GRITS AND GRAVY FOR OLD TIMERS!
By Norris Chambers
The Old Timer attempts to stick to true tales unless the readers are warned in advance. This is an advance warning to the reader that this tale could have happened like this, but probably didn’t!
never been as far north as the
Because I never knew this I ate my “mush” for breakfast and considered it a morning delicacy! Mush was nothing more than corn meal boiled in milk or water and served hot in a cereal bowl. After adding brown sugar, butter, a dab of honey, a spoon of sorghum, a tinge of vanilla and perhaps a teaspoon of peanut butter I sat down and enjoyed a delightful country breakfast.
Many families served mush for breakfast. Although most diners only added sugar and butter the cereal mixture of corn meal and other additives was considered a good breakfast by most families.
Not everyone cared for the
spoon food –
As strange as it may seem, we were not familiar with grits. I first heard the word when one of the “oil field brats” at school mentioned eating grits for breakfast. Children in school who were in our area because of the jobs available in the oil fields nearby were often referred to as
“Oil field brats”. They came and went with their families who followed the jobs. Some were in the area for a long period, others for only a few days. Being of a curious nature, I asked what grits were. After a careful explanation I was convinced that grits and mush were just two names referring to the same dish. This student was not familiar with mush, but after our discussion he admitted that they were very much alike.
think any more about the two words until a few weeks later when one of
girls distributed invitations to our class and others to attend her
party at 7:30 P.M. the next Saturday evening. The invitation instructed
to skip dinner and come hungry to be fed at a genuine “grits and
down! I didn’t know what kind of banquet she had planned, but it
to a country boy who was usually hungry. I didn’t get a chance to
makeshift table had been prepared in the front yard using saw horses
planks. The tops of the planks were covered with brown wrapping paper
place with cardboard squares and shoe tacks. There were no chairs or
prompting me to believe that this would be a standing meal. A noisy
youngsters was lining the sides and ends of the tables and someone on
nearest the house was trying to address the crowd. Eventually it was
enough for the lady to be heard and she said that the main course would
served. Bowls of gravy would be placed on the table and plates of grits
handed out at the end of the table nearest the house.
was brought out of the house and the ladies passed full size containers
both sides of the table, asking each diner to pass it on.
the signal was given and a multitude of hungry kids took the first bite
grits and gravy! I was watching
He was right. The mixture was some kind of grainy ice cream and it tasted great! One of the host ladies was shouting, “Cake and pie will follow – everyone gets seconds! Enjoy your grits!