I'm old enough to remember when people took pride in their work and gave full measure for the price they charged. Sadly, it seems those days are gone. Either that or we've just be exceedingly unlucky with some of our purchases!
Take today, for instance. We had the traditional meal that's eaten all over the South on New Year's Day - pork, black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread. I spent all morning cooking and, knowing that it would take some time to prepare everything, I bought pre-washed and cut up collard greens in a bag instead of the huge fresh leaves that are usually dirty and full of sand. It takes some major effort to clean collards well enough to eat & I wanted to able to enjoy the day along with my husband instead of spending time preparing and cooking the meal. To be honest, I was skeptical about pre-washed collards as I'd purchased frozen PicSweet turnip greens twice and found them so full of sand as to be inedible. I contacted PicSweet to let them know that they had falsely labled their product as "cook and eat" and swore I'd never buy that brand (PicSweet) of any type of frozen food again. (And I haven't even though it's the only brand our local store carries in some of the produce we like to buy.) Anyway, I was so disappointed in these collards. On impulse based on past experience, I decided to wash them just to make sure they were clean. After three changes of water that left silt in the bottom of my sink, I was finally able to put them into a pan to cook.
Collards are a green leafy vegetable that seems to attract bugs like bears to honey so you kind of expect some bug holes - it comes with the territory unless you prefer perfect leaves that you know have been doused in insecticide. But these pre-packaged greens were holes held together by bits of collard leaf. I wish I could remember the name of the company - it was some family farm in South Carolina - I would ask them if they ate their own produce! They probably eat the best stuff themselves and package the rest!
I believe in giving credit where credit is due so I dug the package out of the trash in order to give you the brand name. It's Rawl brand - Walter P. Rawl and Sons. I will remember this brand & not buy it again.
I know it's not always possible for everyone, but I'm so glad we're able to grow our own produce! This past year was the exception because we were building our house (that's another quality issue!) and the garden area was full of trucks, materials and workmen. I think for the future, if we don't produce it here, we just don't need to eat it!
And, I apologize to any workman who gives his/her best and gives a fair return on the monies charged for their goods or services. Not only do I apologize, I salute you! You're a rare breed these days and deserve more recognition for your efforts!
Now, for the message you expected to see today - HAPPY NEW YEAR!