Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Dumb New Year's Day Question



Whoa! This ad from a 1928 magazine made me do a double take. I flipped back to the page several times.

How many years older will I be next New Year's Day?

Well, God willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be another year older, right? And you will be too?

Of course I get it--if I drink Postum instead of coffee then I'll be younger than otherwise, that's what the ad is trying to say. 

If I give up this and give up that, I'll age more slowly. If I do this and don't do that, ditto.

But, in January? The month that follows Christmas?

As Abbie Graham says in Time Off and On, "I am not wholly committed to January. I do not entirely trust it as a month." Can I at least wait until Easter's carrot cake is made, frosted with cream cheese, and nibbled, savoring each bite?

But I'm willing to approach this question from another tack. How many wonderful healthy things can I cook in January? 

Lots of things, beginning with the traditional New Year's Day dish of Collards!

  
Say you don't like collards? Maybe you'll like my recipe that is an old Gourmet magazine one:

 
I skip the bacon now and jump straight to cooking chopped onions, any color. Then I stir a tablespoon of brown sugar into the onions and caramelize them a little, stir in a good sprinkle of dried hot red pepper flakes--have you tried this brand?


 I get them from Amazon and they are amazing!

Then I add a little apple cider vinegar and a box of good chicken broth. You've already washed your collards, of course. Triple washed them because who wants to get any grit in their collards?



 Cut the toughest part of the stems out, bunch and slice them and add to the hot pot and toss and wilt and slow cook all afternoon, add salt and pepper and you have one fine mess of greens and pot liquor that will put strength and vigor in your body. 



 Don't believe me, just read here!

Just don't be like Fred Sanford and eat them when they're eight days old. They don't last that long in our house.

On New Year's Day we'll have a pork loin roast with sauerkraut (sharing an extra one with family), black-eyed peas, and Pioneer Woman's Stuffed Baked Potatoes, and some Cranberry Jalapeno Relish. And collards, naturally, with a spoonful of my hot pepper vinegar over them.




What are you having for New Year's Day?

Blessings in 2020, dear friends and family! And all kidding aside, I wish for all of us to be as young as healthily possible next New Year's Day. 


 



  







44 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Dewena!

    My hubby would enjoy the collard recipe, but I'm not so sure about me. I've never been a fan of cooked spinach or swiss chard which seems a similar dish, and I've learned to eat them and somewhat enjoy. So we may have to try your lovely recipe. I think the hot pepper vinegar would make it all go down nice.

    Wishing you a beautiful first day of this new year...
    Brenda xox

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    1. Hmm, if you don't really enjoy cooked greens you might have trouble with collards. But hot pepper vinegar is definitely a must with it or dried beans too.

      And a wonderful January First to you too, Brenda!

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  2. Your New Year's Day meal sounds fit for a king! I would enjoy every bit of that, including the collards. I love most any kind of greens. Hubby is working his 12 hour shift today. I went out to breakfast with a friend and soon I'm going to bundle up and go for a walk in the State Park. It is closed today, so there won't be a soul out there - at least not in cars. I'm looking forward to the fresh air and solitude. Brian won't be home for dinner, but I'm making chicken fajitas tonight and he can take them to work tomorrow. Happy New Year and many blessings to you and RH!

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    1. I figured you would like it, Melanie. I hope your walk in the park is lovely. And my husband would be right there enjoying those chicken fajitas. Why is it that Mexican food always sounds so good after Christmas? We watched an IG storie last night where they were preparing burritos with all the fixings and it looked so good! May have to change our New Year's Day meal to Mexican next year.

      A wonderful year to you and Brian!

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  3. I'm not that crazy about cooked greens, although your recipe really sounds good, so I'm game to try, especially because of the health benefits.

    Have a great 2020 ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Oh Lorraine, dear, there are too many other wonderful healthy things that you probably like to make yourself try collards. After all, you live where there is beautiful citrus and you'll be getting the early strawberries soon there and then blueberries after that. I can't remember if you have any citrus trees in your beautiful garden but it seems like I remember you have an avocado tree, which would be the height of luxury to me. I could eat one every day!

      A wonderful 2020 to you, dear friend!

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  4. Planning on a Plant Bases diet, not Vegan. I don't like the word Vegan. Reminds me of my hippy dippy days.But I don't think I'll be cooking collard green, yet.  😜

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    1. Were you a hippie, Christine? I can't picture you as one! My goodness, so many of you don't like collards. You don't know what you're missing!

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  5. So far I've had cereal and cheese and crackers. I wish I liked to cook, but cooking for one is just no fun. Your meal sounds lovely.
    Brenda

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    1. I'm afraid I would feel that way too, Brenda, if I was only cooking for myself. There might be a lot of frozen dinners in my freezer.

      A wonderful New Year to you and your fur babies!

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  6. Your meal for today makes me wish I was in your neck of the woods today. I swear I’d stop by uninvited with a tin cup in hand and puppy eyes ;).

