Piggin’ Out On Greens

Piggin’ Out On Greens


New Year’s Day

Happy New Year!

It is my family, Julie’s, Southern Tradition to eat certain foods every New Year’s Day.

One of which is Greens, usually Collard Greens.

It is said that it will bring you money all year long if you eat Greens on January 1st.

I have never known a January 1st. where I have not eaten Greens and I am not about to jinx it now.  🙂


Corn Muffins


Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, are a big part of the south, usually known as Soul Food.  Growing up we ate these Greens throughout the year, not just on New Year’s Day.  But, I tend to only eat them on New Year’s down here in Florida.  But I do know that if I were back home in Georgia that I would be eating them more often.

When we first moved to Hawaii, and New Year’s rolled around, I knew that I had to eat my Collards but I didn’t know how many that I would need?  We were having some friends over for New Year’s dinner, and I knew that I would need to buy my collards to feed all of us.  They do cook down so you need to buy quite a bit of them.  Seeing as how I didn’t know how many that I would need.   I laid in wait in the commissary produce section until I saw an African-American man handling the Collards.  I approached him and asked him how many should I buy to feed 8 people?  And he gave me the right amount!  I knew that he would know!  🙂  And that’s not racist, that’s just knowing how to spot a smart person that knows what they are doing.  🙂


Baked Honey Ham

And the only reason I wanted a Baked Honey Ham to begin with….

Fried Ham for all those Ham Biscuits


We Also Had Grits

The best way to eat grits is with butter/margarine, salt and pepper. 

Nothing more is needed.

We also had Black Eyed Peas for Good Luck!

Bowls, Bowls, and Bowls…

Gordon’s Dinner Plate to the Left, My Dinner Plate to the Right

In Southern Eating there are lots and lots of bowls.  Just sayin.


Piggin’ Out On Greens

Here is this year’s version of our Greens recipe.  This year we decided to have a little more pork in them, hence the name.  The additional pork gave the greens a more well rounded taste and made the pork more tender.  All in all, we felt the greens turned out great!

Gordon in our New Year’s Kitchen



3/4 Bag of Pre-washed Shredded Collard Greens – see below picture for size

3 Bundles of Turnip Greens (Washed)

5 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Red Onion Chopped

3/4 Yellow Onion Chopped

4 Cloves Garlic Chopped

1 Lg. Ham Hock or Shank – pre-smoked/cooked

7 Chinese Red Peppers

3 Bay Leaves

1 1/2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Cup Splenda Brown Sugar

Pieces of Pork Ears, Belly, and Tongue

8 Bacon Wrapped Dates – sliced in half

3 Pieces of Cooked Bacon

3 Qts. Chicken Broth or Stock

Cook on medium heat for ~ 1 and 1/2 hours.

All of the Ingredients Out and Ready

Getting Started

Garlic, Chinese Red Peppers, and Bay Leaves

While in the Asian Grocery Store looking for the Chinese Red Peppers, I found in a package three types of pork.  I thought the belly, ears, and tongue would really enhance the pork flavor of the greens.  They were also very tender after cooking and tasted quite good!

3 Kind Pork

(That’s what the package says.)


Here, I am, Gordon, cooking the pork shanks on the grill using a cast iron skillet.  This worked very well as you can see the results below.  I cooked them over high heat then turned the shanks on their side to crisp up the skin reducing the fat.  It took about 20-25 min. to cook them all the way through.

This Pork is going to accentuate our Greens very nicely!


Adding Leftovers

Here on the left you can see the dates wrapped in bacon.  These were a great addition to the greens as they gave an unexpected sweetness to the greens.  Pictured on the right are our olives wrapped in sharp cheddar cheese.  We did NOT use those.  🙂


On the left are the dates and some leftover bacon, and on the right is the cooked ham hock from the grill.


In a large pot cook your chopped onions in the olive oil over medium heat.

Gordon Adding some Olive Oil to the Pot

Gordon Chopping some Red Onions

Into the Pot with the Olive Oil

Gordon Adding Some Leftover Spanish Onion

Saute your onions until mostly cooked then add your ham hock.

Cook the ham hock until it renders some of its fat then add your chopped garlic.

Gordon Chopping the Garlic and Adding to the Pot

Now, tear off your turnip greens from the stem, and tear the leaves into bite sized pieces.

Add to the Pot

Add some of your chicken stock to the pot to deglaze it, which will remove any of the stuck pieces or (Fond) on the bottom of the pot.

Pretty Curly Turnip Greens

Shredded Collards

Add your collard and turnip greens to the pot.

Add at least one Qt. of chicken broth to help cook down the greens.


Here, I am adding the Turnip Greens we used as a garnish for the Stuffed Cornish Hens on Christmas Day. 

They had some of the Cornish Hen’s juices and seasoning.  There was no reason to throw them out.

Below, you can see how the Turnip Greens made a nice garnish around the plate to help display our Stuffed Cornish Hens from Christmas.

Our Cornish Hens from Christmas


Turning the greens helps the to wilt down faster.


Delicious Ham Hock, Greens, and the Juices


Add your Chinese Red Peppers and Bay Leaves to the pot.

Adding the Pretty Chinese Red Peppers and the Bay Leaves


Once the greens have mainly wilted down, pour enough chicken stock to cover all the ingredients.

Add your apple cider vinegar and brown sugar to the pot.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Splenda Brown Sugar

Stir the greens frequently in the beginning of the process to ensure all are mixed well.

Gordon Stirring the Pot

Add your sliced pork ears, belly, and tongue.  Add as much or as little as you like.

These will not only flavor the Greens but they are delicious to eat as well.

Our Experimental Greens

What started out as an experiment, has turned into a tradition. 

Although they aren’t finished yet!


Slice your bacon wrapped dates and bacon slices and add them to the pot.

Cover your pot and turn the heat to low and cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


Stir the greens about every 10 min. and cook them to your desired tenderness. 

We like them to the point of being al dente (Like Pasta).


Here is a great picture by Julie of our finished greens.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!


Corn Bread Muffins

Corn Bread is also a staple on New Year’s Day in the south.

I found this very rustic looking corn meal and it reminded me of something that my parents would have bought for us to eat at home when I was growing up. 

We just followed the corn meal package directions.

But, I didn’t want a big skillet of corn bread, so I opted for corn muffins instead.

Baking in the Oven to Deliciousness!



I knew that I wanted a Ham for New Year’s but not for the New Year’s Day feast.

I wanted this ham for all the leftovers that it would bring.  🙂

Gordon’s Easy Ham



1 Spiral Sliced Ham with seasoning packet

4 Tbsp Honey

2 Tbsp Apple Cider for the glaze and 1/2 cup for cooking

Turn your oven on to the prescribed temperature as directed on your ham.  As seen below, I put the ham in a roasting pan lined with foil and used the rack to ensure the heat encircled the ham.  Pour ~1/2 cup of your apple cider on the ham.

Tent your ham with foil so it won’t brown too quickly and bake it as directed.

When completed, remove the foil and mix your glaze with the added honey and apple cider.

This is something of a short cut for Gordon.  The glaze packet that comes with the ham is quite good so he just added to it.

Brush on the glaze first on the outside, then in between the slices.

Place the ham back in the oven for ~15 min. to allow the glaze to caramelize slightly.

Here is the finished product…

We Enjoyed it Tremendously!


Simple leftovers

We like the ham fried in a little olive oil until slightly browned.

Place the ham on a freshly baked biscuit with a touch of mustard.

This is southern, country perfection!

My Ham Biscuit with Mustard.  🙂


We’ll see Y’all Later!  Take care!

Julie and Gordon

And Happy New Year!!