Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1. Uncle Willie's Swamp Cabbage Stew

Recipe 1. Uncle Willie's Swamp Cabbage Stew.

I want to stay as true to the recipes as possible, so you can image I was very pleased when I read, "If you don't live along the Carolina, Georgia, North Florida coast, Hearts of Palm in a can will work."

But the fatback was another story. Fatback is just that, the strip of fat off a pig's back. It's what they use to make lard and pork rinds. If I lived anywhere near a Piggly Wiggly, this might have been easier. Alas, I do not live near a Pig. I live in the land of soy and fit people. However, after much exploration and explanation, I was able to source it right here at a grocery store.

After rendering down the fatback, which smells like hell, you add the hearts of palm, onions, tomatoes, thyme and sugar. Really, this was stewed tomatoes. It looked like something I had regurgitated after a night of Chianti. Not a stellar way to start this project, except . . .

My boys liked it! My son, who doesn't liked his food mixed, asked me what it was. I thought this was the prelude to him telling me he didn't like it. Instead, he said it was really good. And my husband had two heaping helpings. Go figure. Recipe 1, two of three thumbs up.


  1. I like the idea of your project, especially since my North Florida/South Georgia folk probably ate all of these things. But I just don't know if I could render fatback. I'm too far from my roots (or too much like my NW side of the family).

    Man, I wish I could have heard the fatback discussion at the grocery store!

  2. Fatback huh? Can I just substitute some good bacon grease :) And is there cabbage in the thing?