Monthly Archives: May 2015

Cooking Turnip Greens for the First Time

2015-05-31 17.25.14

 

We went to the local farmers market this weekend for the 1st time this year.  One of the stalls was selling bunches of 3 turnips for $2.50 and I’d never seen turnips that big!  I like to put turnips in my Fall and Winter stews instead of potatoes, so I bought a bunch.  I’m going to peel, dice and freeze the turnips until I’m ready to use them later this year.

Unlike just the turnip bulb I find in the grocery store, these turnips came with their above-ground leafy stalks.  I knew I’d heard about turnip greens in certain Southern movies, books and ladies circles so, being the frugal Southerner that I am, I went searching for a recipe.  Cuz, let’s face it: once your north of 40, like I am, you can never have too many greens in your diet!  However, I didn’t want a recipe that took an ingredient and boiled it to death or smothered it in so much butter or bacon grease to mask the taste that it was no longer good for us.  So I asked The Google to find me a “healthy turnip green recipe”.   The second recipe to pop up in that search was Gina Neely’s Turnip Green Recipe.   I had all the ingredients, I liked the cooking method, so I went for it!

Once the hubs realized that I was actually going to cook the turnip greens, he felt the need to make a declaration: “I’ve had turnip greens before and I don’t like them.  Just like I don’t like turnips!  (Note to audience, he gobbles them up in my stews!) No matter how you’re going to prepare them, it’s not going to make a difference to me, because I. Don’t. Like. Turnips!  Therefore, I will not be trying yours.”  I gotta say, I totally admire the man’s courage for standing up to me.  ;o)

Well, I just loved these turnip greens!  I asked B if he’d like to try them (let him know he didn’t have to) and he did.  He loved them as much as I did!  The hubs was in the other room and called out, “What did the boy think?!”  I replied, “He liked them alright.”

The hubs came stomping into the kitchen with a duck face.  He looked at the pan of greens and his expression changed to disgust.  “Did you put vinegar in them,” he asked.  “Nope,” I replied.  “Hm.  Maybe I’d like them if they had vinegar.”

I said nothing; he continued to eye the greens like they were gonna jump up and bite him.  I turned back to the computer so he didn’t feel and pressure and saw out of the corner of my eye him grab a green out of the pan with his fingers and put it in his mouth.  His face was pleasantly surprised at the taste, but once he saw me looking at him, the duck face was back.  “Just like I thought,” he said, and walked into the front room.  I wonder if the leftovers will “mysteriously” end up in his lunch pail tomorrow?  ;o)

I wanted a sign.

5:25am  As instructed, the hubs got me up before leaving for work.  (Last night, while we were cleaning up after Bible circle, I said to the hubs, “Don’t forget to wake me up before you go to work tomorrow.”  He replied, “You mean…wake you up before I…go-go?”  “Yes,” I laughed. “Wake me up before you go-go!”)

5:34am  I sit down at the computer, pull up a particular site and have a credit card at the ready.  Registration for the Fall semester of amazing homeschool classes begins at 6:00am.  One of my friends described it so accurately yesterday: a shark feeding frenzy.  You have to be up and hope you are quick enough to get your kids into the classes they want.  Why?  Although there are a good number of companies and individuals who are catering to homeschoolers now, the majority of them offer core subjects (Math, Language Arts, Science), gym and tend to cater to the younger students (up to 3rd grade).

The place I am talking about definitely offers core subjects, but also electives in languages, art, music, cooking, computers, architecture, making this planet a better place, and so much more!  There is hands-on and interactive learning and live performances of historical characters by professions actors who work in museums.  These are not classes doing “school” at home; this is HOMEschool!  These are classes we’d want to create for our kids if we were subject matter experts and had the resources.  These are classes our kids beg to take, are so excited to get to and you know what?  There are no tests!  It is purely for the love of learning and advancing themselves in a topic they are passionate about!

5:56am  Had to refresh the registration page, just in case it went live early.  Classes are only once a week, but they happen to fall on a day that has other obligations for us, so it can be a hectic day.  Especially for this mama, who is an introvert and does not enjoy being around people.

