Jessica's story and recipe from the Urban Farm and Garden Alliance Greens cook-off.
Southern food is a crucial identity for many African Americans. Jessica states that it keeps her connected to their ancestors and their history. She also says that food “comes from the heart instead of the belly.” Showing that food is about love and sharing that love with people.
Southern food is a story because many foods came from slavery times and oppression “during the days of enslavement, slave masters would often retain the greens for themselves and design to give the potlikker to the enslaved, not knowing that the nutrients leach out of those greens and remain in the potlikker. So the slaves were left with what was truly the nutritious part of the dish.” - John T Edge, Potlikker Papers. Collard greens is the greens that came from that pot, and potlikker was the broth left behind in the pot after it was cooked
This recipe comes from one of her favorites and also a meal that keeps her connected with her ancestors and family.
Traditional collard green recipe:
12 hickory-smoked bacon slices, finely chopped
2 medium-size sweet onions, finely chopped
3/4 pound smoked ham, chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 (32-oz.) containers chicken broth
3 (1-lb.) packages fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
How to Make It:
Cook bacon in a 10-qt. stockpot over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes; add ham and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients. Cook 2 hours or to the desired degree of tenderness.
Southern Living. "Southern-Style Collard Greens." Myrecipes. Nov, 2009. Web. Mar 9, 2018.
Stacy. "Southern Collard Greens." Southern Bite. Dec 27, 2017. Web. Mar 9, 2018.
Edge, John T. Potlikker Papers. Penguin Random Hosue. May 16, 2017.