Ivey House restaurant recipe oven baked pork chop, cream gravy (good, but I don't really go for cream gravies), a rice pilaf, and home grown baby collards and kale sauteed in the wok with olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper.
This is a tale of how we got to that delicious plate.
Well, in truth, this story is only the collard and kale chapter ...
In the warmer months, I use the BGS ( Bubbaponic Growing System) for my beloved datil peppers.
The "ponic" portion of Bubbaponic refers to the fact that these plants are fed with water from the livestock tank which supports the 4 year old turtles I hatched, plus some gambusia minnows.
That is the only water and fertilizer I apply ... and of course, there are no pesticides in the PFHQ garden.
The "bubba" part of Bubbaponics comes from the fact that it is I, FC, who dips out each pot's ration from the turtle/fish tank using an old pot.
Real hydroponics involves electric power, tubing, pumps, moving bits and pieces, emitters, expensive growing media, and lots of whirring noises.
In the winter, rather than let the BGS sit idle, I grow cool weather crops, like lettuce and collards.
Collards are easy in the south, but growing lettuce in Florida is tricky.
Lettuce does not like hot weather, so you plant in the winter.
Then you hope and pray that no heat wave will park over you and cause the lettuce to bolt and produce that hideously bitter white sap.
This year, I bought a six pack of baby collard plants at the nursery to save time.
The collards were put in the buckets first as tiny starts.
A few weeks later, I scratched some leaf lettuce seeds into the pots around the young collards.
It seems to be working pretty well. The collards shade the lettuce some and help to keep them cool.
The lettuce is sweet and tasty.
The turtles and I both think so.
Sunday, I harvested a big collander of baby kale and collard leaves from the BGS, gave them a quick chop, and then sauteed them in olive oil. They were seasoned with nothing but kosher salt and black pepper and they were excellent.
No bacon, no hamhock, no cooking for hour ... just ten minutes of wok and rolling.
Here is Anatoly Anole, Guardian Of Free Collardia.
He's a suave, debonair lizard who has mastered the nonchalant, "cool guy" look.
(Something that I never mastered)
Not for a lack of trying, mind you.
Below is a video conference with Anatoly and a preview of this season's blueberry crop.
It looks like another bumper blueberry bonanazapazoola this year.
If you get a chance, check out this post by my friend Julie Zickefoose.
It's about a really strange Florida critter ... who is totally honored to be her friend.