Here are my basics: 1) Buy only stone ground real grits. Never, ever purchase instant grits, quick grits or any grits that are the consistency of cream of wheat. As the late and brilliant Lewis Grizzard said (paraphrased), "Southerners only serve lumpy, unsalted, instant grits, without butter to yankees as revenge for burning Atlanta." 2) Salt the cooking liquid generously. 3) Use only real butter as your fat. The cooking ratio is 1 parts grits to 2 parts liquid. The liquid can be plain water, broth or stock. I always use plan water for breakfast grits, shrimp stock for shrimp and grits, chicken broth for cheese grits, etc. For a breakfast for two or three people, bring 1 cup of water to the boil and salt it to taste. Add 1/4th cup grits. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally to prevent lumps (stone ground grits rarely lump). Simmer until the grits have absorbed about 90% of the water (so they don''t dry out on the plate). Stir 1/3rd stick of butter into the pot. Serve with additional butter and black pepper. I grew up on the NC/SC line, in the eastern part of the state. The local tradition in that area is to chop fresh, home grown tomatoes and cucumbers onto your plate, with soft scrambled eggs and spicy country sausage. You mix all of that into the grits and eat everything with a big spoon in one hand and a home made biscuit or fry bread in the other, which aids in pushing everything onto the spoon. Then, you eat the biscuit or bread with honey or grape hull preserves. A breakfast like that will certainly carry you to lunch!