Norm and I were fortunate this Independence Day to have a welcome visit from our kinfolk. They live way up North now and we don’t get to see them as often as we would like. Time has not softened the pang that I feel having a family that is scattered hither and yon. Only home can do that.
Life is only satisfying for me when I am comfortable with the notion of home. And the only way to make a home is with love, right? Sharing a meal is the most basic way to share life – I learned that from MawMaw. When she was teaching me to cook, I would often ask, “How did you make that?” She would answer, “With love.”
For our Independence Day reunion, I cooked up a batch of MawMaw’s greens (collards and turnips).
Yield: 6 servings
2 bunches greens
4 slices bacon
½ chopped red onion
1 chopped green onion
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 quarts vegetable broth or water (just enough to cover greens)
- Wash greens then strip the leaf from the stem by pinching the leaf and pulling it down the stem. Discard the stems (or save them to make vegetable broth).
- Chop greens into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Brown bacon over medium-high heat in a medium-sized pot. Remove from pot and drain off excess fat.
4. Lower heat to medium and sauté onions until they are transparent and begin to caramelize. (3-5 minutes)
5. Return greens and bacon to pot and toss with onions for about a minute.
6. Add broth or water to pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer for an hour over low heat.
They make a great side dish by themselves or over rice. I served them with a dish of crawfish etouffée and a lot of love.