By Rebecca Henderson
A friend, Susan, recently learned she would need to have hip replacement surgery. She has a limited support system, so several of her friends banded together to fix meals. I wanted to show her hospitality, so by preparing her an entree, I could certainly do that.
The gift of hospitality is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, so it must be important to God. In Titus 1, we’re told to be hospitable. Romans 12 tells us to show hospitality. And probably my favorite verse in the Bible that talks about hospitality is found in Hebrews 13:2, which cautions us against neglecting to show hospitality to strangers, because some people have entertained angels in that manner.
Plans were made to fix meals for Susan. My assignment was Shrimp ‘n Cheesy Grits. Not only does this taste phenomenal, it’s also super-easy to make. Shrimp ‘n Cheesy Grits not only travels well, it freezes well, two things that are always nice to know when fixing food to take to those who are recovering from an illness or surgery, or are mourning a loss.
Here’s my recipe for Shrimp ‘n Cheesy Grits:
Liberally oil the sides and bottom of a slow cooker. (I use Wesson oil.)
In a separate container, mix about 3 cups dry quick-cooking grits with about 3 cups of hot water (just from the spigot will be fine). Sometimes I use 2 cans of Campbell’s chicken broth instead of the water. (The chicken broth obviously adds calories; if someone is needing the extra nourishment those calories will provide, I use the broth.)
Pour the dry grits and liquid into the slow cooker; cook on high for 1 hour, checking and stirring every 15-20 minutes, since all slow cookers seem to cook at least a wee bit differently. If the grits get too dry, add some water.
Reduce heat to low; cook for another hour. Continue checking and stirring every 15-20 minutes or so. Just as before, if the grits become too dry, add some water.
Turn the slow cooker off, but don’t remove it from the container.
(Sidebar for the next ingredients: When I was young, my mother would occasionally make vegetable soup, using items she wanted rid of from the refrigerator. Leftovers of practically any vegetable would find itself in the mix. Vegetables I remember the most are tomatoes, potatoes, corn, green beans, dried beans, peas, carrot and celery sticks, and maybe part of an onion or part of a clove of garlic.)
Using the “vegetable soup” method, I get several kinds of cheese from my refrigerator. Whatever I have on hand works, but I usually add at least 4 cups of shredded cheese, (my favorite is Colby Jack or sharp cheddar) at least 1 package of cream cheese, and at least one other kind of cheese. Cottage cheese is also good, as is pimento cheese. Truly, I use what I have on hand. (If you have any block cheeses, cut the block into smaller pieces before adding to the slow cooker. This reduces your stirring time.) Stir the cheeses until they are melted; using a wooden spoon works best.
Here’s a picture of the cheeses I used for Susan’s Shrimp ‘n Cheesy Grits; you’ll note there are four.
Add 36 ounces frozen, cooked, and peeled shrimp. Using the same wooden spoon, stir until mixed. Don’t be concerned if the grits become watery, continue stirring until the water is absorbed by the grits and cheese.
Serve and enjoy! Here’s the finished product; truly they taste so much better than the picture indicates. I promise!
Make sure to immediately refrigerate the leftovers; unless you’re feeding a crowd, you’ll have leftovers, because this recipe usually makes between 12 and 14 cups, depending on the amount of cheese I use.
(If you want Shrimp ‘n Cheesy Grits to have just a bit of a “kick” to them, add salsa, to taste.)
Copyright by Rebecca Henderson, January 27, 2020. Used by permission.
Rebecca Henderson has over 40 years of volunteer leadership experience. She chaired the Sesquicentennial Commission for the City of Johnson City, Tennessee, which segued into her position as daily columnist of the “Today in Johnson City History Column” with the Johnson City Press.
Serving with Significance, a book for leadership level community volunteers, is her first book; her second is Thoughts on Turning Sixty-Five. She loves to read and has turned that passion, along with her writing skills, into freelance editing. She enjoys cooking and is considering sharing her favorite recipes in a cookbook.