The other day, MD was complaining that he was starving (he always is). I remember my brothers growing up and how they were never full. They’d eat supper, then have a mini supper and another after the fact. Then they started frying bologna with hot sauce and crumbling up chips on top of that, slathering mayo all over it and then shoving all that food in a pita pocket “as a snack.” My youngest brother would just dump a whole box of cereal in a mixing bowl and sit at the kitchen table with a gallon of milk. There was no sharing. No, no. Wait, maybe they were just stoned for five years.
Md and I are in the kitchen and I’m rattling off all 800 things he could possibly eat (none of which are appealing). The two of us are standing in front of the pantry, just staring. I look to the top shelf and see a bag of noodles and reach up to pull it down, revealing what we both thought was a box of oatmeal.
“YES!” we say simultaneously, high fiving.
I grab the box and then let out a groan. “Awww what! It’s grits!”
MD, who has never eaten such in his life asks, “What the hell are grits?”
Dude. “Grits is just ground up corn!” (Bonus points if you can name that sitcom).
Luckily for him, he was willing to try some. After he discovers it’s a variety pack, he says he’ll go for the bacon flavored grits. I’m already feeling kinda guilty because A) I’m not sure how long those grits have been in the pantry and B) I’m about to feed my kid fake bacon. Alright, alright… and C) I’m feeding him processed food.
He starts to walk out of the kitchen and I’m all, “Whoa, whoa, whoa… you’re going to make these, not me.”
I was met with an eyeroll.
First order of business, READ THE DIRECTIONS.
He reads them and then, because I’m not quite sure if he actually did read them, I repeat:
“Pour half a glass of water in a bowl and nuke it for a minute.”
I turn around and watch as he grabs a short glass out of the cabinet and places it in the microwave. He sets the timer for 1:00 min.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Nuking half a glass.”
We stare at one another for a solid thirty seconds.
“Half a glass?”
“Yeah, like it says. Half a glass.”
“OF WATER. NUKE HALF A GLASS OF WATER.”
Five second stare = three minute laugh.
Once we’d regained composure and warmed the water enough, we poured the packet of grits into the bowl. The smell made my stomach turn. I hate grits, but I wasn’t about to put this prepackaged culinary discovery on the shelf just yet. As he stirred, I watched chunks of bacon form. “Huh. Look at that. It’s like those dino eggs they used to put in oatmeal.”
“Oh yeah, you weren’t around for any of that. They used to put these candy eggs inside oatmeal that broke open to reveal a dinosaur or some shit. Your Uncle Mike lived off that stuff. Anyway, go on… take a bite.”
He inhales the bowl. “The bacon tastes like bacon! Weird!”
I shake my head and promise that I’ll buy real bacon this week. The good kind. With fat back. Maybe I’ll even whip up some cracklin cornbread. He nods in agreement, wide eyed, asking if I’ll make a skillet just for him. Not to share mind you, but to eat. Alone. Like a rebel.
The he walks over to fridge, grabs two cheese sticks, a drink and as he’s leaving the kitchen, stops to open the pantry to grab half a bag of pork rinds. I tossed the rest of the grits while he wasn’t looking. It may just be ground up corn, but the least I can do next time is make them fresh.