I know that most people probably don’t think of collard greens as a part of their holiday table, but for my family they will be made every Thanksgiving from now on. This dish was served last night to our dear friends Mike and Naomia, under threat of bodily injury from N. herself. (Seriously, she threatened me!) The last time I made these greens, M. was out of town, and I was told that he, and all of my readers, needed to try the “best greens she’d ever had”. (High praise for a girl from Mississippi, especially when talking to an Irish boy from California.)
I’m all for special request meals, especially for family and friends. They give me a chance to make something that’s guaranteed to make someone smile, and smile we did, but they were bittersweet at best.N. was one of the first people my then girlfriend introduced me to when I moved to Texas in 2005. She made me feel welcome in a new place, has always been there with a bright smile and a hug when needed. she was the first person in Texas we told about our engagement and stood at our wedding with as many tears on her ebony face as we had on ours. We were the first to know of her engagement, and were at her wedding as well. We’ve been through a lot together in a short time, but it has been good, all of it.
By the time Naomia reads this entry, she will be with her family for Thanksgiving. From there she will be moving to her new duty station in Japan. When we said goodbye last night, it was for real.
In my life I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. In the military it’s just a fact of life, but it’s rare that someone manages to become such a part of your family’s life that it’s hard to imagine life without them in it.
This is one of those times.
So, Miss Naomia, I wish you well. Remember that no matter where your travels take you, there will always be a plate of greens waiting for you on our holiday table. I’ll even make sure Mike has some rice to go with it. You’re family, and family always has a place in our home.
Oh, and tell your mother we said hello.
This recipe calls for frozen greens, simply for ease of preparation. If using fresh greens, use two or three bunches, wash well, remove stems, chop and boil in salted water for approximately 15 minutes, or until wilted well, then proceed as directed below.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
The only addition I can think of for this method would be a splash of lemon juice. Pecorino Romano cheese might be nice as well, but I honestly haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for certain if the combination would work or not.
Links to other recipes like this:
- Greens, from Diary of a food Whore
- Mustard Greens, from Kalyin’s Kitchen
- Braised Winter Greens with Chickpeas, Onions and Garlic, from Orangette
- Don’t Tell Nana, from A finger in every pie