Friday, August 19, 2011

Queenie Would Be Proud

She taught me to make collards the Southern way, except I use bacon instead of fatback.  When I saw huge bunches of collards in market this week for $2, I snatched them up. 

To make the greens, I fry a little or a lot of bacon (depends how much meat we've had recently).  Throw the washed, chopped greens in on top.  Stir.  Add some salt - but be careful, the greens cook down a lot and I have oversalted many pots of greens.  Add a bit of sugar, something spicy like red pepper flakes or hot sauce, and some vinegar.  Cook, covered, for 10-60 minutes.  Queenie had something she called "pepper oil," which was a gallon jug of white vinegar and tiny hot peppers.  She would lace the greens with that pepper oil.

We have been feasting. 

fried Louisiana Boston blue fish (catfish was not at hand)
collard greens
cheese grits
grilled okra

(sigh of satisfaction)

Then, at Genevieve's special request,

black eyed peas (cooked simply and until very soft with salt, butter, and milk)
more collards
And there are still collards in my fridge.  I miss Queenie.


Jennifer Jo said...

Who is Queenie? I think I'm missing something.

Deanna Beth said...

I need to know, too, though I'm picturing an iconic African-American domestic servant of some sort, but I can't place from what work.

Polly said...

That's the stuff of my childhood!!!!

Margo said...

oops, off in my own little world: Queenie was the Af-American cook at the farm where my husband I volunteered for some months after we were married. I learned a lot about cooking from her.

Kay S said...

I wish I could get the whole family to eat collards. As it is, my daughter and I love to eat them - but only when we can fix the whole plant with a high proportion of the new tender growth from the top. Chopped, and sauteed with bacon grease till bright green, they are delicious. Alas, the CSA I use only sends us the tougher outer leaves for longer cooking.

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Soul food! {Sigh}... cheese grits, my weakness!