Recipes from Ohio

If you know anything about my murals at all, you know part of my experience is discovering unique tastes along the way. It's part of the whole experience. Well, sad to say, while painting my mural at Trevitt Elementary in Columbus, there were no new tastes. While at school, I had a couple of bananas, and since it was nearing Halloween, one little boy handed me three pieces of candy corn. I have no idea where that hand had been prior to the donation. But, before he gave them to me, he dropped one piece of corn on the floor. I graciously thanked the kid for his kindness and then secretly tossed the candy in the trash. It might melt in your mouth, not in your hand, but it didn't get the opportunity.

Fortunately, I asked Dr. Mason for one of her favorite recipes to share. I might have been in Ohio, twenty minutes from home, but she offered up a Southern recipe that my mother never made. Collard greens are something I've heard of. I cannot guarantee that I have ever eaten them. For sure, I never had them in my mother's kitchen.

Now if a new recipe isn't sweet enough, this one comes with music to fit the mood. Dr. Mason's recipe includes a link to Fantasia singing about Collard Greens and Cornbread.

Dr. Mason's
Collard Greens and Corn Bread

Collard Greens
1 pound smoked turkey wings 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 quarts chicken broth  1 lb bunch collard greens
1 teaspoon hot sauce 4 tablespoons olive oil

There is no doubt about my biggest surprise for me with this recipe. I never heard of turkey wings in any food, smoked or otherwise. I know some people eat chicken wings. I don't. I don't know what the fuss is about them. But, I truly never considered ever eating turkey wings. I've never seen them in any store. They may be there, completely unnoticed to me, but I doubt it. I think I'm in for a cultural experience as I pursue just where you must go to find smoked turkey wings.

Anyway, in a large pot combine those elusive wings with broth (or water if you must), hot sauce to taste (which is always more than one teaspoon) and the seasoning salt. Simmer it up for 20 minutes.

It's my guess that collard greens won't be as hard to find, but I can't say I've ever looked for them. Most likely, they are near kale and spinich while I also pass by. After you locate the greens, remove the center stems and cut the leaves into half inch strips.

Add the collard greens and olive oil to your turkey wings broth and cook them until the greens are tender (about 20 minutes). Stir occasionally.

If finding turkey wings was a surpise, well, the next step in the recipe was almost as surprising and certainly a relief. You throw away the turkey wings at this point. No, you don't have to eat them. There is no need to add turkey wings to your list of new and unusual meats eaten. Okay, you may not have such a list and you may not consider turkey wings unusual, but my list includes horse, zebra, crocodile, brahma bull hump, endangered pangolin (not really by choice), bat and possibly unknowingly cat, dog, snake and neighborhood rodents in some remote corners of the world. On second thought, turkey wings wouldn't have been so bad.

But, they are still tossed.

Now, you need to transfer the collards to individual serving bowls and cover them with foil to keep warm. In my kitchen, I most likely have to add foil to my recipe. I don't usually have any of that.

After you remove the collard greens, you have a pot full of broth that you need to keep for preparing the corn bread. Read on.

Corn Bread
1 1/2 cups cornmeal 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small onion 1/2 cup of broth

Combine the cornmeal, flour, minced onion, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Stir it all up and then add a half cup of collard liquid. You want a thick batter so it might be best not to use all the liquid at once.

Now for the rest of the collard broth that is still in your original cooking pot, bring it to a boil. Drop your dumpling batter into it, one teaspoon at a time. Reduce heat and simmer the dumplings until they are cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Enjoy what is most likely for many a new taste without ever leaving the comfort of your home -- except for the cultural experience in locating smoked turkey wings.

Copyright 2017 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.