Tag Archives: Collards

Collard Greens and Pecan Pies

Good morning!

I hope you all had a chance to enter the Bloggers’ Favorite Things giveaway yesterday!  If not, check it out.  There’s definitely some amazing things up for grabs!

As promised, I’m back today with a quick “how to make collard greens,” as well as Bessie Burgess’s Pecan Pie recipe.

Let’s start with our greens.

Southern Collard Greens | Oysters & Pearls

Southern Collard Greens Recipe

ingredients

– 1 smoked ham hock slice (these may be difficult to find outside the South)
–  1 large bunch (approximately two or three plants’ worth) of freshly cut collard greens
– water

instructions

If your collards are freshly cut from the garden/farm/whathaveyou, you’ll need to wash them.  I fill the sink up with cold water, fold each leaf down on either side of the spine, and rip the “spine” or “rib” out.  Then tear into a few pieces and toss it into the water.  Once you have a sink-full, swish your hands around through the collards, removing any large debris you find.  Then drain the water off.  Repeat this at least three times, or until the water runs off from the collards clear.  There is nothing worse than gritty greens.

Fill a large pot half full of water and place the smoked ham hock in the water.  Bring it to a boil, and boil it for 10-15 minutes.  Then begin adding collards, a handful at a time, making sure to push them under the boiling water.  Once those have wilted a good bit, add another handful.  Keep going until your pot is full or your collards are gone, or both.  Cook on a low boil or high simmer for at least 2 hours, or until the collards dunzo.  Add water throughout the process if you need to.  You want them to still be stir-able, but not so much water that it looks like soup.

I apologize for the lack of true measurements or pictures.  This is second nature for me at this point.  Ask any questions you may have in the comments! :)

Now, on to dessert!

Thanksgiving Pies- Pumpkin and Pecan | Oysters & Pearls

Fair warning: this is not your typical SoWeGa Pecan Pie recipe.  It does not contain karo syrup.  Or syrup of any sort.  And I promise that if you make it once, you’ll never want to go back to typical SoWeGa pecan pie.  I’m grateful that Bessie passed it down to Tezzie, Tezzie passed it down to my Mama, and my Mama passed it down to me.  And now I’m passing it to you!

Creamed Butter and Sugar for Pecan Pies | Oysters & Pearls Creaming Butter & Sugar for Pecan Pie | Oysters & Pearls

Bessie Burgess’s Pecan Pie Recipe
This recipe came from my step-grandmother’s mother, Bessie, and it is the best pecan pie in all the land.

ingredients

– 1 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup brown sugar (I use light brown)
– 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
– 1/4 cup evaporated milk
– 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
– 3 eggs, room temperature
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– pinch of salt (1/8 teaspoon)
– 1 cup chopped pecans
– 9″ pie crust (I use this Buttermilk Crust,
or you can use a store-bought one,
or your own recipe)

instructions

Either using a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy.  Add sugars gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy.  Add all other ingredients and mix well.  Pour into an unbaked 9″ pie crust and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for about an hour longer, or until golden brown and set.  Cool completely.

Pecan Pie Batter | Oysters & Pearls Pumpkin and Pecan Pies for Thanksgiving | Oysters & Pearls

Every time I make and eat this pie, I’m reminded of my Mama, as she always makes these at Christmas to give away and for us to eat.  It’s a very special pie in our family, and I hope it finds a special place in yours as well this Holiday season.  I know it found a special place in Wheat’s family this Thanksgiving!  I promise, you won’t regret breaking up with Karo syrup.  In fact, I doubt you’ll ever go back.  You’re welcome, world.

P.S. Have you entered the Bloggers’ Favorite Things Giveaway yet?

P.S.S.  I took this opportunity to update the pictures in my practically ancient Oyster Dressing post.  Please check that out for the most decadent oyster recipe of all time – one that is present for all special occasions in my family and thus holds a special place in my heart.

