I come from a long line of headstrong Texas women – the kind of women who think people who don’t like Dr. Pepper are not trustworthy, knows that the way to a man’s heart is to keep him well-fed, and most of all, to get yourself a degree, for goodness sakes.
My Aunt Martha was one of those women. She had twinkling eyes, and always seemed like a joke was on the tip of her tongue, if you would only get her to sit still long enough to tell it. She died when I was 22.
She brought 5,000-plus acres of dry Texas ranch land to her marriage with my Uncle JE – Montell, the ranch where I will never forget my father saying that was the place where you didn’t have to grow up. After they got married in the late 1940’s, Uncle JE took her around the world – Libya, England, all over the Middle East – he worked on the oil fields of Khadaffi. When he finally brought her back home to Texas, she stayed there till cancer took her – living the rest of her days with laughter, good food, and prayer – pausing only to shoot the occasional rattlesnake that dared to cross over her limestone patio.
She made many wonderful meals at Montell – small meals with just the immediate family and plenty of chocolate cake, massive family reunions with fried chicken – fried EVERYTHING – and lots of love.
One of her dishes was Cheesy Grits. I like to imagine her making this humble little dish while she lived overseas – thinking of a little bit of Texas while she made it.
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups grits (the Blue Box quick grits)
Stir them till thick.
1 stick butter
1 lb. Velveeta Mexican Mild
3 eggs, beaten
When all melted, put in greased pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes – do not cover.