Happy New Year from Elaine and all of her characters. Welcome to this New Year’s Day edition of Beyond the Book. Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m Elizabeth Lane Lovinggood. I was Elaine’s heroine in Return Engagement. I wanted to come today to tell you about Elaine’s new contract. Whiskey Creek Press wants to publish the sequel to Return Engagement, and guess who the hero will be? No, not my Richard even though he’s still my own personal hero. The hero is our son, Richard Henry Lovinggood III, Hank to his family and friends.
I wish I had words to tell you how wonderful that boy is. I know every mother thinks her son is special, but Hank really is. If not for him, Richard and I wouldn’t be here today. Not that he knows this, mind you. He can’t remember it. Why not? Sorry, you’ll have to wait for the book.
Are you eating black-eyed peas and collard greens today? In my part of the country, that’s supposed to bring you good luck. Not everybody knows how to cook collards, though. Here’s the way I do them. Even though I am a successful actress, I love to cook. Be sure to wash the collards real well before you start. They’re bad to collect grit.
½ pound smoked meat (ham hock, neck bones, etc.)
Salt, pepper, and garlic to taste, but don’t skimp
hot sauce to taste
1 bunch collards
3 quarts water
Boil the meat, salt, pepper, garlic, and pepper sauce for about 30 minutes. Remove the center stems from the collards and chop the rest. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be sure there’s plenty of liquid on the collards.
This is really good with Hopping John if you don’t want regular black-eyed peas. It took me a long time to convince Richard to eat collards, but he does it now without a fuss. He likes spicy food, so for him I usually put a lot of red pepper sauce.