Until Next Time

Weekend Update

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

Mine was nice and quiet.  Friday night was Duck Season Eve, which is quite the holiday round these parts.  Wheat spent the night down at Lake Seminole with friends, which is an annual tradition.  I spent the night in making quesadillas, pinning, and drinking a margarita (my recreation of Taco Lu’s marg is coming soon!).  It was fab.

Saturday morning I went for a run, then went on a coffee run to The Bean, then made 4 pie crusts for Thanksgiving using this buttermilk & lard pie crust recipe and popped them in the freezer for later this week.  When Wheat got home, we ate Zaxby’s for lunch.  This food loving little family eats a lot of Zaxby’s.  No shame!

It was rainy and pretty gross here Saturday, so we just piddled all afternoon, then ate supper at Bonnie Blue’s and came home and built a fire.  Wheat’s parents and our friend Hehle came over to watch the Georgia game (I didn’t really watch – this Gator fan is over football for the year) and we enjoyed the cooler weather outside.  Sunday was gorgeous and sunny and cold!  And we skipped Church to have an epic day of yard work.  We raked the ENTIRE yard first, which was a full body workout.  I’m still a little sore!  We used the straw we raked up (along with 3 truckloads from a neighbor’s pile) to spruce up the flower beds.  We also planted some kale and pansies and generally just did everything we could physically get done out there before it was time to go to Wheat’s aunt and uncles’ house for the first of many family gatherings.

Our lettuce is either out of control or really sad.  Not sure which.  Some are starting to bolt (flower and go to seed).

Lettuce Raised Bed | Oysters & Pearls

Our collards are doing much better now that they are out from under the okra.Collards | Oysters & Pearls

We also planted two types of kale Sunday.

Kale | Oysters & Pearls Winter Kale in the Raised Beds | Oysters & Pearls Lacinato Kale | Oysters & Pearls

And also planted garlic!  I realize it’s not the ideal time to plant it, but we’ll see what happens.  We already planted some elsewhere in the yard and it’s growing well, so when this entire head of garlic started sprouting, we figured, “What the hay?”

Sprouting Garlic | Oysters & Pearls Planted Garlic Cloves | Oysters & Pearls

We raked and raked and raked,  and then “stole” some more straw, and spruced up all the flower beds all over the house, and cut back the lantana, mandevilla, turq’s cap hibiscus, cardinal guard, and coral bean and covered those with straw, too.Flower Bed Face Lift | Oysters & Pearls

We put straw around the oak leaf hydrangeas, too.  Their leaves are so pretty in the fall/winter.

Fall Foilage on Oak Leaf Hydrangea | Oysters & Pearls

I grabbed a 4-pack of pansies at Home Depot while we were there to purchase another rake, and filled in the pots where the basil lived all summer.

Winter Pots | Oysters & Pearls Pansies, Parsley, and Succulents in Pots | Oysters & Pearls

I also weeded the herb garden around the patio and put straw around the herbs that were in there.  I’m hoping to get it to where the herbs in the beds are there year-round (oregano, mint, rosemary) and the pots I’ll plant basil in the spring for the summer.  I also have a DIY project in mind for the shepherd’s hooks.  The tall one holds a hummingbird feeder during part of the year and the shorter ones hold citronella candles, but they are all currently empty.  I’ll report back when/if I cross that DIY off my list!

Winterized Herb Garden with Oregan, Mint, and Parsley | Oysters & Pearls Winterized Herb Garden Around the Patio | Oysters & Pearls Winterized Herb Garden | Oysters & Pearls

We put straw around the Whitman ferns that we planted in between the oak leaf hydrangeas, and then I dug up a few to plant in the beds in front of our shed.  The beds have been a problem spot for a while, and an eye sore for quite some time, too.  We tried rosemary there, but it doesn’t drain well and they both died.  I planted wildflowers in these beds in the spring, but they’ve been full of weeds for a while now.

