A Word On Food: Greens

Such a small word. Such a simple word. Love is like that too. I didn’t grow up knowing and loving greens like so many in our American South. In Northern Illinois where I tromped, crawled, ran, ambled, slid, skidded and stumbled through childhood greens were not bubbling in a black iron pot on the back burner of the gas range my mother and grandmother cooked for us on. Both were native New Yorkers and likely greens were not in their orbit either. But upon moving to the South I finally met and fell in love. Just as anyone with an appetite and a brain in their head does.

Some years ago a poet came to my attention by the name of Kevin Young. That was lucky. Mr. Young writes verses I want to drink like coffee, whiskey and pot likker. He is ten years younger than me but writes like he’s been on the Earth a long time. His volume, “Dear  Darkness” was the book that first introduced him to me. There is a section in that book of poems that center on foods that are integral to Mr. Young’s poetic soul. One poem is on greens. He titles it, “Ode to Greens”. I wish he were here to read it to you, to us. But … let us sample a few lines.

“You take long as it takes. Wife to worry, you can sit forever, stewing, grown angrier by the hour. Like ribs you are better the day after, when all is forgiven. 


Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show! Please check out my Instagram photos and my new IG TV cooking videos @normanvanaken 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2023 Norman Van Aken. All rights Reserved.