South Carolina: http://www.50states.com/scarolin.htm
State capital: Columbia
Largest City: Columbia
Admission to the Union: May 28, 1788, eighth state to join the union
Major agricultural outputs of the state are: tobacco, poultry, cattle, dairy products, soybeans, rice and hogs. Industrial outputs include: textile goods, chemical products, paper products, machinery, automobiles and automotive products and tourism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Carolina )
If you’re thinking of visiting South Carolina in person, check out these sites;
I have spent time in South Carolina. I went to Ft. Jackson for my Basic Training and have very vivid memories around that experience, none of which are too pleasant as ya’ll can imagine. But the one thing I remember most is the language. I speak Southern ya’ll… I can speak Texan, Georgian, Virginian, heck I’m fluent in Missourian… but when I was in South Carolina I swear to all that’s precious and holy I didn’t understand not one person! It was like somebody done took a person who was speakin’ English, gave them a Southern drawl and then stuffed marshmallows into their mouth and done told them to talk as fast as they could. It pains me to say this… but I will… if ya’ll go to South Carolina, travel with a notebook so folks can write it down for ya- otherwise you might never get out of that state! But their one savin’ grace is they know how ta cook up some dang fine grits ya’ll! And here is the best recipe for Shrimp and grits I’ve ever had!
Harbor House Bed & Breakfast Shrimp & Grits
This hearty grits recipe is just one of the tasty dishes served at the Harbor House Bed & Breakfast, ‘The only waterfront Bed & Breakfast in the Historic district of Georgetown, South Carolina’.
- ½ cup yellow grits
- ¼ cup white grits
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups half & half
- 2 pounds shrimp, peeled
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1/3 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup self-rising flour
- 1 can beef broth or chicken broth
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Cajun seasoning
- Italian seasoning
To cook grits, bring water and salt to a boil. Add grits and stir, reducing heat to simmer. Add half & half. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally. If grits become too thick, add more half & half.
Chop peppers and onion and set aside. Slice Italian sausage and cook in a large frying pan. Add garlic, peppers and onion to drippings in frying pan. Add shrimp and cook until pink.
Sprinkle flour on vegetables and shrimp and stir. Add beef or chicken broth and stir until thickened. Water may be added if mixture becomes too thick. Add Worcestershire sauce and season with Cajun and Italian seasonings. http://dining.discoversouthcarolina.com/famous-flavors/grits.aspx
Let me start out by sayin’ those of ya’ll who follow me on Facebook and that Twitter thang… ya’ll know the struggles I endured in findin’ grits in Portland Oregon. For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook and Twitter… well let me say that findin’ a pot o’ gold at the end of a rainbow would have been easier. The real important thing ya’ll about making this recipe is finding white grits that aren’t instant. Yella grits were easy to find… any ol’ health foods or grocery store has them- sometimes they call them Polenta. But white grits… well I had a time of it. I finally resorted to callin’ up a local restaurant that served grits on their menu called The Screen Door, here in Portland and askin’ if I could have some of their grits. Bless their hearts Shane and Salty hooked me up! Not only did they donate the grits for the recipe, but ya’ll they served me the best sweet tea I’ve had since I left Missouri! And don’t get me started on how divine their fried chicken and collard greens were- my mouth is waterin’ just thinkin’ about it! I have literally found my new favorite restaurant in Portland- The Screen Door at 2337 East Burnside Street, if ya’ll come to Portland and get homesick for a fine Southern meal and I’m not cookin’ for ya- go eat there… tell ‘em Military Martha sent ya!
Aside from not carryin’ anything other than the instant grits, my local grocery store had all the other ingredients on hand. I do not use pre-pared Italian or Cajun spices from the store, I make my own. But if ya’ll aren’t as picky as I am- they’ll do in a pinch those pre-packaged spices. I used a little less than a Tablespoon of each in my recipe and it was hot enough to melt an ice cube on yer tongue, but not as hot as Georgia asphalt in July- so ya’ll be the judge of what your family can handle.
The thing about makin’ grits is this ya’ll… ya gotta talk to yer grits. You can’t just put them in boilin’ water and forget about them, ya gotta stay on hand and have a conversation with them. Stir them up once in awhile or they’ll get burnt on the bottom. Cause nothing tastes worse than badly prepared grits! If they’re as runny as goose poop down a greased slide- you done them wrong. If they’re as thick as molasses going uphill in December- you done them wrong. If they taste like the side of a tin barn after a hurricane- you done them wrong. Just like Tammy Wynette sings- “Stand by Your Man”- darlin’ ya gotta stand by yer grits! Two very important tips- let the water and salt boil first. Turn down the heat then add yer grits. If the grits start to bubble yer heat’s too high- turn it down. Keep stirrin’ until they get real thick- then add yer half and half and stir some more. Keep stirrin’ till they get nice and thick so you could eat them with a fork but you’d prefer a spoon. The whole process takes a good hour if you do it right… that’s why they’re slow cookin’ grits- NOT INSTANT!
Now the shrimp part of the recipe is a little confusing because it’s not step by step like I like it to be. Really all ya gotta do is follow the recipe as closely as possible. I browned my sausage, added the veggies, then the shrimp, stirred in the extra butter and flour. Added the chicken stock, till it was gravy… then ended with a slow simmer with the spices. You really can’t screw it up unless ya try hard!
Review: scale of 1-5 stars; the more stars the better
Ease of preparation: ** the shrimp part is so easy a Geico caveman can do it, but grits do take a practiced hand
Cost of ingredients: *****everything was very inexpensive and easy to find, aside from the great grits crusade of 2011
Taste: ***** ya’ll I’ve had shrimp and grits in other restaurants… these were far better!
Nutrition: **** I would venture to say with the shrimp, veggies and grits pretty low calorie and darn good for ya too!
I can’t thank my new friends at The Screen Door in Portland enough. Without Shane, Salty and all the fine folks there ya’ll might not have had this fine recipe to try! Shane told me that with my accent he could tell I knew how to cook grits so he wasn’t going to instruct me. But if you all don’t know how, ask someone or look it up online. When SGM Martha and I got married he told me he’d never eat liver and onions or grits- and I never did make grits in this house for SGM Martha cause he said he couldn’t stand them. After he tried this recipe he asked- “why don’t you make grits more often, these are good!” So it just goes to show ya’ll two things- you can teach an ol’ dog new tricks and grits made right are a tasty bite! So until next week when we have Georgia on our minds – May all your journeys be safe and your eats be good!