If you are not fortunate enough to be from the South, or live in the South, you may never have encountered the (mostly) breakfast dish called grits.
We Southerners love our grits. No self-respecting Southerner would ever make instant grits. We cook grits until they are creamy, smooth, lump-free. Then we add plenty of butter, a little salt, and a sprinkle of black pepper, and dig in.
You can eat grits alone. Or you can eat grits as part of a big ol' breakfast platter.
I love grits with fried eggs over easy. I like the way the golden yellow yolk runs into the grits, and I love sopping it up with toast.
I have no problem with a little of that skillet gravy slopping over onto the grits; I just sop that up with a biscuit.
Sausage is good with grits. So is ham. And bacon, of course.
Some people add a little syrup over their sausage, or pancakes, and like for the syrup to run into the grits. I don't care for syrup on my grits, but hey, if they like it, I am fine with it.
What I do not like is grits with sugar. You can put sugar on oatmeal, or cream of wheat, or whatever other kind of hot cereal you like. You can add it to your cold cereal, even your frosted flakes. I don't mind. But sugar on grits is just not right.
What brings all this up is that Wick and I had breakfast at the Shed, in Chandler, last Saturday. The Shed is an East Texas legend, and serves up all kinds of down-home cooking, but what we like best to eat there is breakfast; we ordered fried eggs with runny yolks, biscuits with gravy, and a side of sausage, with a big bowl of grits.
As we were waiting for our food, we saw a couple at the next table. She had grits with lots of butter, and salt and pepper. He, however, was pouring sugar on his grits.
Not just a little sugar. A lot of sugar. As in, about an inch of sugar topping his grits, so much sugar that when he stirred, the sugar ran over the side of the bowl.
He must have put half a cup of sugar on his grits. We stared in amazement.
Then we looked at each other, and started laughing, and saying, "did you see that??"
"what was he doing??"
When we finally stopped laughing, I said, " Well...what I say is...if you don't like grits, don't order grits, and then ruin them with sugar."
Next time you go to the store, get you some grits. Go home and cook you up a big pot. Add plenty of real butter, and some salt and pepper. While you are at it, cook you up some sausage and fried eggs and buttered toast. Enjoy.
And if you have plenty left over, I can give you some recipes for great stuff to do with left-over grits.
Just don't add any sugar.