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Collard Greens, for Prosperity

I joke a lot here and around the interwebs about my distain for escarole.  I’ll clarify that, as an adult, I’m actually fine with escarole.  But as a child I hated it.  It was the one food that I absolutely could not eat, the only thing I couldn’t stomach.  Until I became a vegetarian, and then there were lots of things I couldn’t stomach (including meatloaf).  I read somewhere once that kids have something like twice as many tastebuds as adults, and therefore taste everything twice as intensely,which is why children often have catastrophic aversions to certain foods.

The point of this story is that my mom’s lucky New Year’s day dish was lentil soup and escarole.  Gag.  Which is why I always preferred my dad’s lucky foods, collard greens and black eyed peas.  On New Year’s Day, greens (whether they be spinach, escarole, collards, chard, etc) are served to bring prosperity.  The greens are traditionally cooked with ham, because pork symbolizes progress.  Other common foods for ringing in the New Year are beans (prosperity), fish (good luck), and anything circular, like cakes (the year comes full circle).

This year I opted for fish and collards, skipping the ham hocks and beans because after a few batches of bean soup, I’ve been kind of beaned out lately.  And when it comes cuts of the pig, I’m not the biggest ham fan (I prefer the shoulder).  Collards cooked without ham are cooked essentially the same way, just pan roasted with water or stock, served with garlic and onions.  Because collards are a tough green pan roasting is the ideal way to cook them, low and slow for 45 minutes to an hour allows them to soften and develop flavor.

Instead of resolutions this year I’ve written my “culinary life list.”  Right now it’s 100 things, but it may grow.  It’s a list of things, all food related, that I’d like to accomplish before I kick the bucket.  Do you have a life list, culinary or not?  What’s on it?

Collard Greens

3-4 large collard leaves

1/2 white onion

2 garlic cloves

Salt & pepper

Red pepper flakes

1 tsp nutmeg

2 cups mushroom broth (or vegetable stock)

3 tbsp butter

In a medium size pan, melt butter.  Mince garlic and chop the onion, and saute both in butter until soft.  Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and red pepper.  Chop the collards into 1/2″ strips.

Add the collards a handful at a time, wilting them before you add more.  Use tongs to toss the greens with the butter and onions.  Add broth, cover.  Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes to an hour.

Uncover and allow the broth to reduce.  Serve and enjoy a year of prosperity!

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And Onward to Vimeo

I had an interesting conversation the other night with my aunt, a marketing specialist, about the Power of Youtube.  Last year I set up a Youtube channel for b&s, complete with an inaugural video of me peeling & cleaning fresh shrimp.  And the quality sucked, I don’t think anybody looked at it, and I never did anything with Youtube again.  Clearly, I failed at the whole video angle.

Today I made a slideshow of our year in photos, something nostalgic to send to our family.  At first I tried to upload it to flickr because we love flickr, but it was too big.  So then I turned to Vimeo, a video sharing site that my father has been preaching about for a while.  Right off the bat I think that Vimeo is cleaner looking and feeling than Youtube, a little more professional, if you will.  I was so inspired by the end result that I moved the shrimp video and resolved that in 2010 there will be more instructional videos, just not on Youtube.

And here’s our year in photos.  Happy end of 2009, everybody!  I hope that it’s been a good one for you!

 

2009 from elena rosemond-hoerr on Vimeo.

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Best of 2009

2009 was a big year for me, and an even bigger year for Biscuits and Such.  I got married, I started a small business, I won $500, I became a twitter aficionado.  b&s had its 100th recipe, hit its 1 year mark, and has had a steady increase in visitors, praise, and pie love.  All around, I’d call 2009 a success.  I thought I’d get a little nostalgic on you today and share some of my favorite things from this past year, something to remind me of where I’ve set the bar for 2010.

Best Savory Dish of 2009:

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Fried Chicken Bites

Best Use of Bacon in 2009:

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Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Best Sandwich of 2009:

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Dan’s Fire In Your Hole Chicken Sandwich

Most Searched For Recipe of 2009:

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Smoked Kingfish Dip

2009’s Recipe Contest Winning Cake:

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Coca-Cola Cake

Best Cocktail of 2009:

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Tarheel Margarita

Biggest Kitchen Accomplishment of 2009:

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Bagels

Most Un-Southern Recipe of 2009:

grammy5

Chicken Spezzatini

Most Southern Recipe of 2009:

peachpie5

Bourbon White Peach Pie

Best Pie of 2009:

caramelpie1

Caramel Apple Pie

Most Professionally Exciting Post of 2009:

Julia Child’s P.S. Biscuits

Most Personally Exciting Post of 2009:

Grape Salsa (the wedding post)

Most Creative Dessert of 2009:

caramelgt1

Caramel Fried Green Tomatoes

Best Seafood in 2009:

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Shrimp & Grits

Best Photo from 2009:

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Blueberry Soup

And finally…

Biggest Kitchen Blunder of 2009:

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Roasted Mango & Habanero Turkey, cooked upside down.

Thanks for coming and reading and sending  your love.  Have a happy New Years and I look forward to spending 2010 with you!

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