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Easter dishes bring back fond family memory

April 3, 2012

I have always loved Easter. It has long been one of my favorite holidays. As a good Southern belle, it "started" spring. Never mind what the calendar said –– spring, and wearing white, started with Easter. As long as I can remember, I got a new dress and shoes (and maybe even a hat) for church on Easter Sunday. That Sunday always seemed to dawn brighter than the rest –– maybe it was because I was up at the crack of dawn to see what the Easter Bunny brought and the annual sunrise service.
The choir would sing, Easter lilies were everywhere, and we would celebrate that empty tomb and the love it represented. After church meant one thing –– Easter lunch and egg hunting at Maw Maw and Paw Paw's house in the country. My pawpaw loved watching all of his grandchildren hunt eggs so much he even asked me once after I was an adult if I would paint a scene of it on his well house (sadly, I never did.) The kitchen would be full of noise, laughter, my mawmaw explaining that we would be ready to eat in "just a moment-o," and the smells of some of my very favorite foods in the world: ham, potato salad, green beans, baked beans, grit casserole, other various side dishes, coconut and caramel cake and lemon ice box pie. What a great day we would have. I called my grandmother and got her to share some of those recipes with me.
Now you can bring a little of my family's Easter lunch to your table with her recipe for Grits Casserole.
This would also work great for Spring brunches.

Grits Casserole

1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 stick butter/margarine
2/3 c. instant grits
1 1/2 c. water
roll of garlic cheese
2 eggs - separated

Cook the grits in the milk, water, and salt. Add the cheese and butter. Cook gently until the cheese melts. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture. Pour into greased casserole. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Ginnie Cody is a contributing columnist. Email her at ginniecody@gmail.com.

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