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The REAL story about the origin of grits

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Nita Welch Owenby

Some folks believe grits are grown on bushes and are harvested by leprechauns who lay sheets under the bushes and shake the grits onto them. Other people think they are made from ground-up bits of cheddar cheese. These are lies spread by communists and terrorists. 

Research suggests that the mysterious manna that God provided for the Israelites during their time in the Sinai Desert was most likely grits. Critics disagree, suggesting that there is no record of biscuits, butter, salt, and redeye gravy appearing at the same time, and that God would not punish his people by forcing them to eat grits without these key ingredients.

Grits are really formed deep underground under intense heat and pressure. It takes over 1,000 years to form a single grit. Most of the world’s grit mines are in Georgia and are protected day and night by armed guards and attack dogs. Harvesting the grit is a dangerous occupation, and many grit miners lose their lives each year so that grits can continue to be served morning-after-morning for breakfast – not that having grits for lunch and dinner is out of the question. 

Yankees have attempted to create synthetic grits. They call them Cream of Wheat. As far as we can tell, the key ingredients in Cream of Wheat are Elmer’s Glue and shredded Styrofoam. These synthetic components have been shown to cause nausea and can leave one unable to have children

The Ten Commandments of Grits

Thou shalt not put syrup on thy grits  

Thou shalt not eat thy grits with a spoon or knife. 

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

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s grits. 

Thou shalt use only salt, butter, and redeye gravy as toppings for thy grits. 

Thou shalt not eat instant grits.

Thou shalt not put ketchup on thy grits. 

Thou shalt not put margarine on thy grits. 

Thou shalt not eat toast with thy grits, only biscuits made from scratch. 

Thou shalt not cook grits on the Sabbath, since they are manna from heaven. 

How to cook grits:

For one serving of grits, boil 1.5 cups of water with salt and a little butter. Add five TBSP of grits. Reduce to a simmer and allow the grits to soak up all the water. When a pencil stuck in the grits stands alone, they’re done. That’s all there is to cooking grits. 

How to eat grits:

Immediately after removing your grits from the stove top, add a generous portion of butter or redeye gravy. Do not use low-fat butter. The butter should cause the grits to turn a wonderful shade of yellow. Hold a banana or a yellow rain slicker next to your grits; if the colors match, you have the correct amount of butter. In lieu of butter, pour a generous helping of redeye gravy on your grits. Be sure to pour enough to have some left for sopping up with your biscuit. Eat biscuits made from scratch. Never, ever substitute canned or store-bought biscuits for the real thing because they can cause flat feet, tooth decay, and shingles. Next, add salt: The correct ratio of grits to salt is 10:1; therefore, for every 10 grits, you should add one grain of salt. Now, begin eating your grits. Always use a fork, never a spoon, to eat grits. Your grits should be thick enough so they do not run through the tines of the fork. The correct beverage to serve with grits is black coffee. Do not use cream, or heaven forbid, skim milk. If you really want to show your ignorance, drink orange juice or tea. Your grits should rarely be eaten in a bowl because Yankees will think you’re eating Cream of Wheat. 

Pictured above: SOUTHERN GRITS are actually coarsely ground corn contrary to Nina Welch Owenby’s tongue-in-cheek explanation of their origin.

Franklin native Nita Welch Owenby, author of “Echoes of the Appalachian Mountains,” once worked for the FBI in Washington, D.C., among other important and varied positions. She is involved in local writing group that meets at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin every other Monday at 1 p.m.