It’s dark and rainy. It was dark and rainy yesterday before noon and then sunny and dry. It doesn’t look that hopeful today. It has also been a slow morning. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I just thought I’d have more going on by now and I don’t. The next thing I know it’s noon and I feel the distinct urgings of hunger, or rather a lunch time habit.

I decided to pull out the little container of spicy collard greens I made the other evening and eat some cold with a cold biscuit. Don’t bother trying to understand. It’s a childhood memory. A southern childhood memory at that. There I am lying in bed in Baton Rouge one evening, telling my father that I was hungry and he brings to me, in bed, a cold biscuit with cold turnip greens in it and I thought it was like candy. I am certain he felt it would cure me of ever asking for food so late in the evening again. I found out later it was a favorite of his. I didn’t know such a thing was done. He seemed delighted that I liked it. I am not sure, but I think we sort of bonded then and there.

Collards grow well in Maine. They really come into their own in the cooler late season, even into frosts. Here’s how to fix them:

Pick a nice bunch about 3 inches at the stems and strip the leafy greens from the stems. Wash them well. Boil a big pot of water and immerse the greens for a minute or two. This “blanching” removes any bitterness that might be characteristic of some of the older leaves. Drain. Lay the wet collards on a large cutting board and with a chef’s knife cut the greens cross ways into bite sized portions. In a large saucier pan or skillet or pot or whatever you like that has a cover, place a large chopped white onion along with a little olive oil. Purists will insist on bacon grease or salt pork, and I don’t have a problem with that but I was in a hurry. When the onion becomes limp and just before transparency, dump in the chopped greens, some black pepper, a little salt, a small minced really hot dried red pepper or a dash of grounded cayenne. I used some Tabasco Chipotle sauce as well. That stuff is wonderful on anything anywhere. Add some liquid. The blanching water will do or just water or stock. I also add a T or so of some kind of vinegar.  It takes things o another more stable orbit.  Cover and cook until tender. Taste for seasoning and heat.

You really want to live do this as well. Corn bread:

Mix together 1C flour, 1C yellow stone ground corn meal, 1T baking powder, 1t salt. In a measuring cup pour in 1C milk, 1/3 C maple syrup, 1/4 C melted shortening (olive oil can be used), two eggs. Whisk together well and pour into the dry stuff and mix well but do not beat.

Pour into about a dozen muffin cups, or one greased 10″ pan and put into a 450? oven on a middle or slightly higher rack and bake for about 15 minutes or until the top is nice and golden brown.

You don’t really need anything else to eat but this combination goes well with pork chops, ham, even hotdogs. Don’t eat them all. Leftovers cold with a cold biscuit or piece of corn bread is the best treat. But I already said that.

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