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I took my children to a festival today that featured, among other things, a corn-grinding demonstration. The family doing the demonstration run a very small milling company and they grind corn that they grow and dry themselves.


Being an avid baker, as well as a kind of a sucker for people who are passionate about what they do (and these folks were REALLY excited about cornmeal) I bought one sack of cornmeal and as long as I was there and the price was right, one sack of grits.


However, I do not come from grits-eating people, and in fact have only eaten grits a couple of times in my life, so I'm not entirely sure what to do with these. I asked the woman selling the grits how she recommended cooking them and she said that I should cook them for 25 minutes but was unable to specify a particular water/grit ratio. (I did already know that grits took at least 20 minutes to cook, thanks to My Cousin Vinny :))


So, any suggestions as to what to do with these? My cookbook collection seems to have a dearth of information on grits, but one book recommends 2.5 c liquid to 1 cup grits -- is that standard? And how are these different from polenta? They seem to be white, rather than yellow, but otherwise look the same. Should I treat them like polenta and top them with red sauce? One of my books says that officially "grits" are made from hominy, but I'm pretty sure that these are just ground dried corn, although they do look rather whiter than the cornmeal.



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When I cook grits I use 4 cups of water to 1 cup of grits. You could start out with the ratio you saw in your cookbook and after they cook a bit, add water if needed. I actually add a bit of milk- like maybe a third of a cup- towards the end to make them more creamy.

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Grits: 1 cup grits to 5 cups boiling water w/1 tsp salt. Cover, but stir frequently.


Won't they clump if you add boiling water to the grits? Or as long as the grits are in the pot first?


My grandma has decided we need to start eating grits for breakfast and bought a box, but she herself doesn't come from grit-eating people, so I don't know what that's about.

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5 cups sounds like way too much to me. Though people like their grits with different consistencies. I like them a little thicker.


In addition to using milk or part milk, they're also really good cooked in broth or part broth. Or half milk and half broth. Yum.

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I grew up with my grandmother serving them with lots of butter and sugar. Still my favorite way to eat them, although cheesy grits with cayenne pepper is a close second.


If you have ever cooked Malt O Meal, they cook similarly, and I do stir when adding them to the boiling water so they don't clump. I like mine thicker, so I don't add as much water. I just bring the water to a boil, pour in the grits, turn off the heat, and eat when they are the consistency I like. Depending on how you like them, 1 dry cup of grits can go a looooong way. I make them for myself in the mornings with 1/3 c grits to about 1 cup (more or less) of water. They will swell up and become soft. The longer they cook, the larger and softer they become. If you don't add seasoning of some sort though, they are really bland. It takes some trial and error to get them like you prefer.

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Boil the water 1st. I use 3 cups of water to 1 cup of grits. Slowly pour the grits into the water. Stir in thoroughly or they will clump. Continue to stir every few minutes. Should only take about 10 min to cook. Add salt, butter, and shredded cheddar cheese- Heaven!!

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As I recall, one adds slowly, very slowly to the pot while stirring. That is not noted on my recipe card, but that's what I recall from learning from g'ma. It may very well be different for store-bought grits as the size of the grit may be different than what my gma used as well as have additives. I don't consume them unless I'm down south. I know granny got hers from a miller back then, but the size isn't noted on the recipe card.


My 1950s Betty Crocker says the same thing. Granny would actually not measure out salt, she did that with her hands. So, some variations there. Let us know.


Your granny was correct. :iagree:

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Yes you can use grits like polenta. the reason the ones you bought are white is that they were made from white corn instead of yellow corn, but often grits are made from yellow corn as well


not being a southerner, i do things a bit differently. First of all, i cook grits for myself, for breakfast, in the microwave. I think I usually do about 3 TB of grits to about 1 1/4 c water? In a WIDE bowl (a deep bowl will boil over faster). Sometimes i use partly the liquid from canned peaches and then chop up the peaches in to it after its cooked, and maybe some nuts. Sometimes after cooking sausage I put water in the pan to clean out all that yummy stuff at the bottom and use that for the grits, with some crumbled sausage in it. I used to love cheesy grits, but i'm dairy free now, and i've had grits and shrimp at a restaurant and LOVED it!

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I buy stone ground grits and cornmeal. Here are the recipes that came with mine: BTW, the grits I buy stone ground are made from white corn.


Basic Grits Recipe

1 C grits

1 tsp. salt

3 C water


Bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in grits slowly (they will clump if dumped in), return to boil, reduce to simmer, cover, simmer for 20-25 min.


I always had to add more water and cook for about 15 additional minutes because they just weren't soft enough. Add lots of butter when done.



Easy Cornbread (stone ground, self rising) this recipe doesn't work well with store-bought cornmeal.


1 C self rising cornmeal

2 eggs

1/4 C vege oil

1 C sour cream

1/2 C creamed corn


Stir all ingredients together. Bake in a well-greased pan for 25-30 mins at 400 degrees.

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