Learning to get by was the best thing that ever happened to me. Growing up on a farm, the second of five children, I learned responsibility, despite my best efforts not to. We were all needed, just to get back. With stock to feed, hay to make, gardens to care for, there weren’t too many idle moments. That was before helping Mother in the house, Continue reading
Since my post yesterday, I’ve gotten many questions about grits. Grits are a hot cereal, made from treating field corn with a lye process. Afterward, the grits are simmered, served as a breakfast cereal with butter and maybe sugar and milk. At our house, we spoon grits over eggs. (no sugar or milk) One of the most succulent and delicious dishes on this planet is Shrimp and Grits. If you ever see it on the menu at a coastal restaurant in the South or Southeast, order it, no matter who laughs at you. Be prepared to guard it with your life when it gets to the table. Everybody who laughed when you ordered will want a bite when they see how happy you are. Let them suffer!
Another regional favorite is Hog’s Head Cheese. Farm kids learn early, it’s best not to be friends with a pig you plan to butcher. This delicacy has nothing to do with cheese and everything to do with a hog’s head. It is very simple to prepare, for those of you who are already smacking your lips. The next time you butcher a hog, save the head. Scald it in boiling, soapy water before scrubbing and scraping off the whiskers. With your fingers, pry the eyeballs out, taking care not to rupture them. That is extremely disagreeable and makes it harder to get the membranes out of the sockets. You can throw in the feet if you don’t plan to make Pickled Pig’s Feet. When the head is thoroughly clean, boil it until all the flesh, contents of the head, skin, and cartilage fall off the bone. Try to let it boil low toward the end, so the broth will be reduced. Debone, reserving broth. Chop meat, add large minced onions, about eight cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper per pound of meat, three to five tablespoons sage, red pepper if you like spicy. Add 1/2 vinegar. Mix in enough of reserved broth to mix till consistency of cooked oatmeal. Pour into loaf pans. Cover with foil and cool overnight. By the next morning can be turned out and sliced for cold cuts or rolled in egg and flour and browned in skillet. Store covered in refrigerator up to a week. Freezes well
I recommend you serve it with Poke-Salad, Fried Mountain Oysters, Buzzard Butter, Pickled Pig’s Feet, Hopping John, and Hush Puppies.
This is me pictured with my cousin Cathy on a visit to their family in Baton Rouge. On this memorable trip, I was first introduced to grits. It was instant love. A year or two later Cathy told me Superman had killed himself. I was sincerely devastated. If Superman couldn’t deal, what hope was there for the rest of us?