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Savoring the Seasons

Collard greens ... and more

By MARY MCCLINTOCK

Hooray! This Saturday, Jan. 5, the monthly Greenfield Winter Farmers Market will be open. Great local food, music by Pat and Tex LaMountain, friendly folks, and more will be at the Greenfield High School cafeteria from 10 a.m. to
1 p.m. (For information, visit http://greenfieldfarmersmarket.com/).

After receiving messages from my friends Paula and Carol, collard greens, bacon, and chicken are at the top of my farmers market shopping list. While Carol and Paula eat very little meat, they like bacon. At December’s Greenfield Winter Farmers Market, I was thrilled that Gray Dog’s Farm had bacon for sale. I only eat beef, pork, and lamb when I know the folks who’ve raised the animals and how the animals were treated. I know the Gray Dog’s Farm animals lead a good life. So, I took special bacon as a gift to Carol and Paula when I visited in early December.

Seeing the bacon a month ago, Paula said, “I bet bacon would go really well with collard greens!” Last week, she wrote, “Yum Yum! I was right, collards and bacon are a natural combo. I adapted this recipe.” See below for recipe and Paula’s adaptations.

Carol added, “Half the bacon went in the collard recipe (YUM!) and the other half is about to go into a crockpot of baked beans I’m making right now. Thank you again!”

Then, my sister Martha sent her great chicken/turkey stock tips! She said, “The carcasses are in the pot, two pots’ worth, and it is a full afternoon project. I’m doing the boiling/skimming now. In an hour or so I will add veg/herbs, etc. and do the next hour of simmering, then strain. Then, I reduce it for half an hour or so, until half the original volume. The reduced stock is very gelatinous, so it goes in big flat baking dishes in the freezer. Then, I cut into brownie-size cubes and have a mass of frozen stock cubes to use.”

Frozen stock cubes! What a great idea.

What’s on your farmers market shopping list?

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Week of Winter Fare events wanted: Want to organize a workshop for the Feb. 2 Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market or an event for the Franklin County Week of Winter Fare Feb. 2 to 10? Send full event or workshop information to Mary McClintock at mmcclinto@yahoo.com or call (413) 522-5932 By Jan. 11. Include event name, date, place, time, two-sentence event description, any fee, contact person, contact phone number and email address.

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This Week We’re Eating ...

Collard Greens

By Paula Hendrick, Rochdale, (adapted from: www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/short-cut-collard-greens-recipe/index.html)

1 1/4 pounds collard greens

1 T. water

2 slices Canadian bacon

1 T. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 T. cider vinegar

1 T. maple syrup

1∕8 tsp. hot red pepper flakes

3/4 C. low-sodium chicken broth

Salt

Remove stems and center ribs from collard greens and discard. Cut leaves into —-inch strips. Place greens into large, microwave-safe bowl with water and cover tightly. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat large skillet and cook bacon for 2 minutes on each side. Remove bacon from pan, chop, and set aside. Add oil and onion to pan, cook until onions have softened, about 2 minutes. Add collard greens and stir in vinegar, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Add chopped bacon to pan, and season with salt.

(PAULA’S ADAPTATIONS: “Here’s what I did differently: I used regular bacon (regular Special bacon I should say!) rather than Canadian; pre-steamed collards rather than microwaving (a few days prior because collards, last picking from the garden, needed to be cooked); 1 tsp. Thai curry paste (it’s primarily chili pepper) rather than red pepper flakes (which tend to make dishes too peppery for me). I added chopped bacon for last few minutes of simmering, and only simmered for 15 minutes. IMPORTANT: serve with potato, excellent flavor combo ... utterly satisfying!)

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