Discovering greens

Blog PhotoLast summer, John introduced kale to our backyard garden line up. I found some nice recipes and discovered we like it and grew it again this year.  I made salads out of the young plants, braised it and used it in soups.

Last week I was in eastern Tennessee with the Faith UMC mission to the Appalachia Service Project.  The objective of the mission is to help people in need make their homes warmer, safer and drier.  My crew was assigned to a terrific family, and we were to help replace and insulate their kitchen floor. 

It was quickly apparent that the  matriarch of the family, Vonda, was a good cook based on the variety of kitchen gadgets she owned.  Naturally, my conversations with Vonda were mostly about cooking.  Also, her fiancée, Harold, enjoyed smoking/grilling and was quite proud of his talent.   So we planned a feast for Friday. 

I also persuaded Vonda to show me how to make greens like her grandma taught her as a child.  It's pretty amazing how well we got to know the family over the course of just  one week!

Here's my recollection of the authentic southern greens recipe...

  1. Boil water in a large, tall pot - about 1/3 full Add collard greens, ham hock, salt, vegetable oil and onion. 

  2. If your collard greens are sandy, rinse them twice.  Since we had Vonda's kitchen disrupted, she used pre washed, bagged greens.

  3. Set at a low boil for a couple of hours or until the meat is coming off the ham hock and the greens are tender.

  4. At this point add some cider vinegar and Tiger seasoning and cook a little longer.

While I wasn't watching, Vonda added some smoked turkey, pepper flakes and what appears to be some cabbage. 

Since the greens weren't ready by our lunch, she packaged them for me to bring home.  John and I just ate the last of them for dinner and I hope to try to re-create the recipe.

Now I'm on a hunt for Tiger seasoning.  Is it available in C-U?

This is a photo of Harold's BBQ chicken that we had for our lunch. 

Blog Photo

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