Monday, August 17, 2009

Turnip Greens and Black-Eyed Peas

I’ve been a few places in my lifetime and I’ve eaten a lot of stuff from a lot of areas.  I enjoy Mexican, Italian, German, Thai, Indian, Chinese, and Greek foods.  But at heart, I’m just a simple southern girl and I can’t think of much better than fried chicken, meatloaf, or roast pork with turnip greens (or collards) and black-eyed peas, limas, or white beans.  A good chunk of cornbread would just put all that right over the top.

The RV lifestyle is a wonderful thing.  It has afforded us the blessing of being able to experience the various local cuisines of this great nation.  One of the real pleasures we get is going to the local markets and groceries and seeing the kinds of foods available in  the area.  On this trip, we have especially enjoyed the fresh seafood available in the coastal regions.  But as good as those regional specialities may be, sometimes I get a hunger for good old southern cooking.

Our regional specialities are not always available outside the deep south.  I don’t think there is a black-eyed pea in New England.  Those folks eat far too many potatoes.  They should throw in a few black-eyed peas just for good luck.  It is incredibly difficult to find turnip greens in North Dakota and they may be nonexistent in Alaska.  This is one of your basic health foods.  Perhaps the research team didn’t have turnip green in mind specifically when then said “leafy green vegetable”, but that is exactly what turnip greens are--leafy and green, the darker the better.  They’re health food.  Well, maybe not so much after they’re cooked to a pulp with pork fat back, but they were once leafy and green.

This RVer may have to consider the availability of certain southern delicacies and stock up before wandering off to the far reaches of civilization for today I was greatly distressed at not being able to find “the basics” at the local supermarket.

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