Behold The Power Of Greens

My folks were partial to Collards, Mustard and Beat Greens. But we didn't mess with the hog, and back then, even the fowl. Still, my Pops was nice with his. I've moved on to using turkey wings mostly, these days. Anyway, Ari Weinzweig does the knowledge pm greens, and their stock, over at the Food Channel:

While most everyone in the South generally seems to like greens, there's no question that they play a particularly big role in African-American cooking in the region, and anywhere in the country, in fact, southern blacks moved to in large numbers.

Having learned a bit (I have a lot more to still learn) about the historical role of greens in the southern kitchen, I realized that all Ted and I were doing was unknowingly recreating what used to go on in the plantation kitchens: white masters wanted the cooked greens, but they ignored the potlikker. Slave cooks a) were understandably always working to provide food for their families and b) understood the high nutrient value of potlikker. So they happily drained it off the greens and used the broth to feed their own families.

Today it's worth having a bit of the potlikker just because it tastes so good. But I think it's also worth raising a shot glass of it in a respectful toast to the slave cooks who did the unglamorous work. They developed the roots of African-American eating the rest of us get to enjoy today.

Having read this, I'm sure someone will remark that there's nothing black about collards because their (white) family loves them too. Yes, we get that. No one's trying to leave you out. You don't have to be black to like them. Though they do tend to tighten those curls.