As most of you know, I grew up muddy-water-poor in a big family where feeding those mouths chirping like baby birds for a piece of the worm was the day’s No. 1 goal.
Mom had to improvise, since we had very little money, especially in the years after Dad died, leaving us nothing but bills and memories of a good man who suffered from alcoholism.
The story here, though, is not so much about Dad’s qualities, as it is about Mom’s resourcefulness reaching a level of creativity that sometimes the mind.
I don’t think Mom invented fried grits as an entree, but she sure as hell handed it down to me gift-wrapped. Today, I created my own 2020s adjustment to the original recipe that that does not improve its qualities as a health food (it doesn’t have any), but certainly gives it yet another iteration as a taste king.
This one, like Mom’s original, is easy. She simply boiled the grits, ladled in some butter, spread them on a cookie sheet and let them dry. Then she fried them in bacon fat, creating a french fry look and a wonderful taste.
I did all of that today, except that I added one ingredient: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese flavoring packet. I had one leftover in the Hubbard, having used the pasta for something else and it occurred to me today that if added to hot grits and blended nicely, it could create Mom’s grits with a new twist.
I haven’t finished yet (I still have to let them dry, slice them about four inches long and half an inch wide, then fry them in bacon fat), but I’m confident enough with the ultimate outcome tomorrow that I’m telling you about it now.
One piece of advice: Don’t coverage. This dish is full of carbs and fat and while it will definitely fit the taste box, it isn’t very healthy. That, in this case, makes it a reward, not an entre.