Tuesday, November 24, 2009

THANKSGIVING

Have started getting ready for Thanksgiving. This morning a friend of DH's gave him a mess of collards early this morning. By six a.m. I was washing them. I pull them from the big center stem, bunching the leaf up tearing it and dropping it into five gallon stainless steel pot my family shipped oysters in back in the 50's & 60's. In the pot is a ham hock. Not just any ham hock but one from Darden's Country Store over Smithfield way. It's the old Virginia style of curing hams that the Smithfield area is famous world wide. I add a few seasonings and let them simmer and simmer and simmer. . .

We used to always get the Old Genuine Smithfield Hams and I'd soak and cook those babies. But, ten or fifteen years ago or so another friend who worked with DH told him of their cousin who cures hams and his wife cooks them, slices, and packages them for a reasonable fee. These hams are cured using their family recipe. So, we decided to try one and since then I have not cooked another ham but get them from the Darden's.

Now, my family would disown me if I did not have turkey and ham both for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We also get hams from them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, special events such as christenings and baptisms, showers for a new baby, etc. Sometimes in the summer we get a hankering and get one for the Fourth or Labor Day.

Today, we packed the SUV with four of the seven grandkids the oldest is almost 16 then the youngest three of the seven and went to get our Thanksgiving ham. On the trip back home we sample the ham, have a Moon Pie, cold Coke from a glass bottle, some chips of some sort, peanut candy, etc. Another must have from there are chunks of cheese they cut from a big round of cheese. Here is a picture I borrowed from DARDEN'S COUNTRY STORE website of their hams curing. . .

Click on DARDEN'S COUNTRY STORE and go visit them and this wonderful tradition we Virginians love.

Tomorrow I'll be cooking the turkey breasts. . . there will be four of them. . .our family likes white meat so I stopped doing the whole turkey as I was only one who ate dark meat after my grandparents and mother died. There will be green beans seasoned with ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato pudding with marshmallows, corn pudding, stuffing, homemade yeast rolls, gravy, cranberries, etc. . .

2 comments:

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

Jocelyn

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Iwant some of those collard greens, especially if they're cooked with a good ham hock. My mother can cook them, her mother could cook them, but I mess them up every time. How do you mess up collards, you may ask? By using the wrong sort of ham for seasoning. I've used those ham chips but it just isn't the same as a good hock.

Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I really need to check out this Darden Country Store.