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Idle thoughts can get gritty

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Every blue moon an idea pops into my head that can be characterized one of two ways -- sheer genius or flat-out stupid.

Funny thing is, these ideas just appear in my head at the most bizarre moments -- like the time I cooked bacon in the microwave and two pieces cooked together and came out the spitting image of a dolphin, with a tail fin and a little dorsal fin and a round head with even its little bacon mouth open just a little bit like Flipper. If bacon can be cute, it was cute.

So I thought in that bizarre moment how interesting it would be if bacon could be in the shapes of animals -- like animal crackers -- and then as quickly as the thought came I realized that it was a flat out stupid idea and I should best just keep it to myself.

So much for that.

But the other night I was cooking grits and another idea came to mind.

Grits.

Not plain, old grits in a bowl, lukewarm and buttery with a little salt. Not cream of wheat. Certainly not instant grits, all neat and measured in their little paper envelope. Real grits -- ones that you pour from a two pound bag into a pot of hot, boiling water. Stone ground. Grits that swell up and percolate like white hot lava, bubbling, bubbling until -- pop! -- you're hit.

There should be a disclaimer on that bag.

I was cooking grits to make my mother-in-law's famous cheese grits, only I didn't have any of that garlic cheese in a tube that makes them just right. I don't know if that garlic cheese in a tube is so hard to find because no one carries it anymore or because there's a rush on garlic cheese in a tube, but I can't find it anywhere. I suspect some grocery stores have it but as soon as they put it out the people who eat cheese grits more regularly than we do snap it all up right before I get there.

We would have cheese grits more often, but I'm a little afraid of cooking them.

Which brings me back to my idea.

I have one ... no, two ... make that three red whelps on my right hand -- red, splotchy, stingy whelps from where my grits got too hot (yes, mama, I probably had the heat up too high just like I did when I tried to fry chicken) and they started popping. I have to admit, nothing in recent memory has brought me closer to shouting a decorative declaration than when that quarter-sized plop of boiling grits flew from the pot and landed on my arm like hot glue. I yelped like a dog.

Hot grits are dangerous.

If somehow we could harness the debilitating power of boiling grits into a weapon so feared ... imagine the possibilities. Grits are cheap. It would help the corn farmers. You just add water. There would have to be some sort of heating device, sure, but somebody smarter than me could come up with that.

There would be drawbacks at first because we would have to teach the northerners to say "grits" instead of "a grit" and there might be some folks who think we have to put sugar in them which, in my opinion, is a sin against nature, but we can iron out those rough spots.

I think I'm on to something. Really, I think it's ... sheer ... OK, maybe not genius ... sheer ... interesting? ... OK, it's flat out stupid.

Every blue moon an idea pops into my head. I think I'd best just stick to keeping them to myself.

If you come across any of that garlic cheese in a tube, let me know, will you?

Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at flyn1862@bellsouth.net.