I had the most wonderful phone call today from my friend Ronald. He called to say Merry Christmas and that he wondered if I could come to California to make fried chicken, waffles and cheese grits.
I worked with Ronald for 9 years in California before moving to Washington. On the last working day prior to Christmas, I always made a breakfast for staff members who were working on this day. I used to bring my waffle irons, electric frying pan, etc. and get it all going early. Most times we had fresh sliced persimmons from my yard also.
I’ve moved now to a different state and have a different staff, but I am still making the traditional breakfast: tomorrow for the first time for my new staff.
But somehow, I know I will still really miss my old friends.
I will miss Christine meeting me at the loading dock at 7 am to help me carry all the supplies. She also set up the entire event so perfectly and helped cook and clean and entertain.
I will miss Jill and Milt and Lee and Jean laughing and telling stories.
I will miss Jessica, the student worker elf, who laughed and made sure everyone was happy.
And I will especially miss Ronald, who at first never believed that I could make grits, but who never ever missed a breakfast . . . and still has not.
Happy holidays to all.
Here is my recipe for Cheese Grits for 20:
- 8 C water
- 2 C quick grits
- 5 C shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 ½ C evaporated milk
- ½ C cream
- 1 C butter
- 5 eggs, slightly beaten
Sautéed additions of your choice:
- 2 C frozen corn
- ½ C diced scallions/green onions
- ½ C diced shallots
- ¼ C diced garlic
- ½ C diced red bell pepper
- 2 T diced jalapeno
Make your sautéed additions above and set aside (saute in a bit of butter or EVOO).
Preheat oven to 375. Grease/butter 4 quart slow cooker ceramic insert or other container.
Bring water to boil and slowly stir in grits in a large saucepan. Cover pan. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly. Take off the heat.
Add 4 C cheese, butter, milk, cream until melted. Stir in eggs and really mix furiously to prevent the eggs from scrambling in the mixture.
Add the sautéed ingredients.
Pour into prepared dish. Bake for 45 min to 1 hour. In last 15 minutes, add the rest of the cheese. If serving later, put into slow cooker on low.
Great with Red Neck Razorback Sauce or Tabasco!