Friday, January 23, 2009

Stalwart Friend

Rosemary rustlers lurk in our alley stealing long stalks of rosemary on which to roast chicken. We use it often to enhance our dinners. This week she was cloacked in a white gown of snow, the first lady of our garden.

stal/wart-adj. strongly and stoutly built; sturdy; robust

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Is there anything prettier than softly falling snow?

Winter Morning

Ogden Nash

Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.
Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That's the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue.
Snow is snowy when it's snowing,
I'm sorry it's slushy when it's going.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


2009.The last year of the decade in the new millenium. Amazing. We made it! Y2K a distant memory and the human race still bumbles and bumps along. Barrack Obama, America's messiah according to some, will whip the economy around, end two wars, bring peace to the Middle East, and save the planet. How's that for Change? My heart goes out to the man. Hard times, come again no more.

Down South when the going gets tough, the tough eat collards, and these are tough times. In the natural world the lowly collard plods on getting no respect. A grave injustice. Much reviled, like grits and pig feet, collards just can't get traction in the culinary world. I have seen the poorest of poor folks cooking collards outside in a cast iron pot over a wood fire. To this backyard gardener they are a money tree. They grow, in fact thrive, when the thermometer dips into the 20s when all other cole crops wilt. Collards are food for the gods when cooked simply and quickly. Cooked long they are stinky, faded and slimy. Here's my best shot:

Bert Greene's Collards

Washed and chopped collards
Small amount of water and a knob of butter
Braise 10-15 minutes
Squirt of lemon juice to taste

That's it. No canned broth, please. The lemon juice is my personal favorite but vinegar is an acceptable substitute.