Collard Greens: A Southern Comfort Food

Who has ever heard of greens as a comfort food? And yet boiled collard greens are a soothing staple of southern cooking. Though a stand-in for money on New Years Day tables, collards grow all spring and fall so there is really no reason not to include them at Thanksgiving and Easter feasts, as well as any Sunday night dinner. Bitter, tough, and hideous greens when raw, collards turn—with minimal preparation—into soft, scrumptious, complex side dish for any hot meal. This is probably the easiest recipe I have ever posted. Incidentally, you can use any other tough greens in any combination—kale, mustard greens, etc.—for magnificent results.
1 big bunch collard greens, about 16 ounces
3 strips hickory smoked bacon, or other smoked meat
10 cups of water
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash collards. Tear off tough inner stem. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, cook bacon long enough that a nice amount of grease results, but not so long that the bacon becomes completely crispy.
3. Add water, hot sauce and garlic powder. Bring to a boil.
4. Add collards. Return to boil, then reduce to medium.
5. Cook collards for two to three hours—uncovered—until most but not all of the water has evaporated.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.