Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I wanted to get this post in before midnight, but looks like I'm too late.

Friend Scott comes over to eat New Year's Day evening meal with me. His mission was to find the collard greens and some sort of smoked pig product. I was okay with just raiding the bounty in my freezer from this past summer's garden, but Friend Scott really feels the collards are necessary.

Okay, fine.

So Friend Scott calls after venturing into Newport to get collards.

"I'm back and I got four cans of collards and some streak o' lean." He says.

I don't speak for a moment. I could swear I just heard him say "cans".

"Cans?" I repeat stupidly into the phone.

"Yes," he says, "I've had these before and they are pretty good."

"Cans?" I repeat again stupidly. I keep pulling the phone away from my ear and looking at it like it's speaking Urdu.

As a Southerner, collards hold a fairly sacred spot in my personal food pyramid. They are sort of like grits and, you know, no self-respecting Southerner eats grits that come in those little oatmeal packages. Even "quick" grits are sort of pushing the envelope of decorum.

There are a very few situations where I think it is okay to eat canned collards. Auto-cannibalism might be one. So, if the choice is cutting off your own arm or leg to eat rather than starving to death...canned collards might be permissible. If someone else's arm or leg is handy, the rules change dramatically.

Friend Scott can smell my disapproval leaching through the phone connection.

"Look, all of the stores were clean out of fresh collards."

"Even Wal-Mart?" I growl.

"And Food City and Save-More."

I'm not sure I believe him.

"Look," he says, "Fresh collards would take ages to cook."

I stop myself from saying, "That's why God invented pressure cookers. And I have one."

Luckily, Friend Scott fixed the things at his house so I didn't have to sully my stove with them. He also brought the sweet tea, so all was forgiven. The meal turned out really well despite the presence of the offending food item. Which wasn't all that bad. If you crumble up enough cornbread in something like that it hardly matters.

Personal note. It looks like I'm about to lose my beautiful yellow Labrador, Aegis. He's only seven years old. He is extremely jaundiced and will be going into the vet in the morning. But it doesn't look good. He keeps trying to sneak away but I'll be damned if I'll let him do the stoic Labrador number and die alone out in the cold. It nearly killed me when Hi-Lite died in 2003. I wish my heart were not so tender. I wish the pieces would stop falling off of it. I don't want him to go.


  1. Luna*tic said...
    Oh no Rosie... your poor puppy! I'm so sorry, I'll be thinking of you today xoxo
    stephen said...
    I'm sending lotsa good energy to Aegis and you...He's a beauty.

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