You know, I never REALLY knew what soul food was until recently. I actually thought soul food was some sort of crazy Indian/African fusion that was probably prepared by someone with a nice ‘fro and very colorfully, hip clothing. No kidding, and stop laughing. Now when my lovely, caucausian, upstanding neighbor offered to cook Mario and I some soul food, I didn’t know what to think. (she doesn’t have a ‘fro…what IS she doing??)

Turns out, soul food is food like Black-eyed Peas, Greens, (or for those who don’t know-collard greens) Ham hocks, cornbread, turnips and the sort. Isn’t that what we called southern cooking in California, not soul food. Southern Sunday cooking. No ‘fro, no paisley, no jive!

Well, we let her cook it for us, and have our southern-style, Sunday supper…no, not dinner, that would be lunch silly! Turns out, most of it isn’t so bad. I don’t care for the Black-eyed peas much, they need too much salt to make palatable, and I am not much for just plain ham, but I kinda liked the turnips. They were like potaotes that didn’t need all the fixin’s. However, I still can’t believe what they do to those poor collard greens! I say they, because everybody makes them pretty much the same way. You boil them for a good, long time (after church until supper) with a piece of something called fatback.

Now for those of you yanks that don’t know what fatback is, allow me to clarify. Appearantly, there is a piece of meat on a pig that is fattier than bacon! It is just pure fat and they put that piece into the water to “flavor” the greens. I can’t believe that people actually pay to get nothing but fat. I pay to have my meat trimmed, not to buy the trimmings!

Anyway, it really makes the collards really greasy…’er flavorful, as they say here, when you eat them. It’s just wrong, vegetables should not be greasy. To me, if it’s not being fried, it doesn’t deserve that much fat! If you can’t flavor a vegetable with cilantro, garlic or onion, it probably isn’t worth eating, and you should probably just pull the weed out of your garden. (and I don’t care how healthy is was before you started cooking it!)

So, after all the work my neighbor put into her soul food, bless her heart, Mario and I didn’t take much to soul food. We’d glady take our sushi, avocados, artichokes, latkes and fajitas over soul food any day!