I remember one Christmas morning at the house I grew up in, we were getting ready for our usual breakfast after opening presents. My mother is a wonderful cook, she cooked dinner for us virtually every night of my childhood, and she makes some amazing meals. But, like any cook, she is not without her faults.
Like me (and the entire rest of our family), she tends to get distracted. So on big occasions especially, she has been known to leave a dish or two in the oven for a bit too long. This year, it was the grits casserole.
Now let me tell you something about my family and grits casserole. We have been eating grits casserole since before I could say casserole, and ever since I can remember it has been a staple at Christmas breakfast. So when the crushed corn flakes on top of the casserole were burned on this fateful December morning, something had to be done.
My mom put me in charge of remedying the situation, so I took the casserole dish over to the trash can and started to scrape off the burnt flakes.
Well. Apparently the grits weren’t quite as congealed as I had guessed, and after a couple of scrapes, the entire casserole followed my spoon into the trash.
So when I made grits casserole for my prayer group girls a few days before I left Nashville, I watched my oven closely and stayed away from trash cans.
I had my mom take a picture of the recipe so I could copy it into this post, but when she sent me the picture I knew I had to post it as is.
What do I love most about this picture? Is it the written in TRIPLING of the recipe? Is it the obvious butter stains that could be decades old? Is it the fact that Mrs. Erle E. Wilkinson wrote this recipe? No, I think it has to be the snippet of yet another grits casserole recipe above it. If I remember correctly, there is one below it as well. I love the south.
The only thing sadder than the trash can story is the death of the garlic cheese roll. A few years back, while I was in college, Kraft discontinued the cheese. I wish I could find some of the forums I read on the internet that year filled by southern women lamenting its demise, wondering what on earth they would use for their beloved garlic cheese grits recipes, would their families stop loving them, should they even go on living.
I felt their pain. Luckily I am a survivor, so I got some regular cheddar cheese (I would have boycotted Kraft but they have the best cheese so I caved) and added garlic powder to my liking. It’s still no garlic cheese roll, but it will have to do until Kraft returns from its waywardness.
As you can see, we have tripled this recipe in our household, despite the fact that it serves 8 and we are a family of 5. We have to make two big dishes of it every Christmas so my brother can have half of the first and we all still get leftovers for lunch and the next breakfast. We don’t butter the cornflakes (there’s enough butter in it) but you are welcome to.
Don’t forget the cayenne pepper. It makes the recipe.
Please do yourself and your family a favor and make this grits casserole recipe.
It will change your life.