So this is the start of day two of 30 days without groceries. I wanted to make something for breakfast that would carry over to other meals. Looking through the pantry I found just the thing…GRITS!!!! When I prepare them for breakfast and add a little butter they are grits to me, but when I take the left overs and pour them into a casserole to solidify, suddenly I have polenta. How magical is that??? Someone once asked me the difference between grits and polenta and I responded “about five dollars”, which is sort of true.
Polenta originates from Italy but was originally made from various starchy ingredients other than corn. Corn wasn’t cultivated in Europe until the 16th century when it was introduced from the New World. Today polenta is commonly made with coarsely ground corn, which is also true of grits. Of course grits use hominy which brings up the process of nixtamalization, and pellagra, and…well just Google all that if you are interested.
Back to breakfast. So I decided on grits, homemade chicken sausage patties (which were in the freezer) and a couple of fried eggs from the girls. A fresh free range egg is just so much more tasty than the industrialized eggs in the grocery. If you don’t already have access to local farm eggs, I highly recommend finding a source.
Since I wanted to have leftover grits for polenta, I prepared a large batch-1 cup of grits to 4 cups of water. That’s A LOT of grits. Normally I would make them as cheese grits because the resulting polenta is just so tasty, but since I am limited on cheese right now, I just left them plain. After having a serving with my breakfast, I poured the rest into a casserole and put it in the fridge. Here’s what I got:
Of course this doesn’t look like the 1 lb tube of polenta you would pick up in the grocery for $4-5.00 but it is basically the same consistency and only cost about 25 cents. I am so looking forward to whipping up something for dinner using some of this freshly made polenta!