take a food tour which sounds amazing. We unfortunately couldn’t fit that in, but we did go to the West North Carolina Farmer’s market, brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables, home made canned goodies, and lots of offerings from the Amish, (including pickled eggs), and of course, stone ground grits.
I learned on this trip that grits and polenta are one and the same. Grits can be served sweet (with brown sugar like cream of wheat) or savory and are wonderful either way. Traditionally, grits are eaten for breakfast, but they can also be a side with fish, sausage, or shrimp. In North Carolina where we were, they're cooked with milk (or even cream) and some butter, then served with grated cheddar cheese. I bought yellow grits at the farmer’s market in Asheville, but at home I found very coarse stone ground white grits at Trader Joe’s.
Wendy’s Grits with Roasted Okra and Tomatoes
1 cup coarse stone ground grits (coarse cornmeal)
3 cups water
1 cup whole milk (more if needed)
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tbs butter
In a large pot, combine water, salt and butter. Bring to a boil. Gradually stir in the grits. Return water to a boil and turn down to the lowest possible heat.
Or, serve with:
Roasted Okra and tomatoes:
½ lb fresh whole okra
1 small onion thinly sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425. Trim stems and cut okra into thick chunks. Put okra in a large roasting pan with thinly sliced onions and olive oil.