Yesterday morning, as I’ve already told you, we had a thunderstorm. The weather had been mixed and moody for days, in the way that you feel inside your head. I had a lot to do, but I took a moment to sit on the couch with Clio, and listen to the rain, and think about ichneumon wasps, as I’ve also already told you.
You can hear the rain and the thunder. You can hear the cars go by, which has its own sort of suspenseful build-up of sound. You can catch a glimpse of the cool wet world outside of my curtain. You see the legos and CDs that need putting away. And you can see me breathing, because I was holding the camera on my belly, which is an idea that I like…it’s marking time, and it makes the film feel alive. And that’s all I’m going to say about that, because it’s totally cheating to tell you anything about it, it’s against all the rules.
These smoky spicy sweet collards and black-eyed peas in a very brothy sauce went with the smoky cheesy bread I shared yesterday, much in the same way that this video goes with everything I wrote yesterday. They’re simultaneous. We ate them at the same time! I made the black-eyed peas from dried, which was fun. I cooked the peas and the collards at the same time, so that the cooking water becomes the broth for the dish. The smokiness comes from black cardamom, which is such an odd looking thing, with such a mysteriously delicious flavor. We also have pepper flakes and ginger for zing and pomegranate molasses for sweet tartness, Tamari for the umami, and a bit of brown sugar for molasses-y sweetness. A nice warm meal for a chilly rainy spring day!
Here’s Fats Dominoes completely lovely song It Keeps Rainin’
1 cup dried black eyed peas
2 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t oregano
2 bay leaves
2 black cardamom pods
1 t sage
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t ginger
1 T tomato paste
2 t pomegranate molasses
1 t tamari
1 T brown sugar
3 cups packed cleaned, finely chopped collards
2 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 or 4 cups vegetable broth or water
1 T butter
salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper
Put the black eyed peas in a pot with enough water to cover by a few inches. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, and leave to soak for at least an hour. Drain.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot, cook and stir for about a minute, then add the garlic and all the spices. Cook and stir and immediately add the tomato paste, pomegranate molasses, tamari and brown sugar. Cook and stir till you have a syrupy paste. Add the soaked beans. Stir to coat. Add the collards and enough water or broth (or a combination) to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, till the peas and collars are nice and soft, but still with a little texture. Add the tomatoes, and cook till they’re softened. Stir in the butter, season with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and serve.