6 sliced potatoes

1 chopped onion

¾ cup grated cheese

2 tsp. salt


3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

2 cups hot milk


Melt the butter in a sauce pan.  Add flour, salt, and pepper, and stir smooth. Slowly add in the hot milk while stirring constantly. On thickening, melt the grated cheese into the sauce. Place layers of the sliced potatoes, cheese sauce, and onions into a buttered baking dish or casserole.   Repeat until all ingredients have been used. Bake for 60 minutes at a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.





2 gallons spinach

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

A dash of pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 cup milk


Wash spinach well. Sprinkle with salt and cook until soft. Do not add water. Once spinach is tender, remove and chop it very fine. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour to the butter and mix. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches a thick consistency. Combine the mixture with the chopped spinach.  Add a dash of pepper and the nutmeg, and serve.




1 bunch fresh broccoli, about 2 pounds

Salt, to taste

Butter, about 2 tablespoons


Wash the broccoli, then peel away the tough outer layer of the stems. Cut each stalk into 2-3 spears. Arrange in a large skillet with a lid. Fill with water to 1 inch. Sprinkle with salt; bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain. Cover the pan and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes before serving. Season, to taste and add butter.

About 5 servings Can be frozen

Per Serving: 75 Calories; 5g Fat; 4g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs


Savory Collard Greens

This is about as simple as a recipe can get, from start to finish, if you are organized. You can be done and sitting at the table eating in less than one hour, and much of that time you do not need to be standing over the stove. The pork element can be any kind of fresh sausage you like or even ham. The Italian sausage listed below is at the top of the list.


1 bunch greens

1-2 fresh Italian sausages

Red pepper flakes

2-3 cups water or stock of your choice


Remove the tough stems from the greens and then give them a good wash. In a large heavy bottom pot, sauté the whole sausage in a little oil until well browned. Add the water or stock, season with red pepper flakes and simmer for 15 minutes, now break up the sausage and continue simmering for 10 minutes more. You should have a flavorful stock by now. Taste and re-season or continue cooking as needed. Add the greens, one hand full at a time and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve as a side, as an interesting tortilla filling, toss with pasta or just by itself. This is a hearty meal.

Hoppin’ John


This is another easy recipe that comes to us from the Carolina Low Country, but there they will probably use field peas. If you are using leftovers, you will be done in minutes. If you want to make this a heartier recipe, add celery, bell pepper and lots of garlic when you cook the onions.


2 cups cooked black-eyed peas or navy beans

1 cup steamed rice

2-3 strips smoked bacon or 1/2 cup chopped sausage

1 small chopped red onion

1/2 cup stock

Red pepper flakes


Use the black-eyed pea recipe that is in this column, leaving in or taking out the okra, if you do not have leftover black-eyed peas. If you want to substitute fresh or smoked sausage for the bacon, that would be just fine. If you are also without leftover rice, which is perhaps not such a good idea, just simmer 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of stock, lid on, until tender. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, begin here: Cook the bacon until crispy in a large sauté pan. Remove paper towels to drain, then roughly chop. Cook the onion in the bacon drippings for 5 minutes, add the cooked peas and the stock, red pepper flakes and simmer just for a few minutes to bring the flavors together. Add the rice and the bacon, taste and re-season as necessary, and serve at once.

Black-Eyed Peas With Ham Hock and Collards

Black-Eyed Peas With Ham Hock and Collards

For good fortune in the New Year, a plate of black-eyed peas is considered auspicious, especially in the American South. Believe it or don’t. Consuming this frugal dish on the first day of the year is said to augur the arrival of wealth.

Of course, there’s a back story.

Sephardic Jews were evidently eating black-eyed peas for good luck on Rosh Hashana centuries ago, and the custom eventually traveled with them to America. (We think of beans as purely New World, along with tomatoes, chilies and potatoes, but legumes like field peas, chickpeas and lentils have been Old World staples since biblical times.)

Black-eyed peas also arrived in Florida and the Caribbean, carried by African slaves. Just as African seasoning influenced Creole cooking, so black-eyed peas became part of the wider culture.

Ultimately, the Civil War played a part in the spread of the black-eyed pea throughout the South. The ravages of war and the scarcity of food changed the region’s diet. Dried beans and corn, formerly considered the food of the poor (or animal fodder), became the food of the entire population, and I expect most people felt lucky to have it.

