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Friday, February 6, 2009

Oh Grit(s)

Okay like I said before, I am a city girl born and raised in LA and not Louisiana but the City of Angels. My parents are from Costa Rica and the first place in the south I ever lived was Miami and we all know that Miami is not the south but it's own little country. Don't get me wrong I loved Miami! But it's not the South.

Well for some unknown reason, I have always wanted to live in the south. I suspect that I, in a previous life, was a southern belle. The first time I drove through the south was when I moved to Miami. I loved it. Then we traveled around the south when we traveled to see Tom's family. And again I loved it. The first time I landed in Charleston, SC, I knew it was there that I wanted to live. Now it hasn't happened but if I ever win that lottery, I am so there in one of those big fancy southern houses with the porches and willow trees.

I never had Southern food growing up but the first time I tried collard greens and fried green tomatoes, I fell in love. I am crazy about the food and that includes grits. So now that I live in the South, well as far north as the south is. Hell, it is N. Carolina, I have been appreciating the food even more. I have mastered fried chicken but I am in desperate need of a fryer to do it justice. I am iffy on collard greens but I can buy them canned (OMG, I know blasphemy) and they are delish. Now I could never ever buy collard greens in a can in LA, Santa Fe or Miami! I tried fried green tomatoes and they were good. SO yesterday I found a box of grits I had bought and said hell I will make these today.

I never did before because I remembered the first time Tom tried them, he didn't like them. I think it was a texture thing. And I think it takes some getting used to but I plowed on and thought well if he doesn't like them oh well. So I make the cheese grits and my god they were heaven!!! Heaven, I say. They were creamy and the cheese gave them a great cheesy taste. SO I give Tom some and he actually liked them. He said he would eat them again. So now I am making sure that grits become a part of our meals. My next attempt will be Shrimp & Grits. I saw a great recipe on the Tyler Florence show and also Paula Deen made a great dish as well. Tom had no idea about Shrimp & grits so I will have to show him.

I think I love grits because the texture reminds me of the masa (dough) that we use to make tamales. And I remember when I was little I would love eating just the masa. In fact, my mom made me special tamales with just masa, rice and meat. Nothing else. Now that sounds like regular Mexican tamales but Costa Rican tamales require a lot of stuff and I hated it. Costa RIcans add meat, raisins, prunes, olives, carrots, red pepper, peas and other stuff. While tasty, I thought all the filling took away the taste of the masa.

So here I am a big city hispanic girl making grits! And making bread and trying to cook pies. This summer I will be canning. I've come a long way.


  1. wow you made me hungry. i like southern food too... i used to have to travel to charlotte on business and the best thing about it was the food! my favorite meal is fried chicken, biscuits and corn on the cob!

  2. I don't know if you have a spot, but collards are easy to grow. They are typically grow well during the winter across the South. Not so much in the summer though. I loved reading about your adventures of learning to cook Southern foods.

    Thanks for entering my giveaway, btw!

  3. Hi Carolyn,
    I grew up and lived in Southern California too(the San Fernando Valley & Thousand Oaks) until my late 30's. I live in Oregon now (15 years) and have experienced snow too. I must say I do love it! I too, felt like i was suppose to live somewhere else. I was just down in Los Angeles last week to visit and am always glad to return home. Thanks for visiting my blog. I will definitely enter you in my giveaway for each of the ways you participated. Thanks for visiting my sister and niece too. Keep in touch.

    Stay Cozy, Carrie

  4. Grits are good, aren't they? :) When I lived up north my family would send me care packages with grits, White Lily flour and Luzianne coffee. Glad to hear you've discovered how good grits are - many people who relocate south NEVER figure it out!

  5. First of all, I am DYING to visit Costa Rica. Maybe you can give me the insider's scoop. And I want to try canning this summer. It will be a first. Hopefully no one will get botulism. Do you read Deep South Moms Blog? Check it out!

  6. True... the only way to get to the south in FL is to go north. Being a southern girl sounds yummy

  7. I have always belived I was a southern girl born in the wrong place! Love grits, collard greens and ALL things southern!

  8. I am from the south, and love grits too. I am not a fan of collards, but we do grow them because my husband and children love them. Good luck with the canning. I have not tried that yet.

  9. I miss the summer food, and I cannot wait so this really is getting me ready for summer cooking, including grits.