Wednesday, January 11, 2012


On one of my favorite tee-shirts, GRITS stands for Girls Raised In The South. My daughter is definitely a Southern Belle, complete with the accent and charm that goes along with it. She makes a momma proud!

I was born in North Carolina, spent the first 5 years of my life there, then moved to Virginia. When I was 9 years old, my daddy made be be a Yankee by accepting a church appointment and moving our family to Ohio. I came to love that place and even made my home in Columbus, Ohio for a while. But in my heart I’m a southern girl and always will be.

Once, not long after we’d moved North, our family was taking a Sunday afternoon drive and Daddy noticed I was laying down in the back seat. He said I should sit up and look around at the scenery because you could “...see for miles!” I retorted that I didn’t want to ‘see for miles’ that I wanted mountains to look at. I also remember telling him that when I got big enough to decide where I was gonna live, I was moving back to the mountains. And, many years later, that’s exactly what I did! Now, mind you, I have nothing against Yankees, but I am a southern girl to the bone.

I’m 58 years old and for 37 years I’ve enjoyed eating grits.

My mother didn’t cook grits. She made Cream of Wheat. I didn’t eat it. Still won’t. Never will. You can take that to the bank. To quote “Yankees have attempted to create a synthetic Grit. They call them Cream of Wheat. As far as we can tell the key ingredients of Cream of Wheat are Elmer's Glue and styrofoam.” Amen, sister!

Mother did cook grits in the form of what she called ‘fried mush’. She’d buy it in a block, slice it, fry it and some of the family ate it with maple syrup. I said some of the family. I didn’t eat it. Just didn’t look or smell like something I wanted to try. (I felt the same way about liver, but that’s for another blog.)

Here's something funny I found:
1. Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.

2. Thou shalt not eat Cream of Wheat and call it Grits; for this is blasphemy.

3. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors Grits.

4. Thou shalt only use Salt, Butter and Cheese as toppings for thy Grits.

5. Thou shalt not eat Instant Grits.

6. Thou shalt not eat thy Grits with a spoon.
7. Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.

8. Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.

9. Thou shalt not put sugar on thy Grits either.

10. Thou shalt not put sugar or syrup on thy Grits

Personally, I like to eat my grits with butter, sugar and a little salt. And...please forgive me...I eat them with a spoon!

In 1974, while on our honeymoon, Joe and I ate breakfast at a restaurant in south Georgia. I ordered eggs, toast, bacon and juice. The plate was delivered with a pile of white stuff in the middle. I told the waitress that I didn’t order those. She said they “...come with it.” I asked what they were and she laughed (along with a few muffled chuckles around me - INCLUDING my husband) and made the astute observation: “You’re not from around here, are ya, honey?”

My husband of less than a week was kind enough to offer a suggestion when I asked him how to eat them. He suggested a little butter, a little salt and maybe I might enjoy some sugar on them (although he’d never do that).

Then he told me that “...the traditional southern way of eating grits is to eat them with a knife.” He demonstrated by just sliding his table knife into the grits and picking them up. He said the trick was to keep them on the knife long enough to get them in your mouth. I trusted this man. I loved this man. I had just married this man, even though I’d only known him three months! So, I did it.

More chuckles from the tables around me...not muffled this time. My dear, sweet groom had just begun what would be 37 years (and counting) of teasing me.

It’s been said that the mysterious manna God rained down from the sky to feed the Children of Israel as they wandered in the desert was grits. But I am certain that isn’t possible because:
1, There is no record in the Bible about God raining down butter, salt, cheese or sugar for the grits.
2. A loving father would never provide grits for his children without the butter, salt, cheese or sugar.

But then again...maybe God had it all mixed together when He let it rain down on the Israelites!

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!