Grits make for easy way to make Thanksgiving leftovers new again

Features@beaufortgazette.comNovember 27, 2013 

FOOD GRITS TB

Grits are as Southern as can be and make a nice complement for Thanksgiving leftovers.

BILL HOGAN — Chicago Tribune

It seems as if all the holidays come together at this moment. Loved ones have safely arrived, the planning is done, and now the real meaning of the word "busy" is known.

It all begins in the kitchen: the hugs, the kisses, the looking in pots. The blending of love helps out the blending of food. All the love and laughter occurs while tasting a dish, scooping up a serving of stuffing or having just one more bite of pie. Togetherness abounds.

Thanksgiving Day, depending on each family's tradition, is full of ham, turkey, Boston Butts or seafood. From the stuffing, collards, green beans and salads to the cakes, pies and candied yams, everyone dines to their heart's content.

As the sun sets, family members begin to talk softly. The loud laughter from games is now turning to snores. While a few sleep, others roam the kitchen. It's leftover time, when favorite foods that had been hidden for later are now found and consumed.

Now is the time to add a dish that is as Southern as it can get: grits. Southerners eat them on a plate, not a bowl. We will eat it with some other foods, but never would a Southerner put grits in a bowl and stir in sugar and milk as if eating cereal.

Grits warm whatever makes one cold. They're a great complement to Thanksgiving leftovers that make the whole meal new again with just a bit more effort.

Grits

4 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup hominy grits (Do not use instant grits)

In a large pot, add salt to water. Bring to a boil. Stir in grits slowly. Reduce heat to medium and stir until thickened, approximately 5 minutes. Turn heat to low; cok for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Continue to cook on low heat for another 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Source: Ervena Faulkner's personal file

Sliced Ham with Red-Eye Gravy

4 slices ham or ham pieces

Water

Trim fat from ham and cut it in small pieces. Cook fat in order to get the grease. Place ham slices in grease and fry until browned on both sides. Remove ham from pan. Add enough water to make gravy. Stir, being sure to scrape up pan drippings. Turn heat to low and let simmer until slightly reduced. Add ham to the pan. When gravy is ready, serve with grits.

Source: Ervena Faulkner's personal file

Cream Gravy

4 tablespoons turkey drippings

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/2 to 3 cups hot milk

Salt and pepper

Place drippings left over from roasting the turkey in a skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stie until browned. Gradually add hot milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add salt and pepper to tast. Serve hot over grits.

Source: Ervena Faulkner's personal file

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

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