Lettuce Eat Local: True Grit(s)

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Amanda Miller
Columnist
Lettuce Eat Local

 

It’s not often I feel like it’s the perfect occasion to break out the grits, but there are exceptions to any rule. This past Saturday morning was that exception.
Our family was just coming out of a tough month or so, and while we are all safe and healthy, we were still feeling a bit of the strain.
So when it worked out for my mom to use airline points to fly in from Ohio for a week, we were all thrilled. Even as an adult having lived 850 miles away for over a decade now, for me everything just feels better knowing my mom is coming. It felt better for Benson, too, as he got to stay home with Grandma for the last few days of the unusual circumstances that had Brian and me leaving every morning. Don’t get me wrong, friends had been taking absolutely amazing care of him during the other days, but it was time for him to have a little more stability.
And a little more spoiling, apparently. It is amazing the shift parents go through when they turn into grandparents.
Although, to be fair, I am also putty in my two-year-old’s outstretched, pleading hands.
But all that to say, I wanted to make my mom’s stay as pleasant as possible, especially as she provided free childcare for us; so if she asked for something, I wanted for her to get it. Unfortunately, she doesn’t ask for a lot, but fortunately, I am clearly her daughter and many of our needs coincide and/or are intuitive. I tried to make sure there were plenty of hot teas offered, half-caf coffees brewed, and dark chocolates circulated; and then when time allowed, games and puzzles for us, and storybooks for Benson.
Oddly lacking from her week with us were any walks (thank you, Kansas wind) and much substantial cooking. I actually can’t think of another time we’ve been together and those things haven’t taken a much higher precedence, but like I said, this was an unusual time. Before Mom came, I had whipped out a bunch of meal components when I had a couple hours since I couldn’t know what our schedule had in store for us. Apparently I was a little too effective, and we found ourselves eating leftovers almost the whole time she was with us. We did make tacos and cookies — you know, the essentials — although not a whole lot else.
But one thing she did request and I made certain to comply with was to have scrambled eggs for breakfast. She likes how I take our very fresh, very free-range eggs and cook them low and slow, with just the right amount of cheese and salt; simple, tender, flavorful. Brian and I usually do pancakes alongside, but suddenly I remembered the bag of stone-ground white corn grits I had gotten recently.
It was free with a promotional coupon, or else I wouldn’t have gotten them…ringing endorsement, I know. I love cornmeal things, but yellow, not white; and Brian doesn’t really like anything in either color.
However. I know Mom really has a hankering for grits every now and then; we did live in Southern Alabama for the first part of my life. I knew there could be no better time to break out the white grits than with those creamy eggs on her last morning with us.
And they were perfect. Benson must subconsciously be influenced by his Southern heritage, for he shoveled in giant spoonsful of cheesy grits. Mom seemed to appreciate them, and Brian and I both ate bowls of grits as well, and even enjoyed them.
Who knows, we might even cook more of the bag of grits before the next time she visits.
Amanda can be reached by email at [email protected]

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