Today we’re marking a real milestone – the 8th anniversary of Never Enough Thyme. It started on a Sunday afternoon in February 2009 when, out of boredom and the need to do something creative, I sat down at the computer and wrote my first blog post. It was just a few lines to get the feel of what writing a blog was like. I decided it was something I might enjoy doing and a few days later I published my first recipe – Cheese Grits.
Just like everyone else, at the very beginning, the only people reading were my husband, my mama, and my daughter. But they were faithful readers and constantly encouraged me as I kept working hard at building something online.
Over the past eight years, I’ve published 746 posts – most of them recipes with a few travel stories thrown in – and received 14,842 comments. I’ve branched out to include social media with Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram, and I’ve published hundreds of email newsletters.
And do you know what? I still enjoy blogging. They say the average blog lasts only about 100 days. That means Never Enough Thyme has beaten the odds by about 29 times. Wish I was that lucky when playing the lottery :-)
So, to mark the occasion, I thought I’d share with you the very first recipe every published on this blog and it’s still a good one! These creamy Cheese Grits with cheddar and a hint of garlic are part of many a southern breakfast. But we also enjoy them with lots of other meals as well. They’re pretty much standard fare at a southern fish fry and can stand in for polenta in lots of recipes.
Hope you enjoy reminiscing with me and make a pot of Cheese Grits for your family soon!
If you grew up in the South, you know what a yummy, comforting thing grits are (grits is?). They’re wonderful with just butter, salt and pepper, but add a little sharp cheddar and garlic to the mix and, oh my goodness, they are something else! Now, BeeBop grew up in some far flung places like New Mexico and Colorado where they apparently do such unbelievable things with grits as putting (gasp!) sugar and milk on them. Don’t worry, though. Over the years, I’ve taught him to appreciate the proper preparation of grits. None of that sugar and milk nonsense in this house. No, sir.
These cheese grits are (is? I can’t figure that out) easy, fast and inexpensive. They’re good for breakfast, but you’ll also find them in most restaurants in the south alongside fried fish.
These days I cook for two, so here’s my recipe. You can double or triple it for your family.
Bring the water and salt to a boil in a smallish saucepan. Add the grits to the boiling water using a whisk. Using the whisk ensures that you don’t get lumps in your grits.
Now cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook the grits according to the package directions.
When the grits are done, stir in the butter, black pepper, and garlic powder. Now, if you want to use fresh garlic go ahead. However, since we usually have Cheese Grits with breakfast and I don’t like to get a hunk of garlic in my mouth at that time of the day, I’ll stick with the powder. Thank you very much.
Next, add the grated cheddar. Some people want to get all fancy with the cheese and use stuff like Parmesan, sharp Provolone or even Bleu cheese. However, to me anyway, grits are (is?…still can’t decide) homey, comfort food and messing around with all that fancy-ness is just fooling with an already good thing. Just stick with the cheddar.
Next dump in the cheese and stir until blended.
BeeBop read a story recently about a restaurant in New York City that had just put grits on their menu. They were selling them for $8 for a 1 cup serving. People were lined up out the door every morning to get those $8 grits. Man…I could go up there with $50 worth of grits and come home a wealthy woman.
Make some cheese grits soon. Your family will love you. And think about all those folks standing in line with $8 in their hand waiting for 10¢ worth of grits :-)