Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Grits

By Nancy W.

It was a tradition in my family years ago that every Christmas morning my family and my cousins family would all have breakfast at my grandparents. This was a huge, ridiculous breakfast... grits, bacon, eggs, cheese grits, gravy, ham, biscuits, tomatoes, grapefruit, cheese grits, grits, sausage, cheese grits, garlic-cheese grits, toast, yes! Well, we did like grits, I guess. At one of these breakfasts in my semi-adult years my cousin Cathy made her appearance accompanied by her fiancé Ted. Ted was from New Jersey, and I think we were all pretty jazzed up about this, the idea of having someone from a strange, exotic land like New Jersey marry into our southern family. I imagine many of us at that time had never met anyone from New Jersey. Of course, we all struggled to find a way to converse with this foreigner, rather than just stare at him with our mouths hanging open. Cousin Cathy's sister Madeline took the lead as we bunched up to load our plates. "Ted, do you like grits?" she asked. "Ahhh," he replied blissfully as he took a deep breath. "I can smell a grit a mile away."

So, many years prior to the grits comment the day arrived and we all gathered at Granmamma and Grandaddy's for breakfast. I would guess I was maybe ten years old. The temperature that day was not frigid. Hovering somewhere in the low forties is my guess. Snow was not predicted, but as we were eating breakfast, Lo! The snow began to fall. I, my mother being the woman that she was, was kinda dressed up. This never suited me, but that day I had been bent to my mother's will.

My grandparent's yard had a small hill. And they had a sled. So even though I was dressed up (we're talking dressed up in a dress, likely with bare legs, or at least bare knees), my mother let me go with my cousins Tommy and Joe and play on the hill with the sled.

Due to the much above freezing temperatures, the snowy hill soon became a sloppy, muddy mess, but this did not deter us. We kept at it until the runners of the sled lodged in the mud and would not move. It was one of the best times I ever had.

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