Whitman Ferns | Oysters & Pearls

The Whitman ferns we have came from the ferns at my parents’ house, which way back when came from my dad’s family in Beaufort, South Carolina.  We also have some hanging from the front porch and by the front door, of course.  You can tell a Whitman fern by the way the leaves split off at the ends and get all lacy-like.  They’re really beautiful plants.Whitman Fern, Closeup of Frond | Oysters & Pearls

We planted a handful in each bed on either side of the shed door.  I’m hoping they will grow in really thick and the pine straw won’t be necessary down the road, but for now, it will hopefully keep the weeds at bay.Whitman Fern Peeking Out of Pine Straw | Oysters & Pearls

I also snuck in some project time… this is a sneak preview of some future DIY projects!  I have been gold leafing oyster shells that I collected last winter and cleaned, and then lacquering them.  They’re gorgeous, IMHO.Oyster Shell Project | Oysters & Pearls

Other than that, it was a full and busy but quiet weekend.  The first Thanksgiving family dinner was great, and I’m currently thankful for this short work week!

Stay warm out there, y’all!  Wallace stayed warm this weekend by laying in sunny spots.  :)

Wallace in a Sunny Spot | Oysters & Pearls Wallace in a Sun Spot | Oysters & Pearls

Until Next Time

Fall Garden Update

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s been ages since I updated you on our little victory garden!  We started almost everything from plants this time (purchased last minute at Home Depot) back in early September.  A few things we did start ourselves from seed, and those seem to be doing the best, with the exception of our butter and red lettuces.  Anyway, let’s hop to the pictures.

Our purple flash pepper from Home Depot is doing pretty well, and adds some pretty purple color to the front raised bed.  It’s an ornamental pepper, and is edible, but we haven’t tasted it to determine if it’s delicious or not.  It’s just really pretty!

Purple Flash Pepper Plant | Oysters & Pearls

On the other corner of the front bed, we planted another pepper.  I can’t even remember what kind it was (also from Home Depot) but I’m just going to label it firmly within the Epic Pepper Fail variety.

Epic Pepper Fail | Oysters & Pearls

In this same front bed, we also have some cabbage that is absolutely nothing to write home about.

October Cabbage | Oysters & Pearls

But hey, at least it’s not dead or ridden with critters.

Also in this bed is our little corner of lettuce Heaven.

October Butter Lettuce | Oysters & Pearls

We have butter lettuce (above) and red lettuce (below).  Both are doing really well, and we are thoroughly enjoying our salads.

October Red Lettuce | Oysters & Pearls

In raised bed number two, we have a few tomato plants we started from seed what seems like AGES ago.

Romas:

October Roma Tomato | Oysters & Pearls

Cherries:

October Cherry Tomatoes | Oysters & Pearls

And a brave little Cherokee Purple Tomato (yep, just the one):

October Cherokee Purple Tomato | Oysters & Pearls

It’s definitely no summer crop. :(  And I’m worried that a frost is going to get them before they ripen, so these may get fried as-is.

Also in Bed 2: very colorful bell peppers!  We have green, yellow (really more of a white), and PURPLE!  These are actually ones we started from seed back in the Spring that are really just now getting going.

October Yellow Bell Pepper | Oysters & Pearls October Purple Bell Pepper | Oysters & Pearls

Also in Bed 2 are our jalapeño peppers we planted from seed back in mid-Summer.  They are really started to take off this month.

October Jalapenos | Oysters & Pearls

And rounding out Bed 2 is our lovely crop of spinach.

October Spinach | Oysters & Pearls

#gardenjokes

Actually, we have been using Sevin Dust on them periodically, because something thinks our spinach is really, really tasty.  I wouldn’t know.  But a couple of the plants give me a glimmer of hope.

October Spinach |  Oysters & Pearls

In back Bed number 3, we have a steady crop of okra that we harvest daily!

Below are okra pods of varying stages of development on a single stalk.