    At the moment I’m making some ‘detox’ soup I saw on a blog today, although that’s not for dinner. I’m just going to put some meatballs and mozzarella on some rolls and call it a day. Nothing traditional about that but it’s easy, and after our night last night along with a looong bike ride today I earned it 😉.

    Happy New Year Dewena! Hope it’s everything you wish for and more ❤️

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    1. You'd always be invited, Doreen! And if you brought along some of your Christmas cookies we'd be doubly happy. I saw that you must have had a fun night on New Year's Eve! You and the other redheads! I've also enjoyed watching Sarissa's New Year's celebrations. Your meatball and mozzarella sounds yummy. We'll be eating the Southern traditional New Year's Day dinner here but I have a real craving for Tex-Mex soon. After that I'm going to try to get back on the good old Mediterranean food.

      Happy New Year to you and the Fisherman, Doreen!

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  7. Can you believe I've never had collard greens? I've never even seen them in the stores around here...ever. You meal sounds lovely though, today we're all about leftovers! Too tired to cook after a very late night. Or should I say a very early morning! All the best in 2020!!

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    1. Hi Kim, I bet you don't get okra up there either, or stone ground grits or Benton country ham. Come down South, girl, and we'll treat you right!

      But I know I would fall in love with your part of the country too. It sounds lovely! Happy New Year, dear Kim!

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  8. my Auntie Mabel from NY used to swear by Postum. and she was always very healthy! I wonder now... LOL.
    I tried it once and thought it awful! so I'll be whatever age the new year wants me to look like I guess. this post was right next to your beautiful face with BreeBree and James Mason... which I LOVE!!! now THAT's what I call aging the way it should be. happiness shining in your face... holding two adorable fur babies. your New Year's dinner is fantastic! I had creamy potato soup. filling and comfy but not very traditional I'm afraid. I ditto Brenda's (Cozy Little House) comment!

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    1. Oh my dear Tam, if beauty was judged by the happiness one felt holding beloved fur babies then I would be the most gorgeous woman in the world! Meanwhile I'll just pretend I am and thank you for your sweet comment!

      I love creamy potato soup!

      Happy New Year from one gorgeous woman to another! Giggle, giggle!

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  9. Happy New Year, Dewena. I've never eaten collard greens - are they similar to kale or Swiss Chard? We had a big dinner for the two of us last night, so tonight we ate leftovers - seafood casserole and polenta. We went to our daughter's house for brunch this morning so we weren't very hungry at all.

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    1. Lorrie, they are maybe a little similar to both but more like turnip greens. Have you every had them? And maybe a little bit of the flavor of broccoli in them too. They're best in the fall after frost touches them.

      Lorrie, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that anything you cook is scrumptious! And looks beautiful too. I bet brunch at your daughter's was wonderful.

      Happy New Year, again, Lorrie! It's going to be a wonderful year!

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  10. I have made collard greens many times. I have a friend who gave me much advice on "soul food". Any way you look at it, its a veggie person delight! I made the good old black eyed peas today, I'll share my recipe in a upcoming post. Homemade cornbread was alongside to take some of the heat away!!

    Super post as always. Love hearing everyone's take on the greens!

    Jane x

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    1. Jane, you're my first true collards fan! And you know that black eyed peas and cornbread are natural companions to them! I'll be watching for your recipe for the peas. I had a bowl of them cold this morning with a toasted roll for breakfast, believe it or not!

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  11. Happy New Year, Dewena!! I have never tried collard greens, I don't even think our market sells them! No traditional New Year's dishes in my world....I made chicken and rice with asparagus, just a basic regular midweek meal. Tonight is burgers and a salad. That reminds me, I need to pick up burger buns! :)

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    1. Debbie, RH and I were just talking about a burger sounding mighty good to us after the holiday food. And our local Publix has the French hamburger buns on sale in the deli this week. My sister got us started on them and they're so good.

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  12. Happy New Year.. I have had collard greens and I can honestly say I like them. Yes, I do, but I am the only one in the family to do so. Maybe I should give your recipe a try and change the tune.
    Carla

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    1. Carla, be sure you have some hot pepper sauce for it because it is the perfect companion for collards!

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  13. From your Mediterranean meals, Dewena, you know that Greeks LOVE their collards! I was introduced to so many varieties by my husband that grow wild on the island, and I am so grateful that he personally picks each and every stem - and does all the washing and sorting that goes along with preparing and cooking more than one type at a time.

    Your recipe, with/without bacon, looks and sounds deliciously savoury! I love that southerners still cook and appreciate such healthy food! Wise folks!

    Naturally, we are on the same wavelength - again; we enjoyed a collard/broad bean ragout yesterday, made with 7 different types of wild greens. Apart from the broad beans, the greens were wild/organic and the onions and olive oil were grown in our garden/orchard, respectively. It was scrumptious!

    On New Year's Day, we enjoyed roast beef, with lemon/oregano potatoes and zucchini, which was also delicious, but after indulging in artisan sausage and cured pork with French fries on New Year's Eve, we were all craving healthy and refreshing veggies - voila! - collards!

    Thanks for sharing your mouthwatering recipe; I will definitely give this one a go!

