Collard Greens

Posted 11/09/2009 by fotoloka in Labels: , ,
Growing up in Pennsylvania, collard greens were not something I knew about. Life went on...I lived in other places...discovered greens somewhere along the way, but didn't go out of my way to find or eat them. Moving down here to Chapel Hill from LA about 8 years ago, Southern cooking started creeping into my diet.
Actually, after surviving the shock of my first splayed out pig in that big cooker at a pig-pickin' party, I became a pulled pork slut.
As a point of perspective, I've been buying my greens - collards, turnip and mustard - at a supermarket or farmer's markets bundled in tidy bunches, or loose, small leaves to stuff in plastic bags to take home.
Today when I saw the homemade sign saying "collards for sale" by the side of the back road I was driving, I turned into the driveway along the garden of greens growing there. No one was around outside, so I knocked on the back door I saw was ajar. The lady you see in the photo came out and asked how much I wanted, and did I want to pick my own....I said it's just for me, so not too much, when she wanted to know how many people in the family, and she could get it for me, thanks. She then explained that the collards freeze well, so I should get a full portion for my $3 a bunch....Ok then. Out into the field she went, knife in hand. While she was looking around over there I pulled the camera out of my handbag figuring I'd so some shots while she picked me some thing I realize, she's got that huge plant draped over her arm, and is heading back with it intact. She was a bit hesitant to let me take a photograph when I asked, due to the fact her hair was all up under a scarf because she's going to Greensboro tomorrow and had to wash it today...but she agreed without me having to push too hard...she liked when I said I'd bring a print by.
When you bring a plant that size into a kitchen, you can really appreciate the size to which those collards grew.... elegant, vibrant, tactile, green elephant ear size leaves flopped onto the counter as I separated them. I ate many of the smaller inside leaves then and there, raw... fairly bursting with life energy from just being brought from the soil they just left, minutes ago. What a rush!
Btw, I usually don't combine color with black and white; I think it looks tacky, but I shut off one layer while working on the image and saw that I could selectively erase the black and white filter I had added, so I did....I think it accentuates my experience out there today.

1 comment(s) to... “Collard Greens”


automaticdoor said...

That is absolutely gorgeous. As a child of the South, it resonates with me.

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