Shrimp and grits

Breakfast Means Grits, Not Potatoes

by O’Neill Williams

Coffee black, eggs over light, biscuits in gravy, bacon done crispy and grits swimming in butter.  Sounds like a great breakfast doesn’t it?  I was in Montana trying for Mule Deer and Antelope a few years ago.  That went fine.  I enjoyed the adventure.  Trouble was I couldn’t get any grits up there.  They served potatoes.  That’s a valiant effort, but it wasn’t grits and I mist’em.  I tried to encourage the little restaurant’s owner and cook combination to get with the program, but he talked with a bit of a flat accent and couldn’t understand my proper English from a guy from Georgia.  They all thought I talked funny although I didn’t see anyone laughing.


As a side note, have you hunted or fished in Montana?  One thing you might want to remember, the air is free but there’s not much of it.


Back to the grits.


Grits has been come to be a fashion statement of sorts.  Is that proper grammar?  Is ‘grits’ singular or plural?  Anyway, I had grits with shrimp at a very upscale coastal diner in St Simons this last week.  The grits were (there’s that singular/plural problem again) fried in a little square cake with the grilled shrimp on the side.  Outstanding!   Gail cooked up grits this last week with boiled corn, bacon and little bits of venison sausage.  WOW!  What we didn’t eat, I stored in a little plastic bowl for a snack.


I had breakfast with friends in Jonesboro last April, I do have a few friends contrary to popular belief, and the restaurant served little cubed potatoes there, along with grits, of course.  Are we losing our focus here?  Breakfast around here means grits, not potatoes.  We have to decide where we are.  Georgia is not a breakfast potato place.  Come to think of it, the plate had some orange slices and some green sprigs of some kind on the side.  I wasn’t impressed and left most of the little garden. What’s that all about?  Oranges?  I drink orange juice sometimes on Sunday.  I don’t eat oranges for breakfast.   If you were brought up around here, you won’t either.  About 30 years ago, my exploding ego necessitated entering me in the Mr. Atlanta Body Building Championship.  It was that ‘getting old feeling’.  Finished third and wouldn’t do it again if guaranteed to win with a $10,000 prize.  I almost starved.  Lost 40 pounds by eating mountains of oranges.  Haven’t been able to eat one since.   I tried one little bite of the green stuff that morning in Jonesboro.  I didn’t want to look like a complete boob in front of my Yankee friends.   I think they are from far and away up north, Raleigh or somewhere like that.  The garden didn’t taste very good.  I’m not sure but that might have been for decorations only. 


Trouble is people who don’t like grits don’t know how to fix them to eat.  Take notes.  First of all, you cook grits on the stove.  Don’t use INSTANT GRITS.  You need to get this right.  Spoon a giant dob on your plate, add butter, lots of it, a considerable amount of salt and finally cover them completely with pepper.  As a matter of practice, go ahead and cover everything with pepper; eggs, gravy, everything.   Mix it all together with your fork in a swirling motion.  If you have grits left over after the eggs are consumed and scattered around your plate, use your biscuit to gather up the remaining grit (grits?).  ‘Sopping up’ is traditional.


Enjoy your breakfast.   Following my lead, breakfast as described should last you until lunch with country fried steak, fried apples with cinnamon, mashed potatoes (potatoes are OK for lunch) and plenty of gravy………..again.


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