Puttin' on the grits


Before you throw up in your mouth a little bit, let me assure you this is not a cutesy pet name for the husband.

No, his pet name shall remain a secret.

Unless you are willing to pay, in which case I shall accept no less than seven dollars in exchange for that information.

Payment in the form of baking supplies will be accepted.

After the peach dessert contest on Saturday, I spent about 26 minutes eating remnants of peach pizza trying to figure out what went wrong. After a few bites, I realized that it was super salty.


Those are just my tears.

Sniff, sniff.

I just can’t get over it.

I just keep replaying it in my mind and it seems like I’ll never get over this  incredibly sad and unfortunate…….


Green tomato pepper jam!

I forgot I bought that!

I threw the three remaining bites of peach pizza in the fridge (What? We aren’t food wasters in this house) and cleared a work area.

Green tomato pepper jam was going to require something very special to compliment its unique flavor.

It was a combination of sweet , garden-fresh tomato and spicy peppers with just a hint of heat.

Ordinary crackers or toast just wouldn’t do.

Pancakes sounded promising but didn’t quite have the texture that I was looking for.

Then I remembered hearing about something called a jonnycake when I first moved to the East Coast.

I chalked it up as a lower, slower Delaware thing and never thought about it again.

Until now.

Even though I had no idea what a jonnycake was, I was fairly certain I needed to make them so they could be smothered in green tomato jam.

Turns out they are super easy to make.

Especially when you ignore recipes and start throwing whatever the hell you feel  like in there.

Traditionally, jonnycakes are made with cornmeal, water or milk, and cooked in lard or bacon fat. They are thought to have originated in Rhode Island and are apparently a “staple food” in New England, according to Wikipedia, which is undoubtedly the most accurate source of information on the internet.

Well, I didn’t have cornmeal, milk, or bacon fat.

Yep, this should work.

I still had some corn grits floating around the completely impractical lazy susan cabinet so I gave those a little whirl in the blender to grind them into a fine powder.

In a bowl, I added a little sugar, oil, and salt to the grits and then poured boiling water over the mixture and stirred to combine.

The recipe I was using called for milk, but the only milk I had was of the almond variety and I didn’t think that would marry with the grits. I had yogurt but I was in the mood to veganize this dish so I made “bean milk.”

I had about 1/2 cup cannelini beans leftover from lunch. I put it in the blender with about  a 1/2 cup water.

I mean, why not?

Soymilk is made from a bean.

Plus cannelini beans take on this completely creamy texture when blended or mashed.

I added the bean milk to the grits mixture, satisfied that I had weirded up the recipe just enough.

The cast iron skillet was nice and hot by the time I was finished mixing the batter and it was screamin’ for some jonnycake love.

Let me preface this by saying that whenever I make pancakes, they are always misshapen, lopsided, and missing huge chunks that I break off and eat while I’m cooking. Just in case for some reason you were expecting some actual cooking ability here.

Ok, so that first one didn’t work.

Maybe I flipped it too soon.

Ah, much better. Nice and crispy on both sides.

Time to plate.

Jonnycake and green tomato pepper jam meet for a little rendezvous.

Spread the love

The big finish

First bite

Let's get a close-up of the soft and chewy center, shall we?

Was it good for you?

Shana and Jonnycakes

1 cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 cup boiling water

1/4-1/2 cup bean milk (ok, ok, you can use regular)

Heat skillet or griddle. In a medium-sized bowl, add cornmeal, oil, sugar, and salt. Pour in the boiling water. Add enough milk to make a thick batter.  Ladle batter onto hot griddle. Cakes are ready to flip when the edges are set and start to crisp up. Flip and continue cooking until both sides are evenly browned.

Serve with butter, jam or honey.


One thought on “Puttin' on the grits

  1. Too cute! These look gorgeous and absolutely delicious…I’ve heard of jonnycakes but never made them but maybe I should try. And genius thinking with the bean milk…very flexiitarian of you!

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