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Friday, November 02, 2018


I love grits but I know it's a regional thing. Or as we say, a "Southern thang"! I truly think that most people would love them if cooked right. If you try to eat unsalted grits, they are very bland. But salt to taste and they are a comfort food. Cornmeal is nothing more than finely ground, dried corn. Grits are usually made from dent corn. This starchy variety of corn is less sweet than sweet-corn and it becomes smooth and creamy as it cooks. This type of corn is treated with lime to remove the hull which technically makes it hominy. After the treated corn is dried, it is coarsely ground to become hominy grits. Most grits are ground more coarsely than cornmeal. Stone ground grits are whole grain grits that retain the germ. The stone ground grits take 45 minutes to cook fully, but they have more health benefits. Instant grits will cook up in about 5 to 10 minutes. Polenta is similar to grits except that it is made with flint corn. Native to Italy, polenta is made by coarsely grinding up dried flint corn. This variety of corn has a hard starch in the center, which gives polenta its characteristic grainy texture.

2 cups water
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking grits, not instant (I use Quaker)
1/4 cup butter

1. In a small pot, bring water, milk, and salt to a boil.
2. Slowly stir grits into boiling mixture.
3. Stir continuously and thoroughly until grits are well mixed.
4. Let them boil. Then cover pot with a lid, lower the temperature, and cook for approximately 20 minutes stirring frequently.
5. Add more water if necessary.
6. Grits are done when they have the consistency of stiff cream of wheat.
7. Stir in butter.
8. Serve with additional butter on top of each portion and add salt to taste.

You can use white or yellow grits. They get their color from the type of corn that is milled, some say there is a negligible difference in taste, with the yellow grits being sweeter and having a slightly more assertive corn flavor.

By adding milk, it makes them creamier. You can also add shredded cheese (any kind) to make cheese grits. And you can include them in recipes. I like to put some cooked grits in a mug, add cheese and a raw egg (whip it). Stir and add to the microwave to cook the egg. It makes an egg and cheese grits for a satisfying breakfast. Like rice, they also make a good base.

Grits and Tomatoes

Grits (cooked)
Salt and pepper to taste
Ripe tomato

Cook grits according to package, chop fresh (very) vine ripe tomato, salt & pepper to taste, stir into grits and eat.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Grits and Ricotta

1/2 cup dry grits
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt

cooking spray
1 1/3 cups ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
2 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
8 tomatoes

In a small pot combine dry grits, 1 1/2 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until grits are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then stir in the cooled grits, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Asiago cheese. Stir in the garlic powder, parsley, crushed red pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well.
Slice the top off of each tomato. Use a spoon to hollow out the tomatoes, leaving the outer shells (approximately 1/4 inch thick) intact. Fill each with the grits mixture. Arrange stuffed tomatoes on prepared baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until light golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Old Charleston Shrimp and Grits

1 cup coarsely ground grits
3 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups half-and-half

2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 lemon, juiced
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
5 slices bacon
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Bring water, grits, and salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan with a lid. Stir in half-and-half and simmer until grits are thickened and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

Sprinkle shrimp with salt and cayenne pepper; drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside in a bowl.

Place andouille sausage slices in a large skillet over medium heat; fry sausage until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Retain bacon drippings in skillet. Transfer bacon slices to paper towels, let cool, and crumble.

Cook and stir green, red, and yellow bell peppers, onion, and garlic in the bacon drippings until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.

Stir shrimp and cooked vegetables into the andouille sausage and mix to combine.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour to make a smooth paste. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is medium brown in color, 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully, mixture burns easily.

Pour the butter-flour mixture into the skillet with andouille sausage, shrimp, and vegetables. Place the skillet over medium heat and pour in chicken broth, bacon and Worcestershire sauce, cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens and the shrimp become opaque and bright pink, about 8 minutes.

Just before serving, mix sharp Cheddar cheese into grits until melted and grits are creamy and light yellow. Serve shrimp mixture over cheese grits.

There are so may variations of shrimp and grits. Try different things. Instead of andouille sausage, try fried bacon. Use different cheese. Add tomatoes. Top with cilantro or chives.

Grits and Sausage Bake

6 cups water
2 cups uncooked grits
1/2 cup butter, divided
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 pound ground pork sausage
12 eggs
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking dish.