5:59am  Be back soon…

6:00am  DAMMIT!  So many people trying to register, I can’t get on!

6:06am  I got to the registration page and managed to enter one class to my cart, but the other one won’t.  I’m just getting this swirly thing, telling me the computer is thinking…

6:12am  Still can’t get the 2nd class in my cart.  I’ve tried checking out with the one class so it is secured before it fills up, but I can’t get to my cart.  Their site is so overwhelmed with parents trying to register.  I’m messaging with a friend who is also trying.  She almost made me pee my pants with laughter when she references the “swirls of death”, taunting us, leaving us in limbo, wondering if we’ll ever get our kids in these classes!

6:33am  FINALLY got second class added to cart!  Trying to get into the cart to checkout now…

6:43am  CHECKED OUT, PAID AND CONFIRMATION EMAIL RECEIVED!!!!!!  If B wasn’t still asleep, I’d be whooping, doing a happy dance and singing the Hallelujah chorus!  I don’t know how people can work on the stock exchange floor day in and day out; this was so stressful!

You know, as I was hitting refresh, refresh, refresh, and getting the message, “error in connecting to server” over and over and over again, I kept wondering if maybe not getting into these classes was for the best.  I hate Wednesdays, mostly because of these classes. I started to hope that he didn’t get into the classes.  But as soon as that thought took seed, the website worked for me and I got both classes into my cart and was able to check out.  So I did.

Near the end of our Wednesday night Bible circle, before we break out dessert, we take turns telling our prayer requests and thanksgivings.  Last night, my thanksgiving was that yesterday was the last day of these classes I shlep B to every Wednesday, then rush home for flag football practices/games and then Bible circle.  I was thankful that this was the first Wednesday all school year that I did not think about drinking (or actually pour a drink) as soon as we got home!  The relief I felt that it was over!  Then the hubs mentioned that I had to be up at the crack of dawn this morning for Fall registration and one of the men in our circle asked me, “Then why do you do this?!  If it’s so stressful and it makes you want to drink, why?”

It was a very valid question with a very simple answer: for my son.  It’s not his fault that his mom is an introvert who wants to hermit all day.  I refuse to let my anxieties cripple his life and his opportunities.  There are certain subjects that I can’t teach him and I won’t hold back this child who loves the classes, the teachers and the other students there with him.

But I did put my foot down for this coming Fall.  We won’t be there all day.  He can’t take whatever classes he wants – one starting at 9am, another at 2pm and he’ll take some other classes in between or just play with the other kids.  I really wanted to be out of there by 2pm, but I would push it back to 3pm if it was an important class.  I was firm on that.  So, the last class I just registered him for ends at 3:30pm.  ;o)  He really wants to concentrate on his acting, so he’s taking back-to-back acting classes.  I’m OK with that.  We’ll only be there for 2.5 hours and I don’t have to pack lunch.  I have two friends there that I can talk to when I want to and who don’t mind if I go off by myself (I could have more friends, if I wanted to, but I choose not to socialize.)

7:47am  The registration website is down, due to “unprecedented traffic”.  I’m glad I got in when I did.  It was a sign.  :o)

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My Papa.  He died while I was pregnant with B.  I’d apologize for not going to his funeral and tell him all about his amazing, 12 year old namesake.

I’d hug him.

Take in his distinct smell.

Rub my cheek against his whiskers and my fingers across the buttons of his overalls.

Take the folded up ruler out of his side-thigh pocket, unfold it, measure myself, fold it back up and put it back in his pocket.

I’d point out to him, for the 100,000th time, that all the hair on his head decided to relocate to his eyebrows after he retired.

Complain that I can’t find carrots at any store nor farmers market that taste as good as the ones he grew.

I’d tear up when he called me “honey bunch”.

Let him know that when I look into my dad’s eyes, I see his laughing one looking back at me.

I’d tell him to let Nana know how much I feel her with me when I use her dishes everyday and that I think of her one and only joke every time someone says the word, “quarter”.

I’d hug him again and tell him:

– How much I love and miss him,
– That I will see him again one day,
–  And tell him not to forget his “…hat, coat and runnin’ wutah!”

 

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