News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Nothing like keeping oneís word

We are having an ongoing debate at our house this winter about which greens are the best. I say Seven Tops; she says Purple Tops.

The difference is more than a fat turnip that forms on the bottom of Purple Tops. Itís taste.

Dad always planted Purple Tops because he said he didnít see any sense in growing only greens when you could have turnips on the same plants and at the same cost.

Thatís Reginaís theory, too, because she likes the roots.

Abundance is the reason we are debating greens this winter. I discovered that the only way our friends would help eat the bountiful fall harvest was if I picked and delivered the greens, preferably washed.

So we eat turnip-less Seven Tops that I cooked, then froze, as we continue the taste debate each time greens are for supper.

Why did I do the washing, cooking and freezing without help from you-know-who?

The reason goes back more than three decades to our first home garden. We grew too many vegetables, especially yellow crookneck squash. We gave them away in the neighborhood until people locked their doors when they saw us coming.

But I kept picking squash and taking them into the house. ďLetís freeze some,Ē I suggested.

We had an old freezer in the garage that needed filling.

I say it was 20 packages of squash that ruined; she says it was 120. But sheís given to hyperbole, and I tend toward understatement.

Whatever the count, one day over in the summer, we were not aware that the hand-me-down freezer had conked out until we sniffed the awful smell.

Thatís why I freeze the greens. On that date long, long ago she decreed that I could grow all of the vegetables I wanted, but never again would she preserve them.

Sheís kept her word. But she does like those greens.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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