Southern Grits

grits and shrimpHard to believe I’m having a discussion about grits on two loops, one in Facebook Groups and another on LinkedIn. I bet you can figure how these discussions are going, too. Equal parts of “I hate/love grits” and grits recipes. We’re covering the extremes of instant grits verses fresh-ground, and I land somewhere toward the fresh-ground end with slow cooked.

It’s a Southern thing, I guess. I don’t know how far west it goes, but I grew up with grits here in Texas. I remember my Tennessee aunt, raised in Georgia, served us Texas folks–my hubby, stepkids, and me–some grits one morning when we were visiting. She presented it with a flourish as if she were feeding us something we’d never had before. She was disappointed to discover we’d had it, but if she’d taken a moment to think about it, she would’ve known: OfΒ courseΒ we’d had grits before! My dad was her brother, raised in Georgia, just like her, and raised on grits, just like her. If Mom didn’t already know how to make them, I’m sure he would’ve insisted she learn. So that means, even though I was raised in Texas, I was raised on grits. I love ’em too, so that means, whether MSB had ever had grits before we got married, he definitely would’ve had ’em afterward. He’s not a fan, but it’s not like he’s never had them. Still, the disappointment on my aunt’s crinkly ol’ face broke my heart. We should’ve played along.

Every self-respecting Southern cook has her own recipe of how to make that hominy product better, because it really is bland if you don’t do somethingΒ to it. Me, I cook ’em slow, with lots of butter and a splash of half and half until they’re golden and creamy.

These days, they’re not just for breakfast anymore, evidenced by Joe Barnett’s picture above. In fact, one Southern belle wrote an entire cookbook of grits recipes–including dessert recipes! The Shrimp and Grits featured in the picture is from Food Network, and they have tons of non-breakfast versions too. (I have my own version of shrimp and grits. Love it, but like I said, MSB isn’t a fan of grits. What kinda southerner is he???)

Why am I writing about grits? I really don’t know. Like I said, I’m discussing them on two different loops, and I’d just posted a comment to a guy in London when it dawned on me: Today’s Wednesday! It’s POST DAY–and I don’t have a post!!!!

So there you have it. I’m writing about grits because I don’t know what else to write about. Again.

But I can make this applicable to the writing life, particularly for folks who pitch their manuscripts to agents and editors who don’t handle the genre being offered to them. Some genres are like grits. Agents/editors have a love/hate relationship with them, and if they hate what you’ve offered, that says two things. One, there’s probably nothing wrong with your manuscript, it’s just not to their taste. And two, you should’ve done your research before going off half-baked and pitching to them.

There. It’s writing-related. I salvaged the post.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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10 Responses to Southern Grits

  1. Linda, I have a very good friend who is from Texas and he had grits growing up down there. Hushpuppies and sweet tea too! You’re also now discussing grits on an eloop you and are on, so that makes three places. I’ve only had them twice. Once at a restaurant in Florida and in someone’s home in Alabama. They were just okay. But shrimp and grits has me wanting to try them again. πŸ™‚


    • Linda Yezak says:

      Giggle! It does look good, doesn’t it?

      I didn’t think of hushpuppies as just a southern thing, but maybe they are. Cornmeal is southern, so I guess they would be too. I *adore* hushpuppies when they’re made right!


  2. Gay Ingram says:

    Terrific analogy to writing, Linda.


  3. Joanne Sher says:

    Great save – truly ;). And I do not love or hate grits – as a native Southern Californian who now lives in the Midwest, I have never tried them. MAY have to change that. May πŸ˜‰


    • Linda Yezak says:

      Try them in some restaurant in the south–don’t buy them in a store and try to make them. If you discover you don’t like them, you’ll be stuck with a full box. It really is a love/hate thing. I haven’t heard too many who ride the middle.


  4. K.M. Weiland says:

    I’ve only had grits once – at a friend’s wedding in Tennessee. I was totally expecting to like them, since I generally like mushy grain foods like that. But I can’t say I was impressed. Maybe it was the way they were cooked (with tomato sauce, I think)…


  5. I can’t say I am a fan of grits. My folks hail from Missouri (Popular Bluff area) and my grandmother was Southern Style cook. I loved her green tomato and squash pies, her fried pies, and slow cooked pork roast with potatoes and bacon, but I draw the line at grits. As for agents and agencies, good point. (And I like how you “saved” your post!) Always interesting, and fun to read your random thoughts.


    • Linda Yezak says:

      Your grandmother and I would get along swimmingly! I’d love to have her squash pie recipes–acorn squash? Hubbard? I can’t see making a pie out of yellow or zucchini. She must’ve had a secret.

      Thanks, Ceci!


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