Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turnip greens, Thanksgivukkah eve and more

I'm taking a break. It's almost midnight. I wanted to do a little so tomorrow would run smoother.
Part of housecleaning involves looking at Facebook updates and checking my email periodically.

Earline, a woman I grew up with, could whoop up as much noise as the rest of us teenagers at Northside Baptist when I was a child. She now runs a tight kitchen. Her Thanksgiving meal is ready to roll out of the fridge and sideboard, sing, dance and put on a little show before calmly lying on the table for a perfect Norman Rockwell photo. I should have know she would have grown up into a trouble maker.

Then I remembered the large bunch of turnip greens and large bunch of mustard greens on the back porch.

Well I have been washing those greens for about two hours. The turnip greens looked clean but they had dirt. About 8 rinses did the job. The worse part was - bugs. Yes, little bugs. They could have come from my backyard. The weather is cool and I stored them on the back porch. However they are fresh from the store, $2.99 a bunch.

Bugs are a good sign. No pesticide. Bugs are disgusting if they find their way on your fork. No matter how much protein.

I thought to myself, all this Thanksgivukkah in the news. Those latkes sound tricky but are they as hard to prepare as greens. I know, an 82 year old woman put her recipe in the paper. Sooner or later, I'm going to make some latkes. I already know we are the sour cream folks. No apple sauce but I'm sure the ketchup will make it to the table. I've eaten a version of latkes all my life. A hillbilly version, my mom is from Southern Appalachia. It's a potatoe pattie fried in l--d which is decidedly not kosher. No wonder they have the lovely name, tater splatter.

My uncle was a Seventh Day Adventist and did not eat pork. He and my aunt lived with my grandmother who was a member of the Holiness church. My grandmother said you could talk her into anything but don't tell her to do anything. She served pork as often as she could. How dare they be too good for pork.

People often wonder what gives with pork, chicken and Southerners. It's simple. A cow was too valuable to eat. When it came time to butcher a cow, it was sold. Pigs have huge litters. A cow has one baby at a time.

Well back to latkes. I love the touch in the recipe where she prefers to use russet potatoes and she - No simple drumroll, we need the loud clang of cymbals. - dries the shredded potatoes with a tea towel. But mind you, not too much. I can imagine her poor daughter taking her to some small Southern town with a redneck Jewish grocery that has the right potatoes. This is the South and I am sure that store has existed if it does not exist today.

There will probably be a nostalgic NPR story sooner or latter about Soloman's Southern Fried Delicatessan having its doors reopened by a young couple from Poughkeepsie who want to revisit the past. I can see the young couple now selling the store after a few months, these senior citizens tell them so many stories of Sam Soloman and his family, they wonder if these people are zombies. Zombies that will kill you will stories that run on forever and always, I mean always end in a preposition.

Now I haven't told the scariest part of my greens cleaning. The mustard greens looked really clean. I cut off the roots and pull out a core to the group that looked brown and yucky. The I pulled stray roots and weeds. Weeds in your greens, even a bug on your fork pales to a weed. Then, spooky music please, I found a live ladybug.

Anyway, the dirt was horrendous. I have posted a white flag and they are currently soaking. Those expensive bags of chopped, just pour it in the pot and stew seem like such a good idea now. In the newspaper, a woman commented that it did not matter if the latkes came from the grocer or was freshly prepared. Right now greens from a can sound good to me.

Any way, its time for me to stop typing. It's past midnight. Those mustard greens are not going to clean themselves and I need to peel the turnips. Break a fingernail Earline. Wink Wink - Just kidding. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hannukah for those who celebrate. Have a blessed day.

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