13 Creole Hoodoo Recipes for Le Bon Appétit: Louisiana Money Greens and Magic Money Lamp



Greens of all kinds are popular among Southerners, particularly in rural communities. My grandmother and my mother grew all of greens in their gardens – mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens... There is nothing like the taste of fresh greens cooked down in ham hock gravy or bacon drippings.

Greens are associated with attracting money; hence, the name money greens. Before making this dish, prepare an olive oil money lamp that you can burn in the kitchen while you are cooking. Olive oil is a great choice for making oil lamps because it doesn’t smoke or smell bad like commercially prepared lamp oils. It is also not combustible so even if you drop a match into the oil, it won't catch fire.

Magic Money Lamp

To make your olive oil money lamp, you will need:

  • A small glass jar like a miniature jelly jar
  • or small minced garlic jar with a metal lid
  • A wick
  • Olive oil
  • Money herbs, i.e. basil, mint, cinnamon, sassafras
  • Money drawing conjure oil
  • Petition
  • Piece of pyrite
  • Personal concerns

    1.      Prepare the vessel by washing it with Florida Water or salt water and dress it with Louisiana Van Van Oil. Breathe into the jar and fill it with your breath and say a few words of intention. If you use the Psalms in your work, say the 23rd Psalm.
    2.      Write your petition on a small piece of parchment paper and attach it to the wick with a safety pin or straight pin. This part of the wick should be at the bottom of the jar.
    3.      Poke a hole in the lid of the jar and pull the wick through it so that about a quarter of an inch of wick is coming out of the top of the lamp.
    4.      Place the bottom of the wick with the petition attached in the bottom of the jar.
    5.      Add the herbs, pyrite and personal concerns to the jar and cover with olive oil. Do not fill the jar to the top—you have to leave about a quarter of an inch space from the top. Add a few drops of conjure oil. With each ingredient you add offer it to the four directions and say a short prayer or statement telling each ingredient what you want it to do for you.
    6.     Place the lid on the lamp and light it. Once your lamp is together, say the 23rd Psalm if you do Psalms or say a heartfelt prayer of your own that asks for what you need and offers gratitude to the powers that be for all that you have. 

    Once you have set your lamp, choose one of the following recipes for making your money greens. One is made with ham hocks, and the other with bacon. Either one is absolutely delicious so you can’t go wrong with whichever one you choose. Remember, when you cook greens they will wilt and reduce a lot, so you will have to add more than you may expect if you have never cooked greens before. Another thing is that some folks say greens tend to be bitter. Well, if you pick them when they are young and tender you won’t have to worry about that. Furthermore, it’s a little Creole secret to add a tablespoon of sugar to just about everything and that takes care of any slight hint of bitterness.
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    Here are two recipes for money greens - one with ham hocks, and the other with bacon. Either one is absolutely delicious so you can’t go wrong with whichever one you choose.
     

    MONEY GREENS WITH HAM HOCKS

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 cup wheat flour
    • 2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
    • 1/2 cup chopped celery
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
    • 8 cups Chicken Stock
    • 3 pounds ham hocks (about 4 medium-size hocks)
    • 2 bunches (about 2 1/4 pounds) each of collards, mustard, and turnip greens, thoroughly washed, picked over for blemished leaves, and tough stems removed
    • 1 cup spring water

    DIRECTIONS

    Combine the oil and flour in an 8-quart pot over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, to make a blonde roux, about 8 minutes.

    Add the onions, celery, salt, cayenne, bay leaves, garlic, stock, and ham hocks. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, until the hocks are very tender, about 2 hours.

    Add the greens, by the handful, until all of them are combined in the mixture. They will wilt. Add the water. Simmer until the greens are very tender and the mixture is thick, about 45 minutes.

    Remove the bay leaves and serve warm. Yield: 8 to 10 servings    

    MONEY GREENS WITH BACON

    Some folks say to barely cook the bacon, but I like to cook it through. Also, I cook some extra crispy for sprinkling on top of each serving.

    Ingredients

    • 6 strips thick-sliced bacon
    • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • Several dashes hot sauce
    • 1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
    • 2 pounds collard greens, stems removed, sliced into 3-inch-wide strips (can substitute kale or chard)
    • 1 cup chicken broth (or water)*
    • 2 bay leaves

      DIRECTIONS

      1 Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Cook the bacon in the skillet until it just begins to brown around the edges, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and cook until they have softened and are just starting to brown.

      2 Add the garlic, salt, pepper, sugar and hot sauce. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, about a minute. Add the vinegar, bring to a simmer, and cook until the amount of liquid is reduced by half, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

      3 Add the collard greens and the chicken broth (or water) and bring to a simmer. Reduce the temp to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the collard greens have wilted and have lost their brightness. Season to taste with hot sauce. Serve with some of the pan juices from the pan. Serves 6 to 8.

      *Excerpt from the book 13 Creole Hoodoo Recipes for Le Bon Appétit by Denise Alvarado. All content and images on this blog are copyright 2012 Denise Alvarado, All rights reserved worldwide. Do not reblog or reuse without my permission.

      Comments

      1. Good and good for you! I always put intention into my cooking projects. Making and lighting a lamp will be fun, and perhaps now even profitable. And with cornbread made from stone ground meal - much appreciated at my home.

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