One of the first people I met that fits the category of extraordinary Mississippi farmers and producers is Georgeanne Ross, who calls herself The Original Grit Girl.
The grits she mills every two weeks in Oxford are so good they are served in more than 130 restaurants from New York to Washington state.
She uses an antique mill her husband rebuilt and buys corn from only one farmers co-op in Houston (Miss.). She is so passionate about what she does she will not sell to anyone who she thinks might hold on to her precious grits too long, they have to be fresh to be the best.
The Original Grit Girl grits and polenta are available at the Ocean Springs Saturday morning farmer's market and should be coming to other markets soon. She makes grits, polenta, corn meal and masa.
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ORIGINAL GRIT GIRL RECIPE FOR CREAMY POLENTA
4 cups chicken stock
Salt to taste
1 cup polenta
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup cream cheese
Heat water, lightly seasoned with salt, to a boil over high heat, whisk in the polenta until fully incorporated. Lower heat and simmer, add butter and cook for about 30 minutes. Finish by stirring in the cream cheese, taste and add salt as needed.