Ok, so I’m not from the Deep South but I was born in Maryland. Historically, Maryland was tied both culturally and economically to the Upper South. By the time of the Civil War however, Northern Industrial influence had increased to the point where the state had deep ties to both sections, and could be properly thought of as neither North nor South
What does this little history lesson have to do with me? Well, one of Maryland’s favorite sons who took deep offense to the North’s wanton trampling of Maryland’s sovereignty was the famous actor John Wilkes Booth. We all know how that ended.
But what you probably didn’t know was that one of the conspirators in the Lincoln assassination happened to be my great, great, great Grandfather, Thomas Harbin. Harbin was the main signal officer (essentially an intelligence agent who operated behind enemy lines) for the Confederate Army in southern Maryland. Booth was introduced to Harbin in December of 1864, and though Harbin found Booth a bit too theatrical and not altogether with it, he agreed to provide what help he could and his help proved critical in helping Booth escape Maryland. The Feds caught up with and killed Booth in Virginia, and rounded up the bulk of the other conspirators too-but they never caught Thomas Harbin, despite a rather significant bounty that was put on his head.
So there you have it. Direct descendant of a Lincoln Conspirator. With my Southern bona fides established, you can rest at ease in the knowledge I know where I’m coming from when it comes to collards.
Good collards are hard to come by in Miami. Some people heap cupfuls of sugar in them, which is repulsive and an outrage. Spicey/salty is the way to go. Traditionally, collards are a winter crop, and like other greens, they aren’t at their sweetest until the first frost of the season. If you are dealing with summer/pre frost greens, a teaspoon of sugar is sometimes advised, but it really isn’t necessary if you fix them right.
Usually I serve this with my Grain-Free Yuca Cheese Rolls, but this time I bought a new corn bread mix that I’ve been wanting to try out. Pamela’s company makes all kinds of gluten-free products, but I can only vouch for their corn bread. HOLY CRAP! This is the real deal. It tastes like the corn bread my mom used to make, but it’s even more tender and delicious. It’s even made with non-GMO organic corn, which gives me a little peace of mind. I’m so happy I can handle corn in small amounts now, because it’s the perfect side dish to bring to BBQ’s. Not that I actually go to BBQ’s, because I don’t have a life… but you know what I mean.