Ya’ll wanna take a little trip down south with me? Because beans and greens are what’s on my table for dinner this week!
While we were home in VA visiting my family for Christmas, I was unexpectedly reacquainted with a favorite meal I had long forgotten about when I moved to Dallas nine years ago and broadened my culinary horizons. Growing up in a pastor’s family full of young budding musicians, Christmas Eve was always the most hectic day of the holiday season for us. Each member of my family always had a special part in the Christmas Eve service, which typically involved music. We’d often spend the entire day practicing our pieces, deciding what to wear and primping for the special, picture-filled night (remember, there are FOUR daughters in the High clan – that equals a lot of primping and picture-taking in front of the Christmas tree).
We’d be so busy on Christmas Eve that bringing everyone together for a meal was challenging – our annual Christmas Eve dinner became my dad’s special venison chili over the years because it was easy to just let it simmer on the stovetop all day and be waiting on us when we got home from the service. This year, however, was a little different – Christmas Eve was still a busy day during my visit, but Dad hadn’t gotten a chance to make his special chili! We needed a quick, make-ahead meal that could simmer on the stovetop and be enjoyed (although rather hastily for some) by everyone whenever they had the chance to eat something. That’s where the beans and greens come in.
My sweet mom made the epic decision to make a big pot of smoky pinto beans accompanied by briny braised turnip greens and a hot pan of cornbread. And to be honest with you, despite all the festive fancier fare we had on our trip, this was the meal I came back to my home thinking about. The simplicity and homeyness of this “Southern comfort food” was something I was craving and had missed but didn’t realize it. So it became one of the first weeknight I made for Ryan and I to enjoy during the new year. Now that we’ve been reacquainted, I’m not planning to let beans and greens off of my winter menu anytime soon!
Did you make this recipe? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, drop me a line on Facebook, or upload a pic of your creation to Instagram with the tag #sweetcayenne .