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Andie has lots of great recipes, but she’s on this list for one page: Cornbread – The “staff of life” in the south of my childhood. Then of course there’s what she told me in an email about grits:

The first time I ever heard about polenta was near the end of the war when my grandpa had two Italian POWs working on the farm. (Most people don’t know about that program the government had to replace farm workers with trustworthy POWs from Italy.) One of the men came to the back door of the kitchen and, in very broken English, complemented grandpa’s cook on the “polenta.” Miz Lilybelle Gibson was rather incensed and threatened him with her large wooden spoon and told him that her grits were not some “foreign muck” but good old “hom’ny” grits plain and simple.

I’ve tried, often unsuccessfully, to explain to people over the years that polenta and grits are similar but not the same. Polenta is simply ground corn that has not been treated with lime and is not as easily digestible as the ground hominy grits we know in the south. Of course most people are not as fanatic about it as me and either shrug their shoulders or roll their eyes when I try to make a point. Silly me. At my age (71) I think I have earned the right to be a bit pedantic at times.