For many African-American families, no holiday would be complete without collard greens. This is Mildred Clayton's own recipe.


4 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 to 2 pounds cut-up smoked turkey legs or wings
2 pounds ham hocks
4 quarts roughly chopped collard greens, thoroughly cleaned, stems discarded.
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (optional) for color maintenance


1. In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, cook bacon until golden. Add turkey, ham hocks and collard greens. Cover with water. Cook until greens are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, adding water as needed (there should be a generous amount of liquid with the greens).

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2. Add sugar and baking soda; cook an additional 15 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.