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan, and stir in grits. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 5 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed. Mix in 1/2 the butter and 2 cups cheese until melted.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage until evenly browned. Drain, and mix into the grits.

Beat together the eggs and milk in a bowl, and pour into the skillet. Lightly scramble, then mix into the grits.

Pour the grits mixture into the prepared baking dish. Dot with remaining butter, and top with remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned.

Grits A Ya Ya

3 1/2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup old fashioned grits
1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more as needed
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese, or more to taste
1/4 cup butter
8 slices bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 splash white wine
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups chopped spinach
1 cup chopped portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 cups heavy cream
1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan over high heat.

Slowly pour the grits into the stock while stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to low; simmer until the grits are tender and thick, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream to thin the grits.

Stir in the Gouda cheese and 1/4 cup butter until melted and smooth.

While the grits are cooking, place the bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium heat; cook until the bacon fat is rendered, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the shallot and garlic; cooking and stirring until the shallots are tender, about 5 minutes.

Pour in the white wine and stir in 3 tablespoons butter, cooking and stirring until the butter has melted.

Drop the shrimp in the skillet; cook and stir until they are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the center, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the spinach, mushrooms, and green onions; cook and stir until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes more.

Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon.

Stir in 2 cups heavy cream. Simmer until the cream is reduced by about a third, about 10 minutes.

Season with hot sauce, salt, and pepper.

Return the shrimp to the skillet to heat through.

Serve shrimp and sauce over the prepared grits.

Fried Grits

5 cups water
salt to taste
1 cup stone ground grits
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
vegetable oil

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the grits and continue to simmer, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the grits are cooked and thick like mush, about 15 to 20 minutes. If necessary, add a little more boiling water.
Pour the hot grits onto a large plate to make a layer about 3/4-inch deep. Cover and let stand to cool, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly.
When the grits are cold and firm, cut into rectangular pieces. Dredge the grits pieces with flour, shaking off excess flour.
Heat the oil to a depth of 1/2-inch in a heavy skillet. Fry grits pieces until golden brown on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes total. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve hot.
Serves 4. Its a great way to use leftover cold grits!

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Thriller Thursday - Sheriff William Henry Smith

This family is not related to me. I came across his story as I was researching and I couldn't help but see what happened to him.

William Henry Smith was born 8/2/1866 in Greene County, TN. I don't know who his family was although his obituary says he was survived by 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He is first found in the 1870 U.S. Census living with another family.

1870 U.S. Census of District 21, Greene County, Tennessee; Roll: M593_1531; Page: 416A; Family History Library Film: 553030, "John Cassteel" (sic)
John Cassteel, 48 yrs old, M(ale), W(hite), Farmer, $3,000 Real Estate Value, $1,200 Personal Estate Value, Born in TN
Manda Cassteel, 45 yrs old, F, W, Keeping house, Born in TN
Susanna Cassteel, 22 yrs old, F, W, Keeping House, Born in TN
John Cassteel, 20 yrs old, M, W, Born in TN
Robert Cassteel, 14 yrs old, M, W, Born in TN
William Smith, 4 yrs old (DOB 1866), M, W, Born in TN

1880 U.S. Census of District 17, Greene County, Tennessee; Roll: 1258; Page: 238B; Enumeration District: 056, "Alexander Hicks"
Alexander Hicks, W(hite), M(ale), 52 yrs old, Head, Married, Farmer, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Rebecca Hicks, W, F, 54 yrs old, Wife, Married, Keeping house, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Disa Hicks, W, F, 21 yrs old, Daughter, Single, At Home, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Margaret Hicks, W, F, 17 yrs old, Daughter, Single, At Home, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
William Smith, W, M, 17 yrs old, Servant, Works on farm, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN

On 12/1/1887 he married Annie Mary "Mollie" Harrison in Greene County, TN.

Annie Mary Harrison was born 3/10/1868 in Green County, TN to Amos J. and Rebecca Harrison. William Henry Smith and Mollie Harrison had 8 children:

1) John Robert Smith, Sr. (DOB 5/3/1888 in Greene County, TN; DOD 2/3/1967 in Chuckey, Greene County, TN) married Bertha Taylor (DOB 3/25/1896 in TN; DOD 8/15/1971 in Greene County, TN).

