Geechie Boy Mill Recipe
As we begin transitioning into autumn, we start to crave dishes like a big, warm bowl of chili or a skillet filled with shrimp and grits. With help from the Johnsmans at Geechie Boy Mill on Edisto Island, South Carolina, we are able to bring that familiar feeling of comfort to life using their blue grits. Read on to learn more about Geechie Boy Mill and for our Indigo Cornbread Fries recipe.
Geechie Boy Mill was named after Raymond L. Tumbleston, a legendary local farmer known as “Geechie Boy”. As a nod to his name, the Johnsmans strive to continue Raymond’s legacy and recognize all the work that he did for the state and local community for over 40 years.
Good old-fashioned milling is what sparked Greg Johnsman’s interest in the production of grits and cornmeal in the first place. He purchased and restored a 1945 mill and separator to not only make goods, but also to educate the public about the history of milling. Over time, Greg and wife Betsy’s family-owned farming operation started to flourish. Today they also produce heirloom vegetables, including colorful cauliflower to Edisto sweet onions. They make a dynamic duo and work hard to preserve a piece of Southern history.
Today, the Johnsmans have four fully operating mills at their farm, including an 1847 mill (one of the earliest American-made mills—so rad!). They harvest heirloom corn and grind the batch until it’s milled into grits, which are then packaged and shipped to individuals and restaurants like us at Lazy Dog.
Our seasonal menu features two dishes that incorporate Geechie Boy Mill blue grits, our Shrimp and Grits and our twist on the classic, Southern-favorite cornbread: Indigo Cornbread Fries. Pair them with our Wild Boar Chili, and you’re golden. For those who want to try this at home, here is our recipe for your chili’s perfect dipping companion!
Indigo Cornbread Fries
You will need:
2 wt oz soft butter
2 wt oz sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 wt oz blue cornmeal flour
2 wt oz flour, all-purpose
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup corn kernels
1. Whip butter + sugar together in a bowl with mixer until light in color + fluffy.
2. In a separate bowl, mix eggs + milk together until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flours, baking powder + salt together.
4. Mix + whip: Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter/sugar, add 1/2 of the egg/milk mixture (whip), add another 1/3 of flour mix (whip), add final 1/2 of egg/milk mix (whip). Finish with final 1/3 of flour mix + whip until combined.
5. Fold in corn + pour into a greased 8” x 8” pan.
6. Bake at 375°F for 7 minutes. Rotate + bake an additional 7-8 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven + allow to cool completely.
8. Pop in the fridge.
9. Unmold from pan and cut into “fries” that are about 3.5” long by 0.75” wide.
10. Fry in 375°F oil for 30 seconds. Drain well + season with salt before serving. Enjoy!
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words by: Archel Arindaeng
photos by: Geechie Boy Mill + Rebecca Simms