I used to tell stories. I know it. I've been reading my old posts a lot the past few days. There was background. There was color. There were characters. There were plot twists.
Somewhere, I left that. I think I decided I need to post more than I needed to write.
I wrote a 75-page autobiographical thesis at age 17. Spent a summer on a mountain answering the Socratic method's basic tenet. "Know thy self."
I can do it again.
I remember. I remember Wayne talking about cookouts. I remember the 'you can't do that' challenge. Somewhere between stools one and five at the pub, a cultural gauntlet was thrown down. And I decided I could make collard greens and black-eyed peas.
After a few days of research, I decided on a course of action. I would take the recipe of another dude who looked liked me, channel my inner 86-year-old-black-grandmother, and pray.
I have been "the guy who makes the greens" since then.
Wayne took a bite of my greens. Then a bite of my black-eyed peas. Then he looked at me. Then he called his momma.
I don't know that I've ever been that proud.
I also don't know that I've ever had a singular moment in the kitchen like that.
It was one of the first moments when I received kitchen-respect.
I remembered how I did it with great precision...so I could do it again.
I have made collard greens many times. Dozens of times over the past few years.
Here's what happened today.
Trimming the Stems
Chopping the Greens
Chopping the Garlic
Putting it All in the Pot
Everybody's in the Pool
Chopping Mr. Ham Hock
You don't need to see the final pot for two reasons.
One, I've shown you what happens right up until that moment.
Two, I didn't take a picture, so DEAL; this was as much inner voyage to remember why I started this blog as it was any one recipe.
If you're lucky...and only if you're lucky...I'll take this attention to detail again soon.