Grits is a feel-good comfort dish stripped down to its bare-bones.


3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp (a pinch) salt
1/4 cup grits (basically, gritty corn meal)
1 tsp brown sugar
a pat of butter

In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water and 1/8 tsp salt to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in the grits. Stir occasionally for five minutes, until the mixture thickens and starts to blorb out big splats of bubbles. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tsp brown sugar and a pat of butter. Eat when it’s cool enough not to burn your tongue.

Makes one good-sized serving.

This is what the corn meal for grits looks like before you cook it.

For four servings, you need:
3 cups water
½ tsp salt
1 cup grits
1 TB plus 1 tsp brown sugar
1 TB butter
–and you’ll need to use a 2-quart saucepan.