Jun 14, 2011

What's in a Name?

Probably a whole lot if we're talking nicknames.  And everyone down here has one.

Nicknames are even listed in the headings of obituaries and in the phone book.  Thumbing through the phone book right now, I see Sparkplug, Pookie, Camp, Kip, T-Bud.  In many cases, no given name is, um, given.  Because only their mama and daddy know it.

Before cell phones, I took sick at school and my mom was unreachable.  I cried when the school nurse said she was calling Miss Evelyn to come pick me up.  I didn't want to be taken by someone I didn't know!  About 10 minutes later, my Aunt "Tootsie" arrived.  And talk about confusion!  She's not even my aunt; she's my dad's much older cousin.

Mr. Red is still Mr. Red.  Even though he's now gray.
Tee Will (Tee or T is short for petit) is still Tee Will.  Even though he's now taller than his daddy, Big Will.

Nicknames can be honest.  They can lie.  They can be just plain nonsense.

My father-in-law called mother-in-law "Shorty."  She's about 5'3".  But other Shorties tower over everyone else.

Slim may be super skinny.  Or not so much.
Tiny may be just that.  Or not so much.

My great-grandfather was 1 of 13.  Each child had a nickname.  Like Set and Sigh.  Great-grandpa was Yoot.  No one remembers how these names came to be.  One brother was called "Whoa."  He was the son who drove the mules.

Pioche was a distant relative of my husband.  Pioche's daddy asked him to go out and thin the okra to three.  He did what his daddy told him.  And then some.  Instead of thinning three per hill, he thinned three per row.  Earning him the nickname "Pioche," which means hoe in Cajun French.

Like it or not, nicknames tend to stick with you your whole life.  So let's hope you're given a good one.

Today I'm cookin' up something inspired by Mama B. Mama B is not my Mama. She's not my grandma. Or old aunt. Or even a cousin. She's my supervisor.

Mama B's "recipe" is really just a method: cook some chopped bacon first.  Cook your onion in the bacon fat.  Then add your liquid and grits.  Cook away in all the savory, bacony goodness.

But what's onion without garlic?  And if we're adding garlic, why not bell pepper too? 

If you ever wanted a loaded baked potato for breakfast, here's your excuse!  
* Plan ahead.  Who wants to wake up and have to chop onion, garlic, and bell pepper first thing?  Chop the night before when you have this all pulled out on the counter making dinner.
* If you have chicken stock, use it in place of all or some of the water you'll need for the grits.
* It may seem weird to cook the bacon in a saucepan instead of a frying pan.  But everything that follows the bacon will go into the saucepan.  Why dirty a frying pan too?

I'm smart like that.

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Loaded Grits aka Mama B Grits 

from Ms. enPlace

for 2:
2 slices bacon
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp finely chopped green pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced

chicken stock and/or water
salt, black pepper, red pepper
grated cheese
chopped green onion

Cook the bacon in a saucepan until crispy.  Remove and drain.  Crumble when cool enough to handle.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the bacon drippings and saute until tender.  Toss in the garlic and saute for a few minutes. 

Add chicken stock and/or water according to package directions for 2 servings of grits.  Season with salt, black, and red pepper, to taste.  Bring to a boil.  Slowly whisk in grits and cook until grits have absorbed the liquid and are tender.

Serve in bowls and top with crumbled bacon, cheese, and green onion.

Check out these fun link-ups:
Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday #17 @ The Saturday Evening Pot
Tuesdays at the Table @ All The Small Stuff
Hearth and Soul vol 52 @ A Moderate Life

Delectable Tuesday @ Home Sweet Farm
Made it on Monday #14 @ Lark's Country Heart

Turning the Table Thursday @ Around My Family Table
What's Cooking Thursday @ Feeding Four

Potluck Friday #38 @ EKat's Kitchen
Foodie Friday @ Little Brick Ranch

Fresh Food Friday @ la bella vita
Friday Food @ Mom Trends
Let's Do Brunch #29 @ My Sweet and Savory


  1. Of course, I know people with most of these nicknames and I have an Aunt Tootsie, too! lol Mama B.'s grits look absolutely delicious and I can't wait to try them. Thanks for the great recipe, cher!

  2. You definitely have some crazy nicknames in your life! Mine have always been pretty boring..."jo", "jojo", with the most unfortunate being "joho". But we won't get into that. It was endearing, though.

    I love these grits! They are loaded for sure...loaded with deliciousness!

  3. Grits! Being a southern transplant I fell in love with grits first time I ever had them. Mmmmmm...bacon in it!!

  4. I'm a fairly recent convert to grits. I always thought I hated them and then I had them last November and fell in love. As long as someone else makes them for me. My nickname since I was a child has been "Bindy." I believe it's how I said Brenda if someone asked me my name. It stuck.... Sigh.....

  5. I've never had grits...but I'm sure I would love them with bacon and cheese! (How can you not like bacon and cheese added to most thigs?)
    My boys (who are all grown now) call their Uncle Scott, Uncle Petey. And since they were the oldest nephews, everyone who came after has done the same thing.
    No one really remembers why He changed from Scott to Petey. But it's his nickname now, and we're sticking to it.

  6. I am echoing Debbie, never had them but I am sure they are Wow with the bacon and cheese. Thanks for sharing with the Hearth n Soul hop!

  7. I live in the South ... but am just coming around to liking grits. Yours look fabulous! If someone had made me Loaded Grits, it may not have taken this long to like them!!

  8. Anonymous6/20/2011

    Regardless of where the name came from this looks DELICIOUS!! :)

    Thanks for linking up to Foodie Friday. I hope to see you again next week!!

  9. Loving your blog...Found you through a ringing endorsement from ServedUpWithLove!

    Good thing I'm checking you out this morning...I'm going right to the kitchen and making these grits :)

  10. Thank you, everyone for stopping by and commenting!

    Marguerite-It would greatly surprise me if you hadn't heard these names before! I'm glad you have an Aunt Tootsie too. They're the best!

    Joanne-nothing wrong with jojo. Now joho...yeah, maybe let's leave it at that ;-)

    Pierce-love at first...taste. I can believe that. Lately I prefer a lot of dishes served over grits rather than rice, pasta, or potatoes.

    Brenda-I like Bindy! It has a lot of personality. I'd happily make grits for you. Anytime, girl!

    Debbie-I'd like to know how Scott becomes Petey! Kids are funny. Come on down with Bindy and I'll cook up some grits for you too.

    Melynda-you come too!

    Tracey-bacon makes everything better. But in all honestly, I'd eat grits any kind of way!

    Bianca-Thanks! You know I'll be back to link up!

    Shawn-thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you like the grits.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe with Let's Do Brunch. I have never had grits before, but when I do try them, I sure hope they look this good! Your post really made me smile as well. I've never really had a nickname, and always secretly wanted one! I've chosen your recipe as one of my features this week. Thanks again for sharing it, and hope to see you at Let's Do Brunch again this week.


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