2) James Franklin Smith (DOB 9/24/1890 in Greene County, TN; DOD 10/17/1960 in Greene County, TN) married Ida Mae Peters (DOB 5/31/1896 in TN; DOD 12/12/1991 in Greene County, TN).

3) Gertie May Smith (DOB 3/4/1893 in Greene County, TN; DOD 4/21/1981 in Chuckey, Greene County, TN) married Charles R. Campbell (DOB 1/24/1871 in TN; DOD 5/3/1933 in Greene County, TN).

4) Amanda Naomi Smith (DOB 1/14/1896 in Greene County, TN; DOD 1/14/1978 in Greene County, TN) never married.

5) Georgia Lee Smith (DOB 12/19/1898 in Greene County, TN; DOD 3/1/1994 in Afton, Greene County, TN) married James Byron Ross (DOB 2/20/1894 in TN; DOD 11/10/1965 in Afton, Greene County, TN),

6) William J. "Hoss" Smith (DOB 10/13/1902 in Greene County, TN; DOD 2/10/1990 in Afton, Greene County, TN) married Mary Gertrude Brown (DOB 3/9/1907 in TN; DOD 6/28/2008 in Afton, Greene County, TN).

7) Emma Pauline Smith (DOB 5/11/1905 in Greene County, TN; DOD 3/11/2002 in Greeneville, Greene County, TN) married Hubert Carl "Josh" Teague (DOB 1/11/1903 in Greene County, TN; DOD 2/2/1981 in Greene County, TN).

8) Anna Roxie Smith (DOB 12/31/1907 in Ottway, Greene County, TN; DOD 12/12/1999 in Batesville, Independence County, AR) married Styles Rowe Southerland (DOB 5/24/1906 in Banner, Cleburne County, AR; DOD 11/19/1995 in Batesville, Independence County, AR).

1900 U.S. Census of Civil District 11, Greene County, Tennessee; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0039; FHL microfilm: 1241573, "William H. Smith"
William H. Smith, Head, W(hite), M(ale), Born Aug, 1864, 35 years old, Married 4 years (DOM 1896), Farmer, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN, Farmer, Can read and write, Rents farm
Mollie A. Smith, Wife, W, F, Born Mar, 1868, 32 yrs old, Married 4 yrs, 5 children with 5 still living, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN, Can read and write
John R. Smith, Son, W, M, Born May, 1888, 12 yrs old, Single, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN, Farm Laborer
James F. Smith, Son, W, M, Born Sept, 1890, 9 yrs old, Single, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Gertie M. Smith, Daughter, W, F, Born Mar, 1893, 7 yrs old, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Amanda N. Smith, Daughter, W, F, Born Jan, 1896, 4 yrs old, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Georgia L. Smith, Daughter, W, F, Born Dec, 1898, 1 yr old, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN
Russ Ward, Lodger, W, M, Born Mary, 1845, 55 yrs old, Married 20 yrs, Born in TN, Both parents born in TN

At the young age of 42 yrs old, W.H. Smith was elected Sheriff and took office in September, 1908. He had 8 children from age 20 to 1 year old. His residence was in Ottway, Greene County, TN.

Sheriff Smith, of Greene county, while on his way from the Newport Fair, met with quite a serious mishap at Leadville, a small town between Newport and Morristown. Two drunken mountaineers were being ejected from the train by the train crew and in return were giving the trainmen more than they could do to put them off, when the conductor of the train asked for assistance. Sheriff Smith at once responded and in the melee got an ugly gash in the head by a rock thrown by one of the ruffians. He in return shot at the fleeing party who got away. The other one was captured and brought to Morristown where he was jailed.

But then tragedy struck. One month after taking office he accidentally killed himself.

