Believe it or not, “Kiss my grits!” isn’t a Southern phrase, although I’m sure there were plenty of Southerners eager to claim it the first time it was heard. Nope, it came straight from Hollywood, bellowed out of TV screens by a loud-mouthed Southern waitress named Flo, in the 70s sitcom, “Alice.”
Now, grits themselves are a true Southern tradition.
Grits are made from ground, alkali-treated corn called hominy. Cooked low and slow with chicken broth, butter and heavy cream, seasoned with salt and cracked black pepper, they are somewhat like polenta, but more closely akin to heaven.
If you like, mix them up at breakfast time with your scrambled or over-easy eggs (I do); or for supper, stir in a white wine beurre blanc, and top with sauteed shrimp low-country style. Add on some chunks of ham, roasted garlic, fresh scallion, lardons of bacon…
::sigh::That’s puttin’ some South in your mouth.
What you don’t put on grits?
Milk and sugar.
Silly Yankees. Milk and sugar’s for oatmeal. Or Cream of Wheat.
If you don’t like them done right, then just you never mind.
It leaves more for us.
― Janis Owens, The Cracker Kitchen: A Cookbook in Celebration of Cornbread-Fed, Down Home Family Stories and Cuisine