Monday, August 30, 2010

Jim Dandy isn't feeling so dandy

Cynthia’s grits bag, here.

Yes, I know, I’m usually content to hang out in the back corner of Cynthia’s fridge, right behind the sweet salad cube pickles and the jar of mushrooms. But enough is enough.

I’m feeling ignored. Here I am, a grain, a warm and nourishing hot cereal, the staff of life. And Cynthia pretends I don’t exist.

I’ve seen those looks she gives me. It’s all regret and remorse and “I don’t have time for you.” She lets her gaze skitter right over my blue and white Jim Dandy label and fix firmly on the butter that she’s reaching for.

Butter that, by rights, should be melting on ME, not some whole wheat bread in the toaster oven.

Talk with her about it? Talk, you say? That’s a laugh. You know how we grits bags are. We’re the strong silent types. You get as much out of us as you would out of Gibbs off NCIS. We’re all about the sticking-to-the-ribs business, not the warm and mushy stuff.

Although, I have to admit, we do the warm and mushy stuff pretty darn tootin’ well.

It’s not like I’m hard to fix. You start some salted water on the boil, go away, take a quick shower, come back in, and dump a cup of me in there. And then, while you stir me for five minutes – just five minutes – I’ll give you an absolute free gift of a facial.

Sure, I pop a little, and I splatter sometimes, but that’s why you’ve got long handled spoons and oven mitts in the kitchen. See? I play well with others, especially a good sharp cheddar cheese.

And then you switch me off, and I show you how I can finish cooking all by myself while you spend 20 minutes primping and preening and doing whatever it is you do to make yourself presentable to the rest of the world. Grits, see, we don’t care about stuff like that. We are plain and unassuming and don’t require a whole lot of gussie-ing up.

(Although, in the interest of full disclosure, lots of people seem to be ashamed of us and dress us up worse than a pink-dyed poodle. We are, however, best when we stick to our roots.)

Stick, you say? You’re saying that my propensity for sticking on plates and on pots may be why she’s not reaching for me in the morning? Sticking is what I DO. It’s who I AM. I stick to your ribs. I give you complex carbs. And fiber. And vitamins. I am sticking with you through the thick and the thin of the day.

And besides, if you don’t lollygag over your plates and the grits pot, but go right then and rinse them, it’s no problem. I know when I’m not wanted, and I make a graceful exit.

Which (sob) is what I’m thinking right now. I should emigrate to someone else’s fridge, someone who will love me and consume me and value my contribution to her day. Because (sob), it’s embarrassing when the Gibbs of the grains world breaks down in public.


Lickety Splitter said...

Mmmm ... warm buttery grits. I made some right after reading your post. Thanks for putting the idea in my head.

Piedmont Writer said...

Your Jim Dandy and my Mr. Quaker would make very good friends. We should introduce them. Especially to Mrs. Butterworth. (I'm from the North, we like our grits sweet with maple syrup.)

"The Gibbs of Grains" funny Cynthia, really funny.

Summer said...

Mmm, grits. I get grits every single time I eat at Waffle House. So tasty! I grew up right down the road from a granary, so we always had fresh grits and Pioneer's porridge.

But I know what you mean...even I, who has nowhere to go, can't be bothered to make grits or oatmeal in the morning.

Jessica Lemmon said...

LOL! That. was. awesome.

We do oatmeal 'round these parts. But not in the heat of summer - Yeesh! I don't want a facial and a stick-to-my-ribs breakfast until orange leaves start hitting the ground.

Maybe if you explained to Mr. Dandy that he's seasonal...

Julie Musil said...

Oh my gosh, so funny!

You'll think I'm crazy, but I've never tasted grits!

Patty Blount said...

Okay, confession... I have NEVER had grits.

I know. You're gasping, right? Yankee girl that I am, I never heard of grits until My Cousin Vinny used them as the cornerstone to his defense argument.

Y'all have to fix some for me and for Julie!

I've never baked bread, either.

I DID, however, attempt southern fried chicken last week. Crashed and burned.

Lola Sharp said...

Mmmm ...cheese grits. *drools*

Kelly Breakey said...

I am ashamed to say, I don't like Grits. Not any way. And I have had them a couple of different ways. Maybe I will give them another go around in oh say, another ten years or so.

Cynthia Reese said...

Lickety Splitter, that's the BEST way to have grits -- lots and lots of real butter, with a nice slice or two of sharp cheddar cheese. Yum!

Anne, never heard of grits with syrup, but I blew my parents' mind for about a year when I refused to eat grits except with sugar and milk. They thought they REALLY had a Yankee on their hands!

Summer, I'm jealous of that granary! And I truly think it's the horrid memories of scraping out grits pots that put me off cooking poor ol' Jim Dandy.

Lemmony, The Kiddo likes oatmeal lots better than grits ... but you're right. Grits and oatmeal are cold weather friends, aren't they?

Juli and Patty, I must send you some, along with the proper directions for cooking them. The bag's instructions? They're put there to fool unsuspecting Yankees, kind of like a printed snipe hunt.

And Patty, I promise, I WILL teach you how to fry chicken, if it's long distance over the phone. If I can do it, ANYBODY can do it.

Lola, cheese and grits go together like biscuits and gravy, don't they?

Kelly, I daresay there are people who don't much care for grits. There are even southerners who don't care for grits. Me? I don't care at all for batter-fried veggies or black-eyed peas, and they still let me keep my citizenship down here. So you're forgiven!

Anonymous said...

Ummm... sorry to interrupt. Especially with such an obvious question *hangs head shamefully* but what are grits? It sounds like it might be porridge? Is it made with oats? Although, I'm thinking maybe not, as I've never heard of anyone having cheesey porridge...but anything's possible of course. (And Summer mentioned porridge as something separate...)
Please forgive my ignorance, but its not something we eat in Oz.