Food for Thoughtby Minister Hugh Bradford

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

The believer has every reason to do this, irrespective of everyday problems. No matter what occurs or how negative things may seem to be, we as his people are to never stop giving thanks to the Lord, which is the Will of God.

Cooking Up a Mess of Greens, by Leslie Ansley

There’s nothing like a plate of well-seasoned collard greens. Back home in Ohio, responsibility for cooking the Thanksgiving greens falls to my Aunt Joan. She’ll make a batch with ham hocks or some other pork and a batch with smoked turkey necks for those who don’t eat pork.  While I like my aunt’s greens just fine, I prefer my own, which I make like my mother’s – with sliced jalapenos for heat.

A “mess” of greens is a uniquely Southern term that pretty much means however many bunches of collard, mustard or turnip greens you can cram into one of those plastic produce bags at the store (usually about two or three).  When I make a pot of greens it’s like a meal in itself – just add a slice of cornbread. There’s quite a bit of meat because I use smoked turkey wings or legs (whichever is on sale). I always add kale to my collards because I like the texture. If I’m cooking for a lot of people I might throw in a head of cabbage to stretch it. The recipe below is for the collards-kale mix, but use all collards or whatever mix of greens you prefer. The jalapenos are optional.


A mess of collards (about 2 pounds)

1 bunch of kale

1 medium onion, diced

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

6 cups of chicken broth

2 cups of water

1 jalapeno pepper, sliced

2-3 smoked turkey legs or wings

  1. Remove the collard green leaves from the stems and wash thoroughly, being sure to remove all dirt and grit. Do the same for the kale. Rinse well and set aside.
  2. Sautee the onion and garlic in the oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey legs, broth and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add in the collard greens, kale and jalapenos. Cook on medium-low for about an hour.
  4. Toward the end, remove the turkey legs and cut the meat off the bone. Chop it into bite-sized chunks and mix the meat back into the greens.
  5. When done, season as you wish – hot sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper.

NOTE: If you have any broth (called “potlikker”) left after the greens are gone, freeze and save it. You can use it later as a base for soup.

NEXT WEEK: The best sugar cookie recipe, ever.


Create a Pomander Display, by Donna Wright

Make this fragrant holiday arrangement with pine cones and holiday greens displayed on a plate, in a bowl or on a charger.  First, score patterns on the oranges with a citrus stripper or channel knife. Then, make pilot holes with a small nail. After that, stud the oranges with whole cloves. If you don’t have time to make patterns in the oranges, simply stick whole cloves into the oranges and call it a day (you can also use apples).

You can go to a Christmas tree lot and ask for greenery.  Most of them will give it to you. If you live in a wooded area where there are pine trees, simply cut greenery from the trees.  If you have friends with pine trees or holly bushes, ask them if you can pick up pine cones from their yard or cut a few sprigs of holly.

Place several of these all over – on the mantle (using a container that will fit the mantle), on the dinette table, on counters, in the bathrooms – whatever works for you.

NEXT WEEK: DIY projects using pumpkins.