be the perfect breakfast to cook up at the cottage, on a cool autumn morning, don't you think? I'll see if I can make this package last. ;) Thanks for visiting and commenting. :)

• Jo, how about now? ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Sounds like they know what's good for you, Boomka. Thanks for dropping by and sharing.. and for not starting a screaming match. ;) See you again soon, I hope. :)

• Welcome Chic Geek and thanks very much for the kind words. You're so right about Angie. She is indeed a lovely friend. Thanks for the visit. Please return soon. :)

Zip n Tizzy said...

Not southern either, but do love grits!

Jennifer H said...

Yes, butter and salt. Yum. I need to buy a box.

Hilary said...

• Thanks for the visit. Z&T. Grits sure are popular in more places than the south. :)

• Butter and salt worked for me too, Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by. :)

San said...

I grew up in the South and so grits are very familiar to me. I don't make them very often at all, but when I do, my Yankee husband enjoys them.

Hilary said...

They are quite tasty, San. Now you've got me considering them for breakfast... Thanks for stopping by. :)

Louise said...

I'm not technically from the south, but I was born and raised just north of the Mason-Dixon line, and lots of people in my region ate lots of grits. (I wasn't one of them.) I think you need to find a good recipe for cheese grits. That's the only way I really love them.

Hilary said...

That sure seems to be the popluar opinion, Louise. I'd best follow through. Thanks for the visit. :)