And Now for Something Completely Different


My kids dropped by the temple yesterday for Christmas dinner.  I made slow cooked beef brisket; everything else was vegetarian. Porkless black eye peas and collard greens, corn bread, and banana pudding. The damnyankees in these parts don’t know what to do with black eye peas, and most of them never even heard of banana pudding.

Share Button


  1. uncledad  •  Dec 27, 2015 @12:41 am

    “cooked beef brisket; everything else was vegetarian”

    Aint that how it always happens?

  2. uncledad  •  Dec 27, 2015 @1:10 am
  3. goatherd  •  Dec 27, 2015 @10:02 am

    One of the few things I love about winter is the collard greens. I make them in huge batches with turnips. I hope the squirrelly weather doesn’t make them hard to come by this year.

    I still remember the first time I had fresh black eyed peas, they are a whole different thing from frozen. It’s nice to recall that the south has made some dietary contributions other than pellagra. Although, putting sugar in vegetables seems almost obscene to me.

  4. maha  •  Dec 27, 2015 @3:36 pm

    goatherd — As the southerners here would know, traditional black eye peas and collard greens are cooked with some kind of smoked pork, and I wanted to make something the vegetarians would eat to help me get rid of the leftovers. With the collards, I removed the stems and cut them up a bit, then blanched them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. In the meantime I sauteed sliced garlic and red onions in olive oil, and when the collards were blanched and drained I added them to the pan with the garlic and onions. Put a lid on the pan and let that simmer for about five minutes, then add a half cup water and let that cook with the lid on the pan for ten minutes. They were really good. Didn’t add sugar. However, we ate all the collards at Christmas dinner so there weren’t any leftovers.

  5. goatherd  •  Dec 27, 2015 @10:13 am

    Thanks for the dance video, what an interesting idea. We’ve been watching Neil Oliver again, so I’ve been in a Celtic mood.

    I have some bagpipes, sitting around somewhere, but, I never gave them much of an effort, maybe if they were chromatic and didn’t scare the horses so much, I might have stuck with them a bit longer.

  6. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 27, 2015 @10:56 am

    Beef, as in meat?
    In a temple?

    And here I thought the only beef you could have in a temple, was with yourself and your thoughts and deeds?

    Well, live, and learn…

    Hey, maha, can you have a shot of vodka and a beer, with your beef?
    This enquiring mind wants to know.

  7. maha  •  Dec 27, 2015 @3:29 pm

    g u l a g — just beer. I put it in the fridge in a paper bag labeled “this is not here.” But I pretty much had the place to myself all day, so it didn’t matter.

  8. pluky  •  Dec 27, 2015 @3:02 pm

    Goatherd, adding sugar (just a bit, dish should not be sweet!) to collard greens (and the like) helps neutralize the organic acid (oxalic IIRC) that they contain.

    As to the rest of menu, I’m a child of the Tidewater, YUM!

  9. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 27, 2015 @4:16 pm

    Was “this is not here,” followed by, “and I’m not drinking what’s not here?”

    Man, talk about Zen, now…

  10. Stella  •  Dec 27, 2015 @5:54 pm

    And I am not consuming the forbidden fruit. Speak to me not of pork.
    At this point in my life, I cook not, but I do remember.

  11. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 27, 2015 @8:12 pm

    Ah, Stella,
    That reminds me of great, beautiful loins past..

    Er, uhm….
    Don’t get the wrong idea.
    I mean some fine shapely ladi…
    Yeah, PORK LOINS!

    What did you think I was talking about, you gutter-minded deeeeegenerates?!?!

  12. Bill Bush  •  Dec 27, 2015 @10:37 pm

    I recommend Balsamic Vinegar on collards. Delightful.

  13. goatherd  •  Dec 28, 2015 @10:14 am

    Wow Maha, the blanching sounds like a great idea. I don’t mind using a pinch of sugar in collards. Our local food establishments are generally in the habit of putting sugar in just about every vegetable, and more than a pinch.

    I hate to do it given the horrors of the pig farms in our area, but I still use a smoked ham hock in my collards. I add turnips, garlic and onion and a dash of vinegar during the cooking.

    I got my recipe from a very dear friend from Quincy, Florida and I’ve been paying homage to her and her recipe for almost thirty years. The funny thing was that she hated cooking, but, every one loved her cooking so much that she was always obliged to do it anyway.

    I found collards on sale yesterday and I bought three large bunches, I always make huge batches. the down side is that with all the stem removal and washing, a batch takes a long time to prepare.

  14. BlueLoom  •  Dec 28, 2015 @11:31 am

    @goatherd, re: bagpipes. They’re also a double-reed instrument, making them really a royal PITA to learn to play. Ask any oboist or bassoon player.

  15. goatherd  •  Dec 28, 2015 @12:20 pm

    Bill, yes balsamic vinegar rules. I used to use in in my home made horseradish, believe it or not.

    Blue loom: Bagpipes take a LOT of wind too, don’t they?. Somewhere long ago, I found an article about bagpipe players and their respiration and lung capacity. Evidently, they are on a par with some serious athletes.

    The easier part of bagpipes as compared with oboe, for example, is that the chanter has a mouthpiece so you don’t contact the reed assemble directly. I don’t play woodwinds, but, I repair antique instruments so I have a few. Even a single reed gave me a funny tickle in my lips. It sounds like you do play woodwinds, so you are probably well beyond this point.

    I can’t remember the term of it, but there are ways of playing figures on the bagpipes to give the aural illusion that you are playing a note that can’t be produced on the chanter. Do you know the term? Anyway, that is the technique that I found daunting.

    I gather that chanters are made in different keys, but I just have a practice chanter in “C,” and some student parlor pipes. I certainly have a lot of respect for pipers. They are better men than I am for sure, and I like the sound, too.

    I don’t know much about the Celtic side of my family. My mother was kind of closed mouth about it. But, “Celtic” music in general and particularly, Irish music, has a way of moving me to tears, more than any other style.

  16. goatherd  •  Dec 28, 2015 @12:25 pm

    Oh what the heck. This is too late, perhaps, but, one of my favorite songs of the season, and one of those Irish songs that kind of chokes me up:

  17. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 28, 2015 @1:14 pm

    A smoked turkey leg/wing, can also be used – it’s lower in fat and salt.

    I sometimes make split-pea or lentil soup, and use it instead of pork.
    Not quite the same. But tasty!

  18. grannyeagle  •  Dec 28, 2015 @2:25 pm

    Y’all are making me hungry. BTW, my favorite Irish song is Danny Boy. Makes me cry every time I hear it.

  19. goatherd  •  Dec 28, 2015 @4:28 pm

    CUND- “Not quite the same, but, tasty!” I’ll give that a try, when i run out of the ham hocks I bought yesterday.

    The more I read about the intelligence of animals, the harder it is to eat them. I have found that our chickens have a pretty complex “society,” that they can exhibit behavior that humans would even find noble, and that they have a high degree of communication. They do a lot with a brain the size of a lentil. So, I can eat chicken without too much guilt. Pigs, on the other hand are incredibly smart. So, I’ll take your advice. Thanks for the suggestion.

  20. uncledad  •  Dec 29, 2015 @9:14 am

    Irish songs

    Great tune Goat, thanks!

  21. BlueLoom  •  Dec 29, 2015 @9:51 am

    @goatherd: no, I’m not a woodwind player, but I’ve known many of them as I carried out my seemingly eternal battle with the cello, playing in many student, music camp, and local civic orchestras. (The cello won the war, BTW. I gave up trying in my 20s.)