A collard dog? I ‘ga-ron-tee’ it!

Published 8:22 am Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I have always enjoyed watching cooking shows and characters on television. Before there was a Food Channel, there was PBS with the first and greatest of them all, Julia Child. She brought the art of cooking into our homes with her high-pitched voice and a culinary style that was foreign to a country boy like me.

My favorite might have been Justin Wilson. Remember him? He was the red-suspendered Cajun fellow who always got his words backwards and would say something like, “How ya’ll are? What we gonna did today is make a gumbo.”

“But befoe I makes the gumbo, I’m gonna ask a question of you. Why the chicken cross the road? He try to get away from the Cajun! Cajuns just love that chicken. I ga-ron-tee it!”

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I also liked it when Justin Wilson would be making his dish and, as he was adding the ingredients, he would pour a little salt into the palm of his hand. “I’m gonna add about a teaspoon of salt,” he would say.

“Oh, you don’t think I know what I be doin?” Then he would take a measuring teaspoon and pour the salt into the teaspoon and it would be exactly the right amount. Justin Wilson was not simply a creative cooking fellow, he was a showman and he made me laugh.

Anyone who has read my columns knows that I like to cook, too. I’m not too creative. I am usually cooking something that I have learned from momma’s or daddy’s kitchen. Both of my parents know how to cook and, for that, I am blessed.

For the past few weeks, I have wanted to try a collard dog. You might be asking, “a what?” Well, if the truth be known, I wanted to try a mustard dog because I like mustard greens better than collards.

You’ve heard of hot dogs, chili dogs, and slaw dogs. There are also hot dogs with sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is sour cabbage, but some cultures eat it. Hot dogs can also be decorated with relish or peppers and onions. If you can put all that sort of stuff on a wienie and a bun, it’s not too far-fetched to imagine a collard dog. That’s what I did or “dooed” if Justin Wilson was speaking.

I found a nice package of ham hocks and boiled them for a few hours. Then, I washed some freshly cut collards and added them to the water and tenderized, cooked all-to-pieces ham hocks. It takes a half a day to cook collards, but when they were did (Justin Wilson, again), I slathered them on top of my hot dog and called it a collard dog.

Well, how was it, you may ask? Not too bad, but I don’t think I would “ga-ron-tee” it to overtake The Varsity’s dog!