You can smell them cooking a mile away. I don't really think they're appreciated by anyone north of Tennessee or west of Mississippi. It seems the big cooking show cliche is "comfort food." Ok, I'll play - collards are comfort food to the umpteenth degree. In a time where food has become a chore rather than an enjoyment, I am relieved to find out that collards still make me comfortable and happy.
At a small, hard to find corner of Chapel Hill, North Carolina sits Mama Dip's. Mama Dip was a real person but I'm not really sure if she's still living or not. But her family carries on the tradition of southern delicacies that'll make you feel happy no matter where you're from. On our annual trip to that part of the world for football (either against Duke or North Carolina, depending on the year) we made a stop this past Friday to visit Mama Dip's. I've gotten my mind trained to not really look forward to food all that much. Find something that's "allowable" and eat what you can. Soft cooked vegetables are "allowable" so I decided to give a bowl of collards a shot. Granted, they would've been better with a chunk of cornbread, but that bowl of collards tasted as good as almost anything I've put in my mouth since surgery. Granted, there wasn't any protein to speak of, but they sure tasted like heaven. The only thing that's come close is a turkey meatloaf my bride made me right after surgery. I bet I'd enjoy that even more now that food is actually starting to taste good.
I'm rambling..bottom line, it was a treat to sit down and enjoy food.