My grandmother’s screened back porch was an adjunct to the kitchen. A red and white plastic gingham tablecloth covered a wooden table that served as overflow refrigerator space during cold weather months. I’d frequently see an apple pie, coconut cake, or some such dessert stored there. A white wicker rocker with a thick cushion sat in the corner, and an antique butter churn used for fermenting cabbage for sauerkraut occupied space by the door.
During the summer months of my childhood, many Southern folks were busy putting up food for the winter. Mature gardens yielded way more food than could be eaten, so tomatoes, peas, butter beans, green beans, beets, and cucumbers were frozen or canned and put away for cold weather.
- 4 uncooked mild Italian turkey sausages
- 3 strips thick cut bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 1-pound bag frozen black-eyed peas
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 cups roughly chopped collard greens (thick stems removed)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar