True Grit

I usually consider myself a good cook but every now and then I think maybe I shouldn’t be allowed in the kitchen.

This adventure started when I looked to see if there were any Instant Pot recipes for one or two for Clyde and found an actual cook book: I Love My Instant Pot For One.  You know me, I promptly checked it out from library.  As is my habit, I flipped through and marked a few recipes that appealed to me.  One of them was for Sweet Breakfast Grits.  Believe it or not, I’ve never had grits; I don’t have anything against grits, it just has never come up.  So I thought maybe it was time to try.  Ordered grits from the store, picked them up.  Printed off a copy of the recipe from the internet (I don’t EVER cook from library books with those books in the kitchen) and waited for a good morning to try out yet another hot cereal.

Mixed the ingredients, set the Instant Pot and 10 minutes later I was looking forward to my nice warm breakfast.  In order to get the little pan out of the Instant Pot, I grabbed my rubber-tipped kitchen tongs.  These are made to withstand heat but as I pulled the pan out, they seemed too pliable and in trying to hurry the pan to the counter, of course I spilled it.  Not too much, but I completely ruined the recipe which was sitting there (which is why I don’t EVER cook with a library book in the kitchen).  I scooped the spill into a bowl and when I went to scoop the rest of the grits to the bowl, I realized they were overcooked on the bottom.  I tried to break up the lumps, but not very successfully. 

As I ate my extremely lumpy grits, I decided to look up how people normally cook grits; there are TONS of these videos online.  Apparently how to cook grits is on a lot of people’s minds.  It took about ten seconds to find out that there are regular grits and instant grits.  (Grit purists detest instant grits it turns out.)  A quick check of my grits container told me where part of my mistake originated – I had instant grits – my recipe was meant for regular grits.  However, after watching a couple of quick videos, I realized that my biggest mistake was using my Instant Pot to make grits.  What a waste of time and electricity when you can just whisk grits into milk and water on the stove top and “voila”.. breakfast!

So Clyde, if you do find this cookbook, you can skip the Sweet Breakfast Grits recipe.

Do you make a mess when you cook? (Or do you have a favorite grits recipe?)

79 thoughts on “True Grit”

  1. Over here we have Waffle House. My son will often order a grit, as in single grit. The waiter will bring a sample bowl.
    “These are grits. I just want one grit.”
    It’s then that they get the joke.
    Also there’s this.

    Magic grits from My Cousin Vinny

    Liked by 5 people

  2. We always put an ancient tablecloth on the large kitchen island when we bake. It helps with clean up. I find powdered sugar the messiest thing to cook with. Russian teacake cookies require two applications of powdered sugar, one when they are just out of the oven, and one when they are cool, and the powdered sugar goes everywhere.

    Last night I made rosettes to send to Husband’s sister in Wisconsin. They are deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar. They are messy. I also tend to fling flour all over when I roll out lefse.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I try not to make a mess when I cook- there just isn’t room in the kitchen for it. When I have something simmering on the stove, I use that opportunity to wash all the paraphernalia I have dirtied, so that when dinner is ready, there’s just the cooking pot and dinner dishes that will need to be cleaned.
    The other night, though, I made chicken pot pies, which required not only a pot for the pie contents and a skillet for the gravy but also the bowl, measuring cup rolling pin, etc. for making the crust. I couldn’t clean up much ahead of time because I needed all the parts for final assembly, so that was messier than usual.

    I’ve never had grits either.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Yes, I’m messy at everything, but like Bill, I clean up as I go… I have a cookbook stand that covers the open cookbook with clear plastic, so I feel I can use any cookbook if it’s tucked in a corner.

    I’ve made grits, but just when a southerner guest left some behind, and I suspect they were instant, because I don’t remember any 20 minutes…
    Another one I’m curious about is – what do people do with hominy – the canned version?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For recipes on one sheet of paper, I’ve taped on a cupboard door one of those clear plastic sheets that hold papers on a 3-ring binder. Just slip the recipe in, and it’s a hands free view of the recipe AT EYE LEVEL.
      My other kitchen clean-up trick is, after dishes had drained a bit in the (pretty small) dish drainer, I put them away and let them finish drying in their “home”.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My parents would fry hominy in butter and serve it in place of bread or potatoes. Renee is correct, it is used in posole which I make pretty often. It is a delicious form of green Chile pork stew popular in the Southwest US.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. 1. I plunged in and ordered the cookbook, which arrived this weekend. Looks good, quite a few possible for me.
    2. Detest grits. Texture can be a large issue for me in food. Grits is the perfect example of wrong texture.
    3. I never put a cookbook on the kitchen counter. I know what I will do to it. I have three older cookbooks with very wrinkled pages, which is how I learned.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You can tell my recipe favorites by the amount of stains on the pages. We are currently having a kitchen crisis because the rosettes I made last night are soggy. Husband Google the problem, which seems to be a common one. The solution is crisping them up in the oven

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Welk, considering the amount of work entailed in making rosettes, I would think soggy (and that they have to go in the mail today) is a big enough crisis to warrant a little gnashing of teeth.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, that is a good question. I think perhaps they needed a few more seconds of cooking, but I also didn’t want them to burn. I fried them at 375 for 30 seconds. Next time I will fry them at 350 for 1 minute. I don’t plan to make them again for another 10 years or so. The are a real pain to make.

          Liked by 6 people

  7. I cook, my wife cleans up my mess. It’s a good partnership that’s lasted 43+ years. But I do make a pretty good mess. Not quite a “tornado tore through the kitchen” mess, but I spill, I slop, vegetables fly around when I’m chopping and dicing, the pot boils over on occasion.

    She started cooking occasionally after retiring and is getting pretty good as well as adventurous. But she still prefers one-pot meals, slow cooker recipes, soups, stews, etc. To my amazement, she still cleans up the kitchen after she cooks! I think of it as payback for all the great meals I’ve given her over the decades . . . I’ll match my Italian red sauce against anyone in the world. 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I’m a bit of a connoisseur (or maybe a snob?) of sauce and I like the right balance of sweet and spicy. I also have a few secret ingredients that add umami.

        And yes, if I told you I’d have to kill you. 🙂

        Chris

        Liked by 5 people

        1. I’ll think about it. But cookbooks are hard to write. Takes time to check and double check ingredients, get the procedures in the proper order, etc.

          Hmmm, maybe I could auction the recipe off to the highest bidder for a Big Brother Big Sister fundraiser.

          But now I fear I’ve overhyped the recipe and if anyone tried it they might say, “Meh, it’s okayyy . . . ” in that noncommittal way. Authors get enough rejection as it is.

          BTW, my new book is now officially available to order online at Amazon, B&N. Print only so far, I don’t have copies to sell yet. Ebooks should be available soon. Check my website or your online retailer or order from your local bookseller.

          Chris

          Like

  8. I leave a medium-sized mess in the kitchen–mostly vegetable peels, which get gathered up and put in the freezer to be taken out later, and for some reason lots of spoons. However, nearly every time I cook I drop something on the floor. We call it the sacrifice to the household gods. I don’t think it matters to the end result of the recipe if the sacrifice is made or not made, but maybe if I made better offerings I’d have better luck in the kitchen.

    I do not have a recipe for grits, but for a while I was cooking oat groats overnight in a slow cooker. They were good, but I decided that was wasteful of electricity and went back to steel-cut oats soaked overnight in a thermos. I added hominy to my chili once, but frozen sweet corn is better and easier to find, at least in the Lunds where we shop. I do like polenta, which I’ve seen called grits for rich people, so maybe I would like grits if I tried them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No grits, cornbread, polenta, malt-o-meal, quinoa, and the like. My mother made the same breakfast every day of the week. Thursday was Malt-o-Meal. Eat it or go without. I often gagged on it as I got older, and could more clearly articulate the issue. She stopped it from menu. I was not the only happy one.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Malt-o-Meal is (was) made in Northfield. The Malt-o-Meal plant is now Post but the smell is the same. There’s often a wonderful smell in the air here as cereals are made. It could be any other Post cereal now, I’m not really sure, but it certainly smells good. Mom used to make Malt-o-Meal for us too. I loved it!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Update–My roomie heard from the University veterinary clinic (technically Saoirse is her cat), and they confirmed what we’d suspected all along, that she (the cat, not my roommate) has asthma. Apparently there is such a thing as a kitty inhaler, a mask that you put over their faces for a short puff of steroids. Saoirse’s slowed down a bit in her middle age, but she’s still a very strong and stubborn cat, so this may be…interesting.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. my daughters cat who visits from chicago regularly (both) is also saoirse

        i love the actress she’s named after
        ladybird is my daughters favorite move
        i loved her in grand budapest hotel (on of my favorite movies )

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Cool! Who would have thought, two cats with that name? We didn’t know about the actress until afterwards. She’s named for her personality–Saoirse means Freedom in Irish Gaelic.

          Liked by 1 person

    3. Polenta is corn meal mush of the Italian tradition which was served by farmers and lower class people, then co-opted by some American fad in food about 20 years ago. Corn meal is ground corn. Grits are ground hominy which (like lutefisk) is corn soaked in lye for preservation.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. One of the videos that I saw yesterday, done by a grits purist, actually showed us the difference between polenta and grits – apparently polenta is a finer grind.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I make a BIG mess when I cook. The floor takes a beating in my world, but our dogs (past and present) love to hang out in the kitchen when I cook. Like Bill, I clean as I go, then mop the floor when I am done to clean up what the dog does not get.

    Grits (said in the South as Gree*its with 2 syllables) are not a favorite of mine, although I do love Shrimp and Cheese Grits as made by the Hominy Grille in Charleston, South Carolina. My husband likes them a lot. I love cornbread and cornmeal mush (with bacon, honey, and butter). My Grandma would make giant batches of mush, serve it for supper with bacon, then fry slices of it for breakfast the next day. Her recipe for mush began with — “Go to the corn crib and choose 6-8 big cobs of corn and take it to Jacobsons to grind.” Talk about farm to table.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I can’t stand a messy kitchen, so I clean up after myself as I go along. I’ve never tasted grits, but I suspect I’d like them if properly prepared. I don’t care for instant anything, including rice and oatmeal, they just aren’t as tasty as the original. I’ve only used hominy in posole, which I make occasionally.

    Took me four guesses to get today’s Wordle.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. In my first guess, I didn’t have a single letter right, which actually turned our to be helpful. But yeah, I know the feeling of using a letter that has been eliminated, or using one in the same wrong place, or forgetting to use one that you know is in the correct word. It’s frustrating when you realize you’ve wasted a guess.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Three guesses for me. My first guess had zero correct letters, so it wasn’t looking good. Second guess, three letters, one in the right place.
          Spent some time thinking about it before hazarding the third guess, happened to be lucky. It was not an easy one.

          Liked by 3 people

        1. Hai te in copia speriamo arrivi Willhite Veronica suono e dei period

          That was supposed to say I really really like that Wordle only has one a day.

          Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m a messy cook. I seem to have butter-coated fingers and I’ve had lots of major spills. Fortunately no burns and Pippin knows to stay out from underneath me when I cook and when I say, “Careful! HOT!” I have a tiny galley kitchen in this small condo. My kitchen is about 5 feet long and 2 1/2 feet wide between the sink and the stove. It should make pivoting easy, right? I’ve never been graceful. The small space and lack of counter space forces me to clean up as I go. I think I do that naturally anyway. I have thinned out my cookbooks and recipes, and have created my own 3-ring binder with favorite recipes. I have a table top music stand and I use it to prop up a cookbook or a recipe. I keep it over near the radio on the counter so it’s there and I can glance at it. I don’t usually check out recipe books from the library. That might be disastrous.

    I’ve tried grits and was disgusted. Same with polenta. The consistency is what got to me in both cases.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I am a messy cook my olive oil splatters on the flat electric kitchen top which I hate and turns into a scaly crusty burnt residue the counter is filled with mixing bowls spatulas spice bottles and remnants of the chopped vegetables and flowers crackers soy products used

    I love the waffle house and I love the way they express the way that I choose to order my taters

    Grits always remind me of when I was a kid and used to chew on the cardboard on the back of my writing pad
    the taste is the same

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Grits update. Whisked into water and milk on the stove top, five minutes of cooking. No lumps and with the application of butter and brown sugar, it was much much better.

    Liked by 6 people

  14. Hi-
    Never had grits and never had an interest in trying. I am not a daring foodie.

    I am a clean baker; I’ll clean as I go.
    Love having a towel over my shoulder that I can use for hot stuff and wiping my fingers.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I often put on an apron, preferably one with pockets. I can wipe my hands on it and get it all greasy and disgusting. I try to keep a paring knife or two in the pocket because otherwise I will keep misplacing my knives.

      Liked by 3 people

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