Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My first time cooking grits

Grits are a classic southern traditional meal. Every kid grows up with momma's good grits.
I however, did not have this experience in my northwestern childhood.
I stayed with a friend in McKinney, Texas just before going to my cousin's in Dallas for Thanksgiving this past year. The next morning her parents asked if I wanted eggs or grits for breakfast. I said eggs, and that I had not cared for the only other time I had eaten grits.

My friend's dad (who is African American) pipped up, "Honey, you are eating grits this morning! You have never had good grits unless you have had a true southern black man's grits."

He made it, and he was right...I LOVED it!
It reminded me of a higher quality cream of wheat, which is my all time favorite cereal.

Today I went to a new Whole Foods store in Tulsa, and I was hoping to buy in bulk, some cream of wheat. There was none at the store but they did have grits for $1.19 per pound.
I thought of the time in McKinney, and I thought grits would be similar to make. So I bought 3 pounds.

This evening as I got hungry, I decided to cook some grits. I approached it as if it were cream of wheat. I added about 2 cups of grits, and about 2.5 cups of boiling hot water, then I stuck it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
I blew on it then took a bite, and nearly choked on the grains. It was no where near done.
That's when I knew it would be best if I look up cooking directions online. Boy was I in for a shock!

Recommended 5 cups of water for 1 cup of grits, and cook at a simmer on the stove for 40-50 minutes.
I groaned at the directions, realizing I may have just gotten myself into some big trouble.

So I added a whole bunch more water, then stuck in in the microwave for 5 minutes. During that time I had a hunch this was about to become a funny story. So now I am documenting it.

7:35 Add several more cups of water.set microwave for 5 minutes

7:40 Stir and let it cool for 5 minutes.
7:45 Take a small bite. Still feels like swallowing dry sand. Add more water, set microwave for another 5 minutes

7:50 Stir and let cool for 5 minutes
7:55 Still sandy. 5 more minutes

8:05 Crunchy and dough like. Add more water, and 5 more minutes in microwave.

8:13 A lot softer, but still not pleasant. Very dough like. Add more water. Grits now about to over flow.
8:15 Get 2nd container to hold grits. Add even more water. Microwave 5 more minutes. 

8:20 Too hot!!! Put in freezer for 5 minutes.

8:30 Puuuuurfect. But way more food than I planned on making, for this "quick dinner" ha ha.

Miss Vickie

Miss Vickie is one of those personalities that even if you only have a 5 minute encounter with her in your entire life, you don't ever really forget her. She's lovable, and sweet, with a real southern style way. She is born and raised in Tulsa, and has an adorable "suthun drawl".

She is quick witted and hilarious. So many times she has made me gasp with laughter at an unexpected sarcastic remark, but she does it in such a way that no one ever has their feeling hurt around her.
My favorite kind of personality, is the one who can fill the room with laughter, with out teasing any particular individual to do so. And that's what Miss Vicky is.

She is a tiny little lady, standing at only about 4 foot 6 inches.

I met Vickie at my job, she has been working there for 3 years. One day I found out something interesting and kind of shocking about her. She is over 50 years old, and has never been on a date.

I asked her if that was by choice, as some women decide to stay single, and she said no, just that no man has ever asked her out. Again I was shocked, because of how much every person that meets her loves her.

I asked her if she would ever try online dating. She told me, "Well, I gots dis one of them cumpooders thingys up in my home. But I has had it fer tree yers with never ternin' it on."

Again she made me laugh out loud, when she told me that a cable repair guy had been out to her house, and while fixing her cable, he checked to see if the internet was working right. Vickie said he told her that she needed to leave the computer on for a while, because it hadn't been used in so long, it needed time to install updates.
Vickie said she was embarrassed to tell him, because he was so attractive, that she didn't know how to turn the computer off on her own. Several days later she paid one of her nephews to come over just to turn it off.

Growing up with a computer genius in the family, I have always lived in the shadows of my brother in the technology department. I don't know squat! And I didn't realize just how little I knew, until I moved away and didn't have him there to fix everything for me.

I have been going over to Miss Vickie's house to help her figure out how to use her computer, and it's made me feel oh ever so smart.
She didn't even know how to turn it on. When I told her, "Here, you just press this button." She was shocked, "You mean that's it?!" The second thing I showed was how to turn it off.

"You just move your little pointer thing over here to where it says, `Shut Down', then click it."

When the computer was off she laughed, "Tree yers I hasn'ts used dis, all cause I didn't know to press a button?!"

And her reaction to being introduced to Google was the best! She couldn't believe there was some thing that existed, that had all the answers. "Ooh ooh," she would exclaim, "What's a good price for a Hyundai? What date did Ronald Regan when he died? What was the name of Louis Armstrong's first wife? Oh my gosh, it can give driving directions too? Whaaat! It even knows directions if you only know the name of the place!"

I just can't wait until I introduce her to facebook, and show her what her childhood crush looks like now!

Travel Day 1 Part 2 (finally)

5/15 We had stopped for lunch that day, where we met with Pastor Fredrick's wife and family at an americanized restaurant. We got back in the van after lunch, and planned to continue driving for several more hours. But we actually only made it about 30 minutes. The van kept not being able to switch gears, and we were about to head up into very mountainous terrain. Pastor Israel did not want to make the trek with any kind of vehicle trouble.

Pastor Israel got off the main road, and was going to take the van to a friend in the area to help fix the problem. But as he made the turn on the dusty dirt road, the gear shift got stuck in neutral, and the van would not move.
Pastor Israel looked at Pastor Fredrick and smiled as he said, "My brothas and sistas, this is a God ordained car problem. Pastor, maybe now you take them to the place we had decided to skip this year."

Pastor Israel stayed in the van and talked on a cell phone, while Pastor Israel led us a few hundred feet walking down the road and told us that for the past 6 years of ORU teams, they all were taken to this place, but they had decided this year there was not time to go. Both pastors realized it must have been a God thing, that the van stopped working right outside next to the place they were planning to skip.

There was a sign that read, "Bible College". Several years ago, an ORU graduate named Tim Way, whom we'd already met back in the States, went to Uganda with the dream of starting a bible college. It took him many years of hardship, but it was now up and running with big names like Joyce Meyer, and Marilyn Hickey, coming at times to teach lessons.

 Pastor Israel and Fredrick were both graduates.

And come to find out, it was very much a God thing.
Isaiah and Chris both have dreams of long term work in Uganda. Isaiah want to be a missionary preacher, and Chris wants to open an elite boarding school for orphans.

During our visit, Isaiah talked to some of the teachers and higher management, that gave him contact info for how he could come teach at the college when he feels ready to.

 Chris was told about a man to talk to, whom we would stay with later in the trip, who owned a large piece of property that he was hoping to build an orphanage on. They said that man would really be helpful to launch both his and Chris' dream.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A some what late...Update

Life has been crazy busy, being back in the swing of things as an American college student.

I celebrated the 4th of July with friends, and went to a superb firework show at night.

 I've taken some big steps in getting things in order to ready my book for publishing. Very excited about that.

Summer school is half way through, and it's crazy to think that in just one month summer will be over! The heat is insane here in Oklahoma.

I've been discovering all the wonderful bike and nature trails Tulsa Parks has to offer.

I truly do intend to get back to blogging daily-ish. I will have more posts starting tommorrow!

I will share one funny Uganda tid bit for right now.

One of my friends asked me how the bug population was in Uganda. I did my best to describe it to her. Later on I showed her a photo and asked her to guess what it was. She said, "Oh, pretty sunset."

I corrected her, "No, that a light bulb."