Black-eyed peas cook much like any other dried bean. An overnight soak in cold water helps them cook faster. Simmered with onion and a meaty ham bone (other options are salt pork, bacon, pigs feet, hog jowl and ham hock), they can be prepared quite simply, with just salt and pepper. But they may also be made highly seasoned with hot pepper and spices; some cooks add tomato.

Adding cooked greens (the color of money) is said to make them even luckier.

Freshly baked cornbread (the color of gold) is the perfect accompaniment. Stir in some steamed rice and you can call it Hoppin’ John, though purists will say the rice and beans should be cooked in the same pot. It’s still a lucky dish, either way.

Aside from being outrageously tasty, black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day may also help a hangover. But I like the good-luck factor, and encourage guests to have at least a taste. It couldn’t hurt, right?



2 pounds black-eyed peas, soaked overnight if possible

2 pounds smoked ham hock, meaty ham bone or slab bacon

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 large onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 pounds collard greens, cut in 1-inch ribbons (about 8 cups)

1 bunch scallions, cleaned and chopped, for garnish


  1. Drain peas and put them in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add ham hock or bone (if using slab bacon, cut it into 2-inch chunks), cover with 10 cups water and turn heat to high. Add salt, onion stuck with cloves, bay leaf, black pepper and allspice.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until peas are tender. Throughout cooking, add water as necessary, always keeping liquid level 1 inch above surface, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Turn off heat. Check broth for salt and adjust seasoning. Mixture should be fairly brothy. With a pair of tongs, remove ham hock, ham bone or bacon. Chop meat and skin in rough pieces and set aside.
  3. Put a large wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and heat until wavy. Add garlic and red pepper and let sizzle without browning. Add collard greens and stir to coat. Season with salt and add 1 cup water, stirring to help wilt greens. Add chopped ham and reduce heat to medium, then cover with lid slightly ajar and cook until greens are soft, about 20 minutes. Check seasoning.
  4. To serve, put greens and meat in low soup bowls, then ladle over hot black-eyed peas. Sprinkle with scallions.

Curried Roasted Cabbage

Curried Roasted Cabbage


1 medium head green cabbage

1 yellow onion, sliced into thick wedges

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into 8 wedges each

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon curry powder, hot or mild

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1/4 cup currants

1/4 cup toasted almond slivers

Lemon wedges, to serve


Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Cut the cabbage into quarters, then cut out the thick stem and core from each piece and discard. Slice each quarter into 4 wedges for a total of 16 pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage wedges with the onion and apples, then drizzle with the olive oil and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle the curry powder over everything, coating all sides of the cabbage mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender and all sides are golden, about 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Sprinkle the currants and almonds over the cabbage, then toss lightly to mix. Serve with lemon wedges.

Perfect Southern Greens

Southern Greens


1 bunch kale

1 bunch beet leaves (collards, mustard, turnip) or 1bunch other greens (collards, mustard, turnip)

1 large onion, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup cubed ham

3 slices bacon

2 1/2 cups water (more if needed)

Salt and pepper

Balsamic vinegar (optional)


Tear greens into large pieces and discard the thick vein. Add greens to a pot of boiling salted water (I use kosher salt). Let boil for about 6 minutes. Drain and Rinse.

While the greens are boiling, preheat a heavy skillet with olive oil, add onion and garlic; sauté until onions are lightly brown and cook for an additional minute or two.

Put the sautéed onions in the slow-cooker then add the drained greens, ham, bacon, and water.

Cook on high setting for 4 hours or until greens are tender.

Serve with balsamic vinegar, optional.

Scalloped Potatoes



6 potatoes sliced

1 onion, chopped

2 tsp. salt


3 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. flour

2 cups hot milk

¾ cup grated cheese


Melt butter in double boiler or sauce pan. Add flour, seasoning and stir smooth. Slowly add the hot milk stirring constantly. When it thickens melt the grated cheese in the sauce. Into a buttered baking dish or casserole put layers of the sliced potatoes, onions and cheese sauce, repeating until all ingredients are used. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 1 hour.

Cathy’s Corn Pudding


For holiday meals, my sisters and I would make our favorite recipes to share.  My sister, Cathy, is the one who makes Corn Pudding for Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner.  She enjoys making this dish and sharing it with everyone who comes to eat at our Holiday meals.  Here is her recipe for Corn Pudding.


2 pkg frozen corn

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 eggs slightly beaten

1 tbsp flour

½ stick butter



Completely thaw corn; put into casserole dish.  Add eggs.  Mix sugar, flour and salt together and fold into corn.  Melt butter and stir into mixture.  Add milk to completely cover the mixture.  Cover and bake in pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes.