Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bitter Greens

Last night my mom cooked dinner for the first time since she came down with pneumonia. So, I think sometime in early February. She'd been pretty sick. Apparently she'd had about enough of my cooking and damn it I'm a good cook, but mom is old school. OK, Old School and from North Carolina. In short, Southern cook, that happens to have freaking skinny genes. (Which is just plan not fair!) At 70 something she has a right to be old school, but sometimes cooking for her can be really difficult.

Last night she wanted pork chops and greens and apparently she wanted nothing to do with anything I would choose to fix. She made real old school pork chops, fried in a bit of bacon grease. Now I love pork chops, heck, who am I kidding, I love pork. I won't lie, I was looking forward to having the pork chops. But when I came into the kitchen for some sweet tea I saw the greens. At first I thought she'd stopped at the market on here way home from her volunteer work at the elementary school. (She's just started back)

I was wrong. Very wrong.

This was not collards or chard which are very common at our house if I was not mistaken she's been out in the yard pulling up Chicoria, "dandelion greens!"

Wow we haven't had those in a long time but here they were ready to go. I knew she didn't get these at the market, but she'd been out in the yard. I was a bit concerned cause I knew she was gonna do them just like she does collards or chard but these things are BITTER. So I let her. Being mom she would never give into the fact that I might be right about something. So when it came time for me to put them on my plate I just drizzled them with a bit of olive oil, a dash of wine vinegar and pepper and ate them first.

She took a bite and stopped and I just looked at her. "Ok," she says to me, "I'd forgotten how bitter they could be. How would you do them?"

"Heck mom." I said, "This is when I'd totally do them Old School ya know? I'd saute 'em in a pan with bacon and onion, or garlic and red pepper something to just take that bitter edge off and then sprinkle them with wine vinegar."

"Hmmm," she says, "That might be a pretty good idea, next time you do them."

So next time, I will.

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