Last Saturday I was thrilled to be part of a fun event that kicked off the Carolina Blues Festival.  My friend Lee Mortenson, director of the Greensboro Farmers Market called me several weeks ago and asked me if I had any ideas on what kind of food we could serve during this event.  After a few minutes of sharing ideas, we had a plan ~ A Grits Bar!  With our friend Mary Lacklen joining the party, we were almost ready… we gathered our supplies, lots of fresh local produce from the market and prayed for a beautiful morning.
Farmers Market | Jennifer McCollum
Our plan came together and it was amazing! We are so fortunate to have a fabulous resource for real stone ground grits right in our own back yard –
The Old Mill of Guilford.
 We also had a great source for fresh shrimp from the Carolina Coast.  A slight sauté with a little butter and a little olive oil was all that was needed.
Real stone ground grits take about 20 minutes to cook so I had my work cut out for me.  I had 3 pots going at a time and it was well worth the effort!
Shrimp and Grits | Jennifer McCollum
Creamy Grits
3 cups of water (chicken stock can be used for richer flavor)
3 cups of Half & Half
2 cups of stone ground grits
1/2 stick of butter
2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Bring water and 1/2&1/2 to a low boil.
  • Add grits, stirring constantly.
  • Cook on medium low heat until thick, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add salt and butter – stir to incorporate.  Adjust seasoning.
  • Serve hot.
Grits Bar | Jennifer McCollum
 We served up a delicious cup of creamy grits with toppings like shrimp, bacon, sausage, sautéed tomatoes with basil & scallions, cheese, sautéed kale along with fresh tomatoes and parsley.  Folks could choose what they liked and have a seat on the lawn and enjoy some great blues music.
Emily with Grits | Jennifer McCollum
It was a wonderful day shared with old and new friends! There’s always something special in volunteering and spending time helping your community.
A big thank you to my friend, Jennifer McCollum for taking these great photos!