Thursday, September 13, 2012

Soylent Greens.


Greens. I hated them as a child. I felt as if they were some alien torture device used to put the fear in children. I ate pretty much most things as a child including dog biscuits and rusty nails (long story) but greens made me unhappy. I didn't have the sort of mother that would make me sit at the table until I ate everything off my plate like some deranged dinner table prison guard. No, my mother figured that since I ate pretty much everything else off the table that the fact that greens were my kryptonite was okay by her. It wasn't that I hated vegetables. I loved corn from a can with lots of butter and pepper and green bean casserole made from cans. Oh and creamed corn from a can as well. Except for the occasional French dressing smothered salad we really didn't do too much in the way of fresh vegetables. Even our potatoes came out of a box.

Once I made a giant batch of mashed potatoes and set up a stand outside my house. I thought the idea was brilliant. Everybody loves mashed potatoes so why not start up a mashed potato stall in the cul-de-sac? My mashed potato wagon had become one of Woodstock Georgia's first food trucks. Cheap bastards. Surprisingly not one single customer. Where else could you get a room temperature cup of barely mixed potato flake paste? Tell me? Where? No where. I was way ahead of my time I guess. I ended up building a potato glue tower and sat across the lawn throwing rocks at it.

Anyways, I love greens now. Stewed collard greens are one of my favorites. I like corn off the cob and fresh green beans. My mashed potatoes come from the ground (well, actually the market). Sure, I add bacon to most vegetables but the sentiment is still there. Bacon just happens to be the party hat to go with the collard green party dress. Know what I mean?

Southern Collard Greens

1 1/2 quarts water
1 1/2 pounds ham hocks (or 1 lb. of diced bacon)
4 pounds collard greens, rinsed and trimmed
1 medium onion, diced (Vidalias if you can get them)
6 dashes of Crystal hot sauce
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper tt

Place the water and the ham hock in a large pot with a tight lid. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add the collards, onion, and hot sauce. Simmer covered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Shred the meat off of the ham hock and return to the pot. Season to taste. That's it. Deliciously simple. xo

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