September 2, 2010

What's for Breakfast?

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Margaret's Morsels | Grits

A couple of months ago, I wrote about corn, my favorite summertime vegetable.  Today I want to write about my favorite corn product:  grits.  I was going to post this later in the year, but decided to post it today since it's National Eat Grits for Breakfast Day.

My love affair with grits started at a very young age, thousands of miles away from the cornfields of America.  I spent the first 10 years of my life on Guam, not exactly a locale known for grits.  Surprisingly, my mother was able to purchase grits at the commissary.  When I had my tonsils out at the age of five, I came home and ate not ice cream, but a bowl of grits.

For those unfamiliar with this Southern staple, grits are nothing more than coarsely ground corn.  Grits are available in three varieties at the grocery store:  instant, quick cooking and old fashioned.  Stone-ground grits are usually found at gristmills or specialty food stores.  The cooking time and texture are different among the four.

Instant grits are precooked and require the addition of boiling water.  Quick cooking grits are finely ground and cook in 5 minutes.  Old fashioned grits are coarsely ground and take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook.  Stone-ground grits take about 40 minutes to cook.

Grits are usually cooked in boiling water or milk and eaten as a cereal or side dish.  Some people eat grits like oatmeal, mixing the grits with milk and sugar.  Others like butter on their grits, while others like them plain. Some people like soupy grits, others like thicker grits.  I like my grits thick enough to eat with a fork.

Margaret's Morsels | Grits
Left:  Uncooked grits.
Right:  Cooked grits.

When I cook grits, I always fix cheese grits.  However, the cheese grits I make do not require a recipe, a lot of additional ingredients or baking time. When the grits are cooked, I add shredded Cheddar cheese and stir the grits until the cheese is melted.  Cheese acts as a thickener so it's better to start with a little and add more cheese as needed.

Grits are a quick, inexpensive and filling breakfast.  They definitely warm you up in the winter, but they are good year round.  The additions you can put in grits are limited only by your imagination.

1 Serving

3/4 cup cold water
salt to taste
1/4 cup quick cooking grits (3 Tbsp. if you want them thinner)
shredded Cheddar cheese to taste (optional)

Put the water and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir in the grits.  Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan with a lid.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Remove the lid and stir the grits.  Add cheese, if desired, stirring to melt the cheese.

© Margaret's Morsels


  1. I've heard of some southerns adding shrimp and bacon to their grits. Have you tried anything other than cheese?

  2. I've mixed grits with a poached egg, but I didn't add the cheese. I've known people who mixed cooked sausage with their grits.

    Has anybody added something else to their grits?