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bowls for grits

updated tue 17 jun 03


bfine on sun 15 jun 03

It is curious to note that here in the south I have never run across a
bowl for grits, or for that matter
a plate for grits/ There are cereal ,rice,soup bowls but none for
Now why is that?
It might be of some interest to note on the Venice Biennial site ,Helen
was kind
enought to post ,there were toilet bowls decorated inside with some god

or other , I was not sure. There is a tale that our esteemed forefather
Franklin when he was serving our country in France had the portraits
paintedof those
he did not admire on the bottom of his chamber pots.Although we no
longer, as a
rule, use chamber pots there are toilet bowls and some enterprising soul
follow,shall I say in the footsteps of Franklin.
May I also add, "potter" as a verb originates from push and is used
primarily by the
British to describe someone "puttering around". Apparently potter
derives from pot
which may in turn come from the shape of a "pod". Websters say only
No offense meant by speaking of bowls for grits and toilet bowls in the
same post.
Just too lazy to post twice.

Burness Speakman on sun 15 jun 03

Oh, but this is so very Zen. Yet it seems that every bowl that a grit
occupies is a grits bowl, in complete harmony with itself. The zen of
grits. A universal truth.


L. P. Skeen on mon 16 jun 03

> >It is curious to note that here in the south I have never run across a
bowl for grits

Bwahahahahaha! I made a grits bowl. :) Well, not intentionally, but yes,
one of my newbie bowls (lopsided, flat bottom, sharp corners) got decorated
with white sgrafitto, and my wife said, "Hey, that's my grits bowl." It is
now fortunately, up out of sight and reach on top of the cabinetry. :)


Louis Katz on mon 16 jun 03

I have been hesitant to chime in on grit. I am an oatmeal person. I
like oats so much I mix race horse feed oats into my clay. Corn
sometime too, but never grits!


Janet Kaiser on mon 16 jun 03

I will stand corrected by those who know more about it, but presumably
because unlike rice, soup, cereal, etc. grits are never served on their
own, but with something else? Whether bacon and eggs or cabbage and bacon
to at least give them some sort of taste? They must surely be the blandest
form of carbohydrate filler ever invented by man! How anyone could become
so addicted they actually miss them when living as an ex-pat elsewhere
without a grits mine nearby is a mystery to anyone not born and bred in the
South! Even porridge tastes stronger in comparison... Porridge or more
correctly gruel is called Haferschleim or "oat slime" in Germany and grits
would probably get the same lingual treatment! Believe me, they have their
own preferred equivalent, but it comes in dumpling form which defies
description in polite company, but as with all these national/regional
dishes the texture (if not the taste) is usually an acquired taste if not
downright repulsive to "foreigners" who were not weaned on the stuff!
(Yes, Lisa... Don't worry I remember what you and others think about
Haggis! :-)

A possible secondary reason for there being no "grits bowls": originally
being a staple in the diet of the poor, they would not indulge in the
luxury of a different bowl for each type of food. A simple bowl would be
used for cereal, soup, stew, puddings, ices, etc... Indeed anything sloppy
that needs a spoon to eat.

We can thank the Victorians for the huge increase in the number of
receptacles to eat from and off. Take the humble pudding/desert bowl: for
example my grandmother used to have one type with a lip for serving fruit
like plums & peaches so the stones could be placed genteelly around the
edge (tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, richman, poorman, beggarman, thief),
a deeper glass bowl for ice creams, syllabubs, jellies and other chilled
desserts, a wide shallow ceramic bowl for serving hot or cold pastries and
pies and another ceramic deeper bowl without a rim for hot puddings served
with custard in the winter which incidentally also doubled as porridge
bowls (no other "cereals" in her time). In addition to those, she had two
types of soup bowl (one small & deep and one large shallow with wide rim),
salad bowls, finger bowls and a couple of invalid cups. These were the
remnants of her "bottom drawer" from when she married in 1912. She came
from a "shabby genteel" family, so that would have been considered the
absolute minimum requirement for a young bride at that time.


Janet Kaiser

>It is curious to note that here in the south I have never run across a
>bowl for grits, or for that matter a plate for grits/
>There are cereal ,rice,soup bowls but none for grits.
>Now why is that?
TRUTH is too precious to tell every fool who asks for it...
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