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It's Foodie Friday! No Grits in England

Friday, April 08, 2011
Forgive me, but I don't like grits.  I don't like the way they look or the way they taste, and the consistency gives me the willies.  But I also don't like oatmeal, cream of wheat or any other types of hot cereal.  It could be because I didn't grow up eating them as my family is not from the South.  Or it could just be because I'm a picky eater.  Either way, no grits shall pass between these Brown Girl lips.  Nu uh.  No way.  No how. 

My blogger friend Dori, however, loves grits.  An American expatriate from Georgia who lives in the English countryside with her husband and shares her life adventures on her blog From a Yellow House in England, Dori and I had a pretty fun(ny) Facebook chat one day when she started complaining about her inability to find grits in England.  I asked Dori to share her story here on OBG®'s Foodie Friday because (a) it's sometimes easy to forget that all foods aren't available in all parts of the world, and (b) I know there are many of you out there that love grits just as much as Dori does (like my blonde haired, blue-eyed friend Erin from Kentucky).  #ohthosesoutherngirls

From Dori:  On March 27, 2011, I celebrated five years of living with my husband here in England in our little yellow house. It was a fun milestone to mark and to think of all that I’ve experienced and it has been wonderful.  I did, however, wake up on that milestone of a Sunday morning with a certain taste on my mind: The taste of grits! Grits, grits, and more grits!

For most of my life growing up in Georgia, my diet always included grits along with accompaniments like bacon, sausage, cheese, or salmon cakes. On special occasions, there might even be a small piece of steak and gravy to enjoy them with. (And of course there had to be a tap of butter to round it all out, with no sugar in sight.)  My mom was an excellent cook, so those Sunday morning breakfasts were my favourite meals of the whole week. These are truly some of my best food memories by far.
Since I’m a Southern girl, that love of grits is firmly ingrained into my DNA, so when I hopped across the pond to England, I did my best not to forget my beloved grits. I mailed some over to England, but alas, I eventually ran out. So whenever I take a trip back to the US, I always mail grits to myself although it has been quite awhile since I’ve done so.

Creamy polenta
Since I currently have no grits in my cupboards, I took to the Internet to find out about the available alternatives since I can’t get grits here in England. There is plenty of porridge here, but that’s more like oatmeal. Through my research, I’ve found that some people suggest polenta (ground cornmeal) as a substitute, so I plan to give it a try.  I get brave sometimes with my concoctions and have become very good at substituting English foods for my American recipes.  I'm proud to say that my recipes usually turn out pretty good although I do confess there have been some nightmare results.

Here’s hoping that my polenta-esque grits concoction works out once I get around to making it and I'll be sure to keep you all updated.  If it doesn't work out, I will definitely be making a phone call home to ask one of my sisters to send over some tasty Southern grits to my yellow house in England.


Andrea @ ForkFingersChopsticks on: April 8, 2011 at 3:00 PM said...

@Tracey: I didn't grow up eating grits either and started eating them when I began dating my husband many years ago. I'm a hot cereal fan (although not too keen on cream of wheat).

@Dori: As I began to read your post, I had hoped you used polenta to substitute when your stash is out. Several months ago I wrote about grits v. polenta, if you're interested. In the States, the labels are frequently used interchangeably and purists would say grits are white and polenta yellow.

Also, FYI, there's an excellent recipe for shrimp and grits.

Dori on: April 8, 2011 at 3:56 PM said...

Thank you so much for letting me share my love of grits with the world :)

I'm heading to the store this weekend to get my polenta stash, so I'm going to give it a whirl. I'll have to check out both of your posts. Thanks for the info!


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