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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pass the Collard Greens, Please.

Mike and I just returned from a trip to see extended family out in Kentucky. We had a wonderful time. Who knew you could do that in Kentucky??? I was going to start this blog with a description of our trip, but decided instead, just to share my experience at the family pot luck...I'll follow up with our actual trip in a later entry.

On Saturday, we had the big family reunion. I had been forewarned by Mike about Southern edicate when eating. You are to only take what you have every intention to eat. Do NOT leave ANYTHING behind on your plate unless you would like to receive a ration of shit from the older people around you. I had been warned because of my tendency to pile food high on my plate, sit down, then suddenly realize that I am not an obese person, but a small woman with a stomach the size of a walnut. So, the family reunion was a potluck, meaning that everyone brought something that THEY like to make. Their favorite southern dish. When Mike and I got in line to fill our plates, I remembered what he told me. I was excited to try different things, because that is just what I do when it comes to food. I grabbed some mashed potatoes, corn, ham, a corn bread roll, and of course, collard greens. The last time I had collard greens, they were cooked in a style that my parents prepared green beans and spinach: with vinegar, bacon, a little sugar, salt, and pepper. Yummy (to me, anyway). Um, that's not how these were prepared. And the corn? It was not your typical sweet corn with just butter. Nope. And what two items did I grab the most of? The corn and the collard greens, of course! I had dug into my ham, and as I ate, I swore I was smelling some sort of rancid fish or garbage. I was horrified that the smell was coming off of my plate. I took a bite of the corn. Ugh. It had been cooked with country ham and country bacon and back fat. Sick. Not a mixture of flavors that agreed with me, so I took big bites of potatoes with every bite of corn. To my horror, yet again, I had realized that when the corn was gone, the potatoes were gone, and the ham was gone, I still was able to smell the garbage-esque fishy smell. Whatever it was, it was still on my plate. I had to go get more potatoes (thank God there were more left). With every bite of collard greens, I took a huge bite of potatoes. I chewed my food like a kid who was given sushi for the first time. You know, real fast chewing while stomping your feet quietly under the table real fast as if you were trying to run away, only you're stuck sitting in your chair while your family eagerly watches with joy that you're eating their food not realizing that at any moment you might just gag and allow your food to come right back up. You know what I'm talking about. We've all been there. Only we were there when we were children, not grown adults. I ate as fast as I could and got those collard greens down so quick. I couldn't wait for them to digest so I could get them out of my body. And then of course, when I finally finished, I was asked by Dan, "What did you think of those collard greens? Pretty good, huh?" Thank god I answered with a polite answer of, "Oh, yes!" because Aunt Thelma who was sitting right next to him was the one who made them. She, eagerly, proceeded to explain how they were made. Wish I didn't know. No worries, I will not be sharing the recipe on this blog. Following that experience, I had one last thing on my plate. The corn bread muffin. I broke it open and took a small bite. That was enough for me. I had already completely tortured myself and took one (or two) for the team by not being wasteful or a complainer. To the trash the hockey puck muffin went. When I went to the trash and looked at everyone else's plate, Mike was right. Mine ended up being the only one with something left on the plate. At that moment, I honestly didn't give a shit.

Later that night, while Mike and I lay in bed, several hours after I had had my meal, I just moaned, "Collard Greens." It's all I could think to say, because that's what my breath smelt like and my mouth tasted like. I suppose I could've simply had said, "Ass." It, too, would've easily had described what was in my body.

Collard Greens + week old saved up country ham juice = disgusting torture.

Ha ha, there's the recipe.

You're welcome.

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