Sheriff Smith Killed
On last Thursday morning, Sheriff W.H. Smith was accidentally shot with his own pistol. He was in the court room opening a box of court supplies, when his pistol, a 38-calibre Colt, fell from his pocket on the floor and exploded. The ball struck him in the left breast, passing through his body and through his lungs. He walked into the Trustee's office and sat down. All the doctors in town went to render aid, but they soon found that he was beyond their reach. His wife was informed by phone at Ottway 10 miles distant, of the accident and in two hours was at his bedside. In the afternoon he was taken to the residence of Richard Hall, where he died Friday 10:00 a.m.
On Friday afternoon he was taken to his home at Ottway and was buried Saturday morning. Rev. W.A. Brown conducted the funeral services which were held under the auspices of the Odd Fellows.
Mr. Smith was elected sheriff at the last August election, it being his first term. He was popular and well liked by all. His family consists of his wife and eight children.
About 1500 persons attended the funeral, attesting the esteem in which he was held by his neighbors and friends.
We regret very much to hear of the death of Sheriff Smith and feel that we have lost a good man and one who have made a good officer and given satisfaction to all. We certainly sympathize with his widow and children in their sad bereavement.
Baileyton, Oct. 12-Some of our people attend the funeral of Sheriff Smith.
Executive Committee Passes Resolutions
At the meeting of the County Democratic Executive Committee, Monday, Oscar M. Duggers, J.D. Brown, W.K. Mitchell ... resolutions relative to the late Sheriff W.H. Smith. The following resolutions were presented and unanimously adopted:
WHEREAS, It has pleased Almighty God to remove from among us Sheriff W.H. Smith, who, as a citizen, was honored and esteemed by all who knew him; who, as a husband and father, was the embodiment of all that is truest and noblest in man, therefore be it
RESOLVED That we are deeply sensible of the irreparable loss that we sustain in the death of Mr. Smith, and while we bow in humble submission to the will of Him who regardeth the sparrow's fall, we commend the upright walk and exemplary life of the deceased brother, and
RESOLVED, 2nd, That we extend to his widow and children our sincere sympathy, assuring them that since in the death of their husband and father they sustain a great loss, they should find consolation in the fact that they still have the priceless heritage of the good name which he left behind him.
RESOLVED, 3rd, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the county papers for publication, and also to the family of the deceased.
Oscar M. Duggers
J.D. Brown
W.K. Mitchell
Hon. J.R. Todd, who assumed the office of Sheriff after the death of Sheriff W.H. Smith, is conducting the affairs of his office in a most satisfactory manner. Mr. Todd very properly retained all of Sheriff Smith's deputies and is endeavoring to carry out his policies. Mr. Todd will hold the office until the county court elects a successor.

Sheriff Smith Killed
At 11 o'clock Thursday morning while opening a box of cuspidors in the courthouse, Sheriff W.H. Smith dropped his pistol on the floor. The pistol fired and the shot entered his left breast passing through his body. He walked into the Trustee's office and sat down. Physicians were summoned and a cot was provided. The physicians found the Sheriff beyond the reach of medical aid. The family was notified at Ottway about 2 hours after the accident. His wife was at his bedside. At four o'clock, he was taken to the residence of Mr. Richard Hall on Summer Street, at which place he died at 5 a.m. Friday.
On Friday morning the body was taken in charge by the firm of J.J. Mitchell and Co., and on this, (Friday) afternoon, was taken to his home at Ottway, Funeral services will be conducted from the Mt. Pleasant church Saturday morning at 10 a.m., by Rev. W.A. Brown. The funeral will be held under the auspices of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which order the deceased belonged.
Mr. Smith is survived by his widow and eight children, two brothers and two sisters. He was 42 years of age.
Mr. Smith was elected Sheriff in the August election and was inducted into the office on Sept 1st. He served just one month of his term. But in this time he had won the confidence and esteem of the people of the county, to such an extent that his untimely death is regarded not only as a loss to his family and immediate friends, but a distinct loss to the good citizenship of the county.
Mr. Smith was a self-made man, and his standing in the community in which he lived, attested his good qualities as a neighbor and friend.
In his home he was all that a devoted husband and father could be.
Before his death, in conversation with his brother, Mr. H.M. Smith...

William H “W H” Smith
BIRTH 2 Aug 1866, Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
DEATH 9 Oct 1908 (aged 42), Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
BURIAL: Cross Anchor Cemetery, Cross Anchor, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
PLOT Section C [D1]
MEMORIAL ID 39361909

Mollie Harrison Smith
BIRTH 10 Mar 1868
DEATH 4 Feb 1959 (aged 90), Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
BURIAL: Cross Anchor Cemetery, Cross Anchor, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
PLOT Section C [D1]
MEMORIAL ID 39361906

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