The other day I had someone ask me how I can be so positive and upbeat all the time. And though the short answer is, ” I choose to be that way,” I feel like you all need a little better explanation. From the time I was a kid, it was instilled in me that each day we have a choice – a choice to have a good day or a bad day. Now I know that sounds totally elementary , but bear with me here a moment. I look at it like this… each day is filled with things that are bad – there are rarely perfect, all-good days – and we choose rather to allow those bad things to control us to the extent that we have a good day or bad day. For instance, on my way into work yesterday, I had this guy come racing up behind me, and despite the fact that I was going well over the speed limit (don’t tell the cops) it wasn’t fast enough for him. So he passes me and just about clips off my front bumper in an attempt to show me his prowess. At that point, I could have allowed that jerk to ruin my entire day. But instead, I thought to myself, “If today were my last day on this earth, is that guy worth ruining my entire day?” Quickly my answer to myself (WOW, don’t tell people I’m talking AND responding to myself, please) was of course not. So I just went about my day quickly forgetting about the road rage that had ensued. And I greet each challenge in my day this way. It’s easy to stop and ask, “Is this worth ruining my entire day?” I think you’ll find most often the answer is no. Sure, we all have those days where everything seems wrong, and it’s okay to have a bad day. But it’s more about how we deal with it. I find too that positivity is contagious. We all WANT to have a good day and when you can show others how easy it is to overcome the bad and get on to the good, others will choose that path, too.
Speaking of good things, I got the most awesome email yesterday afternoon. It seems that The Southern Bite has been nominated as one of the Best Food Blogs in the Parents Magazine Best Blog Awards. I was SO thrilled and a little overwhelmed. And while it seems like the proverbial response, I really do feel that it is just an honor to be nominated. I really do! But, I sure would love it if y’all would jump over to their site and vote for us. And I say “us” intentionally. The Southern Bite isn’t just about me, it’s about you all and the community we’ve built over the past several years. So don’t go vote for me, go vote for us. It does require that you register on the site, but you can easily unsubscribe if you want to. We just need those votes. Right now, we’re in third place! How cool is that??
Okay, on to the food… this is a dish that was inspired by a similar one I ordered while I was on vacation a few weeks back. Not really knowing what I was ordering, this is what I got and it just about knocked my socks off. I mean, come on… collards, okra, tomatoes, and ham hocks?? As my sweet great-grandmother used to say, “This’ll just about make your tongue slap your brains out.” Thing is, I’m just not sure what to call this. I can’t just call it collard greens, cause they are so much more. So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m going to let y’all name this dish. Leave me a comment below telling me what you think it should be named. I’ll pick a winner and send the winner one of those awesome Southern Bite grocery totes. How’s that? Be creative!
UPDATE: After reading all of your comments, I’ve decided the name should be… Gumbo Greens!
- 1 bunch collard greens, washed and chopped
- 3 quarts water
- 3 chicken bullion cubes
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/2 pound okra, cut
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- Combine water, bullion, ham hock, salt, garlic, and vinegar in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Add collards and cook for an hour to an hour and a half (depending on how tender you like your collards).
- Next, add okra and tomatoes and let cook until okra begins to fall apart (30 to 45 minutes).
- Before serving, remove ham hock from pot. Allow to cool slightly, then shred up meat and return to pot.