Thursday, November 22, 2007

Killer Collards

B. went to his sister's, in Broward, for Thanksgiving. Although I'm staying home and chilling out (call me a party pooper, but nowadays I look at Thanksgiving as 4 free days off in a row), I did make an enormous batch of collard greens for B. to take to dinner. I started with around 5 lbs. of greens, which is about a cubic yard of loose, washed and trimmed leaves. These cooked down to not even a gallon and a half. I had to cook them in two separate batches in a large soup kettle.

I decided to make them a little differently from the way I usually do. In all, I used four smoked ham hocks; one package of lean, center-cut bacon, cooked in the microwave and chopped; one onion, chopped; about two tablespoons of crushed red pepper flakes; and some salt. They came out great. I chopped them after they were cooked rather than before. It was a lot easier, given the volume of fresh vs. cooked greens. (I saw in my search for collard recipes on the Web that there's even something called a "collard chopper" for chopping the cooked greens. [I was unable to find a picture of one.] Come to think of it, my grandmother may have had one.) (Here's an interesting collard greens webpage.)

B.'s sister also wanted us to bring macaroni and cheese (for 12) (on one day's notice) (!), so I bought a big party size package (4 lbs. 12 oz.) of Stouffer's frozen macaroni and cheese and baked that up nice and golden-brown. (I've never heard of macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving, but maybe the kids asked for it.) Despite cheating on the macaroni, I was up last night cooking till 3 a.m.

[UPDATE: I talked to B. They had eaten dinner. He said everyone loved the collards and the macaroni and cheese. That was nice to hear.]

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