Okra Pods At Various Stages of Development | Oysters & Pearls

Here’s one that’s just about to turn into an okra pod:

Okra Blossom Turning Into Okra Pod | Oysters & Pearls

The ants and other bugs LOVE the okra blossoms.  They must have some serious sweets inside.  I got to thinking this summer that the okra blossoms really looked like cotton blossoms, and they both looked a whole lot like hibiscus blooms.  After some thorough Wikipedia-ing, I discovered it’s because they’re all related!

Okra Blossom | Oysters & Pearls

Anyway, okra blooms are really, really pretty, and I love having them in the yard.  And then having okra.

Finishing up the raised beds, we have some very, very sad collard greens.  Looks like I’ll still be buying those this winter.

Very Sad October Collards | Oysters & Pearls

That’s it for the raised beds.  For more info on how we built ’em, {click here} and {here}.

We still pick a loner strawberry every now and then, too.  They are in pots, but maybe at some point they will get transplanted into the ground.  They berries never get very big though, so I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Tiny October Strawberry | Oysters & Pearls

And moving on over to the herb garden around the patio, I planted some Faulkenberry-Beaver wedding favor mint in the herb garden a couple evenings ago!

Wedding Favor Mint | Oysters & Pearls

The wedding favors were little burlap bags containing a tiny mint plant and a little bottle of Jim Beam, along with an adorable recipe for a pitcher of mint juleps.  It was precious!  I ended up with a couple of leftovers the wedding planner handed to me at the end of the night (we shutter down).  So I planted three in my little herb garden.  Hopefully we’ll be drinking lots of mint juleps and remembering what a good time we had at the Beaver’s wedding for a long time to come. :)

You’ll note the moss surrounding the plants.  This area is where the water ends up settling when it runs off our patio, so I figured it would be the perfect spot for water-loving mint.  Only time will tell, though.  I’m excellent at murdering mint, which is supposedly practically invincible.  I call it the Titanic of the herb garden.

Side note: HOW DO YOU GET CATS TO STAY OUT OF FLOWER BEDS AND/OR HERB GARDENS?

How Do You Keep Cats Out Of Flower Beds? | Oysters & Pearls

Wallace seriously won’t leave a flower bed alone.  Sometimes he uses them as his litter box… sometimes he just rolls around and plays with stuff and a lot of the time he just lays in them, like he’s doing in this picture.  It’s so weird.  And annoying.  Any tips? Help!

Here’s a tip for you: wash your homegrown lettuce really well.  I recommend dumping all your freshly picked lettuce in the sink and washing it one leaf at a time, then drying in a salad spinner.  Because no matter how carefully you pick your lettuce, you still might bring one of these into your kitchen.

Snail Snuck In With The Lettuce | Oysters & Pearls

Yup, that bad boy crawled out of my sink from some lettuce I picked a couple nights ago.  Pretty sure this is where George Lucas got Jabba the Hutt (Jabadahut?) from.

I’ve been making a delicious salad with these greens (besides the Shrimp salad I posted about earlier this week.

Fresh homegrown lettuce (sans snail), homegrown bell pepper, and whatever other veggies we have in the house at the time, topped with Canned Sand Pears, shaved Thomasville Tomme from Sweet Grass Dairy, and Maggie’s honey mustard vinaigrette.

Homegrown Salad with Pears and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette | Oysters & Pearls

Another side note: Sweet Grass Dairy’s new online store just opened a few days ago!  Now you can order their cheese, condiments, and all sorts of local foodie treats online at The Larder.  I die over their homepage.

Anyway, Maggie’s honey mustard vinaigrette is delicious, and is the same one she used on her brussel sprout slaw we had a couple weeks ago.

Maggie’s Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Copied and pasted from thesmintzes.wordpress.com

1 tablespoon grainy dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt

Whisk ’em together.  Top things with it.  Delicious.

Fall Salad with Canned Sand Pears and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette | Oysters & Pearls

Sorry for that insanely long post!

If you’re a Bainbridge local, the Bainbridge Country Club is having a Fall Carnival tonight from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  It’s $10 for adults and $5 for kids (non-members) and I’d love to see you there!

Happy almost Friday!

And watch out for those snails.

Until Next Time