Big Harold’s mash up made me love collards

Published 4:47 pm Monday, December 19, 2022

Collard greens. You see, there are many seasonal foods this time of the year such as turkey, ham and dressings of all types.  But my favorite is collard greens!  Not to mention boiled potatoes! (I will mention later).  I have good DNA being the son of Big Harold Robinson.

You see, my dad taught me to love collards at an early age and nothing is better this time of the year or at Thanksgiving if they are cooked right.  My mom could always cook the best collards I ever ate but later in my life; Mrs. Reba Smith cooked them as good as mom.

Dad had his “mash up” that hooked me on collards and boiled potatoes.  I can see him sitting at the table while mashing up boiled potatoes, pot liquor and hot pepper vinegar and adding collards to top that off.  He called that his mash up, only adding a dumpling to the other spices. My daughter Hope is from the same blood line as me, loves her some collard greens and misses her Pop fixing his mash up each Christmas Day.  She lives in Ocean City, Md. and I carry a quart from King Chicken each time Tracey and I visit.  Mrs. Florence Lodge fixed me a pot at my Mom’s passing and they were good! Thanks Mrs. Florence!

Dad once told me that collards were best after the first frost and had to be cleaned before they were put in the pot.  They had to be cut up and not too leafy to taste good and I have seen him drink pot liquor out of a coffee cup.  The pot liquor is the juice from the collards and he added that to his mash up.  He sometimes would take a hot pepper and add that to his mash up.  Tracey’s family eats pig tails with the collard greens but that’s not for me.

Mrs. Reba would save me my boiled potatoes from her grandson Trent.  That is a standing joke around the Smith household if Trent cannot be there.  Sometimes I skip the turkey and other casseroles just so I can get plenty of collards and boiled potatoes.  I have gotten so that I will eat oyster dressing because my wife fixes the best gravy you have ever eaten.  To sit down at the Smith household for lunch will never be forgotten!  String beans, collards, turkey and plenty of casserole not to mention a good mash up will make a man sleep afterwards. Mrs. Reba and Mr. Otha had three girls, and they all learned from their mom. They are VERY good cooks!

I am sure Hope and I would love to see our Pop and Dot one more time fixing his mash up and Dot fixing lunch!  I would trade my collards for that visit.

I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and the safest and prosperous New Year.  Do not forget the reason for the season and please shop local.  Do not forget where you came from!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C., The Original Washington!