Thanksgiving Greens

Got up the morning before Thanksgiving, feeling very puny from coughing and hacking, and found these lovely three bags of greens on the front porch.

Greens courtesy of Billy Allen (and with free delivery, too!)

Skip said that they were from Billy Allen, our friend who’s an organic farmer here in Gainesville. His wife JoAnn emailed to say that Billy and Joseph were coming by to deliver them, but jokingly, that we shouldn’t get used to free delivery because then we might have to feed the delivery guys as well. JoAnn says the greens are spinach, red mustard greens, and radish greens. WOW! Paula Deen would be jealous!

Speaking of Paula Deen, when we went to her restaurant, The Lady and Sons in Savannah, last year, we were blown over by the delicious food. And her greens recipe is one of the main items we raved over. Google it and ponder its steps. Smoked meat AND butter? Yesss.  The recipe is emblazoned on tourist merchandise at her shop, on towels, aprons, t-shirts. I did buy a t-shirt that says “Our greens will make you go.” Is that what greens are known for? I’m all for that! Actually, greens are on my list of foods to avoid, given to me by my urologist after I had a bout with kidney stones. Greens are high in oxalates, of which apparently 20% of people who have kidney stones may have excessive levels. Other foods supposed to be avoided by kidney stone formers are black pepper, beets, nuts, green and black tea, wheat bran, strawberries, and chocolate. No fun at all.

Since we already had a big pot of leftover cooked greens in the fridge from our dinner Tuesday night, and we both were feeling a bit under the weather, we decided to share this miraculous gift with some friends who appreciate greens.

“I’m going to call the Sagers’ and see if they want some,” Skip said.

“Why?” said I, “they are from Michigan.”

“Oh yeah,” he said, “I almost forgot, they’re northerners. Oh well, let me call them anyway.”

[PS, I’m from Illinois; I’m always almost forgetting I’m a northerner too.]

So he called them, and they wanted some. Wonderful greens! I looked “greens” up on Wikipedia, and found that there are over 1000 varieties of greens that are eaten by humans. I also found a website called Leaf for Life with a mailing address in Berea, KY. Website address is  – check it out for facts about leaves you can eat. I didn’t realize there are SO many.

And I didn’t realize there are so many recipes for greens. Martha Stewart makes soup from radish greens. Just Googled and saw: Greens and butternut squash soup! Greens sauteed in olive oil with garlic and a little cream added. Sauteed greens with a dash of vinegar. Greens in risotto. Sauteed greens mixed with cream cheese in taco shells. Mmmm, crisp fried bacon and greens. I ended up steaming and freezing what I had left in 3 batches for experimentation and sustenance later….

Thanks, Billy, JoAnn and Joseph, for the wonderful free food!


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