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Encountering Collard Greens

| 11/17/2014 3:15:00 PM

I have for many years been aware that collard greens are a staple food here in the south. Even when we lived in St. Louis we had friends who swore chitterlings (or as they pronounced it, “chitlins”) and collard greens were the food of the gods, and invited us over to try some on several occasions. I knew what chitterlings were and had no desire to eat them – despite the fact that I do enjoy natural casing sausages. Somehow there was, at least in my mind, a world of difference between a kielbasa and a pile of guts on a plate. I assumed that collard greens were similar to chard, kale or beet tops: all of which I have grown, cooked and enjoyed.

While having our monthly Dinner on the Ground (indoors) Feast and Fellowship at church this past weekend, a fellow gardener was commenting how his collard greens had just gone crazy this year: They were still growing strong despite it being November and us having already had one hard frost. He didn’t know what to do with them all. He looked at us with hope and expectation in his eyes, “Would we like some?”

Marie said, “Sure: we like greens, we eat them all the time.”

“Great! I’ll go get you some,” and he ran for the door.

I called after him, trying to say that he didn’t need to do it NOW … but he was already out of range. The man was obviously desperate!

Since I don’t have permission to use his name, we’ll just call this generous fellow ‘Mr. Farmer.’ His wife, Mrs. Farmer, was still standing next to us, smiling after him, “It’s OK, we don’t live far from here, he’ll be back in just a couple of minutes. He’s not about to miss out on this dinner.”

11/18/2014 8:53:16 AM

Allan, wow, those are some huge collard leaves. I didn't know they grew that big. I can't say that I've ever eaten collard greens before. I'm definitely with you on the chitlins'. I couldn't get past the smell. I don't get natural casing sausage either. I buy it bulk and eat patties made from it. Have a great collard greens eating day.

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