Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


June 23, 2014

Kiss my grits!

I found an article on Yahoo News recently that really caught my attention. It seems that man in Tampa, Florida has been charged with attempted murder for hurling a scalding hot pot of grits on his neighbor during an altercation on his porch.

It seems this fellow and the unfortunate victim had what the victim described as a “petty fight” the night before. I guess the neighbor thought it was over and done with because he joined some other good old boys on the perp’s porch for a poker game. The perp was cooking up some lunch when he observed the interloper on his porch and a pushing and shoving match ensued.

The perp broke off the altercation and said, “I have something for you” to the neighbor and went back into the kitchen. He returned with a “...pot of hot grits soaked in grease...” and threw it at the neighbor. As a result, the neighbor was hospitalized with burns over a third of his body and the perp was arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder.

The article described the weapon as “...a scalding pot of a Southern food specialty — hot, greasy grits.” It is bad enough that this yahoo threw the hot pot of slop on his opponent, but downright criminal that he was making “greasy grits!” I may be a Yankee, but I have been around grits long enough to know you don’t make them greasy.

I checked with folks like Paula Deen, Emeril Lagasse, and Bobby Flay and confirmed that greasy grits are a no-no. They may use sausage, shrimp, cheese, jalapenos, and even red-eye gravy, but grease is out. This guy should be charged with redneck reckless palate endangerment, along with the attempted murder.

This reminds me of my first encounter with grits. I was attending the Senior NCO Academy in Montgomery, Alabama and, after a night of honky-tonking in town, a carload of us stopped at this greasy spoon diner called “Yo Mamma’s” for a late-night breakfast. The sweet thing behind the counter with the big hair with a bow in it, came up and took our orders. She asked me if I wanted hash browns or grits with my ham and eggs.

When I asked what are grits, she drawled in a voice so sweet you could pour it over pancakes, “Why Sugar, that would be hominy” I said, “Since I’ve never had it before, I better take just one.” She was most tolerant of my Yankee ignorance and she sweetly replied, “Sugar what I said was hominy — as in hominy grits. Not how many?”

After living in places like Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and now Florida, I have noticed several distinct differences between northern and southern cuisines. The North has coffee houses — the South has Waffle Houses. The North has Cream of Wheat — the South has grits (without grease). The North has lobsters — the South has crawfish. The North has salmon and swordfish — the South has catfish and crappy. The North has green salads — the South has collard greens. The North cooks things by the batch — the South cooks by the “mess.”

The Ten Commandments of Grits

Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.

Thou shalt not eat Cream of Wheat and call it Grits, for this is blasphemy.

Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s Grits.

Thou shalt only use Salt, Butter, and Cheese as toppings for thy grits.

Thou shalt not eat instant Grits.

Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.

Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.

Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits.

Thou shalt not put sugar on thy Grits either.

Thou shalt not put sugar or syrup on thy Grits.

The foregoing is from a blurb I found on Mr. Computer called, “Southern Thangs — the Southern Lady Cooks.” It is silly, even for me, but it illustrates how true Southerners feel about their grits. I’m sure, if there had been an eleventh commandment, it would say, “Thou shalt not cook your Grits with grease!”

For this week’s dump from Grouch’s Guano Pile, I present the following observations about real, dyed-in-the-wool rednecks:

They actually grow and eat okra. Sweet tea is appropriate for all meals and is known as the “Wine of the South.” The word “jeet” is actually a phrase meaning “Did you eat?” There is no such thing as lunch. There is only breakfast, dinner, and supper. The first cool snap (below 70 degrees) is referred to as “good chicken stew weather.” Fried catfish is “the other white meat.” They only own five spices: salt, pepper, yellow mustard, Tabasco, and ketchup. When eating out, their favorite appetizer is pork rinds.

See ya...


Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays.

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