Friday, January 15, 2010

Collard Greens

Yesterday, we finally had a break from the frigidity, with temperatures soaring up to 50 degrees! Like many others, I decided to go to the car wash to rid my car of road salt. I waited patiently as those in line before me drove through the wash. When the car in front of me drove in, I moved ahead to the kiosk, entered my code, and continued to wait. This particular car wash dries your car as you exit and I like that. The blow dry part is always my favorite part of the hair salon experience, and I like it for my Honda as well--prevents streaks and water spots.

The light turned green for me to enter, but as the car ahead of me was still being dried, I waited (a few seconds) for it to finish so I didn't splash water on their clean, dry car. After I finished my wash and was enjoying the drying process, I saw that the person behind me was not waiting until I finished and was going to spash on me. Oh well. Then she blew the horn. I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw her make a gesture for me to move along. Because I had almost 60 seconds left on the very visible drying timer, I ignored her. Then she honked again, a little more insistently this time. Because I continued to ignore her and finish drying my car, she started really getting aggressive, laying down on her horn and gesturing wildly, all while her car was being washed. I wasn't slowing her progress in any way, so why was she so bent out of shape that I was still drying the rear end of my car?

Sigh. . .and my morning inspirational study had just been on the subject of patience and how patience is an active, positive manner, not merely a passive thing. Maybe the honking, gesturing woman needed more vegetables in her diet, specifically greens. Collard greens have an amazing nutrition profile.

Collard Greens
1/4 lb. smoked meat such as ham, salt pork, ham hocks, turkey legs
2 cups water
2 - 3 lbs. collard greens

Place water and meat in a very large stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, tear or cut away the very large stems from collard leaves, chop or tear them into bite size pieces, and place into a sink full of cold water. Swish the water around and let it settle before lifting out the greens. If you feel any grit in the bottom of the sink, drain and rinse sink, and refill with fresh water. Continue until there is no more sand or grit.

Add collards to the pot, cover and cook for about 5 minutes; then add more greens, continuing this process until all the greens have been added. Cook the collards, covered for 20 to 30 minutes, until desired tenderness. Do not overcook.

Serve with salt, pepper, and hot sauce or vinegar. And don't forget the cornbread.

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