One weekend I had a hankerin' for grits.  And not just your garden variety grits (yes, y'all non-southerners, there are huge grit gardens all over the south) I wanted a good ole grits casserole with some of that fancy party plate kind of cheese.  So I set out to the local grocery establishment in search of some grits. 

A Piggly Wiggly was nowhere to be found so I had to make do with a Safeway grocery store.  After an exhaustive search, instant grits were the only thing I could find.  I don't know which city in New York birthed the inventor of this product, but I do know he has never been to the south.  Grits bear no resemblance to those freeze-dried things in a package. 

My next attempt was to try the nearest Whole Foods Store.  I figured they carried foods from foreign countries, so maybe they would think grits were exotic.  I looked high and low and couldn’t find them.  It’s then that I discovered a large bin labeled polenta.  They sure did look a lot like my favorite yellow grits.  I asked the nearest attendant about the ground corn particles in the bin and he informed me that they were polenta, NOT grits.  I thanked him and bought a pound of the so-called polenta and proceeded to prepare a large pot of yellow grits.  Oh happy day.  I just might be able to survive another month or two here. 

But don’t tell these people out here who think they are eating a fancy Italian gourmet food called “polenta” that they are actually eating good ole grits, which are at least a day old and fried in butter.  


This must be a southern thing because I can't find good ice anywhere around here. 

By good ice, I mean the kind of ice that you get at all of the finest eating establishments (places like Sonic, Zaxby's, Great American Cookie Company)and which has the consistency of snow in a cup.  It's not those perfectly sized cubes of ice, or those clunkers with the hole in the middle, no it's the ideal ice.  Fine, individually shaped particles of ice that actually improve the taste of the associated beverage.  For a person growing up in the South, that beverage of course would be either Sweet Tea or Coke.  

I have been known to make my dining choices based solely upon the type of ice provided, a fact which can make your dining options a tad limited, but this stuff is important. 

This is not a singular disorder of my own making, for I once quizzed my Mom on the "good ice" places in my hometown of Greenville, SC and she
was able to quickly add a dozen or so new dining options to my list.  This ice knowledge is clearly a deeply embedded part of proper southern upbringing.  Perhaps it has something to do with a genteel lady's inability to sweat in public. 


Three years ago, I packed up my husband, teen-aged daughter and the obligatory southern dog, Abbigail the Bassett Hound, to head west.  Junior, or Bubba as he is sometimes called, had already opted to become a sophisticated college man in some state I still can't locate on a map, but his school mascot is a Hoosier.  Near as I can tell, a "Hoosier" is a redneck who doesn't live in the south.  

 We left our home of Atlanta, Georgia, where a three bedroom house complete with basement and attic could be had for around $175,000, to move to the golden land of California for a new life. And contrary to some of those TV shows, we didn't find any texas tea to subsidize the move.  Apparently, someone hasn't told these people out here that their million dollar home is just a double wide with no wheels. 

Mary May June Bug, our lovely teenager of 14 years, was thrilled with the idea of moving out West, that is, right up until the day we actually started moving out West. 

Now Hubby, or Hubby Bubby, as he likes to be called, was too smart to make the drive with three females in a car too small for two normal sized southern women, so he joined us later. 

Let's just say there was not a Stuckeys between Atlanta and Bakersfield, California that we didn't hit.