The standard item of soul food that appeared almost daily at my mother’s table were one form of greens or another, always cooked with pieces of pork, sometimes salted, sometimes smoked. The greens were of a common garden variety, such as mustard greens, collard greens, and turnip greens. These would be put on to boil with a great quantity of water and salt and allowed to cook for hours. Once cooked, the liquid is much treasured by Southern palates. It is called “pot likker,” and you sip it like soup with corn bread. If you want to be fancy, you can always make cornmeal dumplings to float on top of the cooking liquid.
© 1987 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.