    Happy 2020, sweet friend!
    Poppy xoxo

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    1. Poppy, I was amazed to learn that collards originated in Greece! And here I thought they were strictly Southern Soul food. Please, a picture sometime of the greens your husband collects! I remember my father picking collards after the first frost so I imagine your extra cold weather there gave them just the flavor they need. Does Crete export their olive oil? I must try to find some and taste. I'm one of those who loves to sip olive oil to taste it and keep different kinds for different kind of cooking. It does make a difference. Oh, to have olive trees outside your own window, that's as good as it gets. I keep forgetting to add your amazing oregano to potatoes so must try that with my lemon sauce. I am being a little stingy using it where I won't waste it and each time I use it I have to inhale deeply and picture it as having come from fields of your beloved home. Tell me more about the artisan sausage and cured pork! It sounds delicious so I am curious.

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  14. Do try the classic BLT with collards instead of lettuce !!

    Best in 2020 Deweena.

    Garden & Be Well, T

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    1. Really, Tara? I would never have thought of that but it sounds delicious. I'm assuming you mean uncooked collards, not cooked. Actually, I've never even put raw collards in salads but why not? If kale and spinach are good in salads, why not collards? I think you've started a new favorite here, Tara. Thank you and the very best to you in 2020!

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  15. Happy New Year, Dewena! I wish I knew someone who could cook collards for me so that I would know what to strive for in cooking them myself!

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    1. If only you weren't so far away I would cook you up a good mess of them!

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    2. Wouldn't we have fun? :-)

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    3. Oh yes, we would! So many books to talk about for one thing! I'm thinking of your sweet aunt, Karen!

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  16. I was laughing about the grit in the collards because I have had that-it is horrible. lol Happy New Year to you, Dewena. You can't even get collards here. xo Diana

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    1. Isn't it, Diana? Them and leeks, got to get it all or it's no fun at all.

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  17. Do you have a collard patch, Dewena? I love collards, especially if I can grow my own, but I don't have the space for them now. I learned by reading and from experience that a light frost turns them *really* sweet. I also like cooking them with bacon.

    Once I left a ziploc bag of raw collard greens in the back of the fridge and didn't realize how time was passing. When a horrid stink began to emanate from that side of the kitchen I thought maybe there was a dead animal under the refrigerator. The greens sat there looking green and fresh. But eventually I took everything out of the fridge to investigate and when I put the collards on the counter, whoa! Their potential strong flavor had *developed* with age!!

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    1. Ooh, that sounds stinky! I can imagine them doing that. No, no collard patch here but all the local groceries carry them at reasonable cost in the winter.

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  18. Dewena,
    My husband (Dave) grew up in Mississippi and he loves Collard Greens. I have cooked them on several occasions and there is a real art to cooking them, at least I think so. I made some over Thanksgiving when we were visiting our family in North Carolina. We saw them growing in small patches in the fields and I just knew they would be fresh and delicious and they were! However I did not know that I should be adding vinegar! I am definitely giving your recipe a try.
    Thanks much!
    Jemma

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    1. Jemma, being from Mississippi your husband may have grown up eating collards cooked with hog jowl like my father did. The little independent grocers still stock that by the collards.

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  19. I can't say I'm a fan of collard greens, but then again, I've not had yours, which do sound tasty. In fact, I probably have never, ever had good, "authentic" collard greens. It's just not something I come across often here in NJ. Sounds like you had an awesome feast on New Year's Day. I'm smiling because Mr. Goo Shoes and I had pigs in the blanket and cheese and crackers for our New Years dinner. Why? We had to cancel our New Year's Eve party at the last minute because I got sick. Everyone was supposed to bring something, so instead of feasting on leftovers, we ate the only thing I had in the house! Can't say we didn't enjoy it, though! I read your Christmas "let down" post and I can totally understand it. How wonderful, though, to have had all of your family around! Happy New Year to you and RH!

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    1. Amy, what a disappointment to have to cancel the party but even worse because you were sick. I can see your party treats tasting good while sick. When I had the flu last year the only thing I wanted was Krystal hamburgers--another food you probably don't have in NJ! Hope you're feeling all better now!

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  20. I looked up collard greens because I've never tasted them. Would beet tops or chard be similar? I'm going to visit the market in the city and see if I can find collard greens. Happy New Year!

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    1. I really don't think beet tops or even chard would come very close to collards, although I do love both of them too. Beet tops are hard for us to get unless we go to the farmers market downtown.

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  21. Given the option I think I'd like to count back and be one year younger.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. If you discover how to do that, Amalia, please let me know!

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RH and I love your comments! They are sent to my email for moderation first but I do hit publish as soon as I read them. A few commenters' comments are not sent to my email for some reason but I try to visit that section on my design page twice a day to see if they're hiding there so I can publish them. I went the first 3 years of blogging not knowing that was there and when I discovered it there were many pages of old comments that never got published. I was so embarrassed and contacted recent ones but hid in shame from those who had given up long ago.

In these busy days I appreciate so much when you take time to comment. Thank you so much!

Dewena