I grew up eating hot, steamy, buttery bowls of grits – the kind of grits that would stick to a spoon and the bottom of a bowl, and still melt in your mouth. I have heard northerners ask, "What the hell is a grit?" and it never fails to make me laugh or smile. Of course, it was once poverty food in the South, and just like cream of wheat, you have to grow up eating it to appreciate it.
Getting me to school was always an ordeal and dad, not mom, would fix a big breakfast to kind of soften the coming blow. I was a big kid, loved to eat, and could be persuaded to do anything after a hearty home-cooked meal. "Breakfast's ready!" dad would holler from the kitchen as I would be pulling on my Sketchers and tying the laces. Me, my brother, and sister would all run to the kitchen as dad ladled up that thick and creamy porridge-like concoction into bowls. If we were lucky, dad would be the adventurous Southern chef, and throw in some sharp cheddar cheese. Man, that was some good eatin' as they say in the South.
Breakfast was always the most important meal on my grandmother's farm, but I never recall her serving grits. She grew up in the Great Depression in farmland Alabama and said they were so poor that they ate corn in everything and she had eaten enough for a lifetime. Cornbread. Grits. Hoecakes. Hominy. Corn sticks. Corn soufflé. You name it and somehow they incorporated corn into it. It is a wonder they didn't find a way to eat cotton – the cash crop of the South and most widely grown. In my grandmother's later years, she believed in eating bacon or sausage every breakfast – a precious commodity when she was a child and something only served on special occasions as slaughtering a hog was an all-day celebration and holiday that seldom occurred. I take eating bacon at breakfast for granted every morning.
And since we are on the topic of grits and breakfast foods, I think I shall go mosey on into the kitchen and simmer a pot of cheddar cheese grits with a side of bacon. I'll see ya'll later.