Pork & Greens Soup with Rice

3/4 pound of cooked pork, bite-size
4 to 5 cups pork broth
3 big leaves of collard greens (2 cups?)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup frozen carrots & peas
1 clove of garlic minced
3/4 cup long grain rice
salt + pepper ad gustum

Simmer everything but the rice for 20-30 minutes. Add rice and simmer 15 minutes or until rice feels done.

I think I'm getting good at improvising soup. The pork and broth were leftovers from a roast I made a couple nights ago. The greens and garlic were meant for a different recipe I found in a magazine, but I had bought way more than needed. (Are collard greens an adequate substitute for escarole? Does Kroger even have escarole? I couldn't tell the difference between Escarole and Escaflowne.) The peas don't really add to the pork & greens mystique, but I ran out of fresh carrots, so these peas had to come along for the ride.

I'm trying long grain rice instead of minute rice because I read this scary article "The Oil We Eat: Following the food chain back to Iraq" from the Feb 2004 Harper's Magazine. It doesn't say much about Iraq exactly, but it says a lot about how much energy is used to make the fertilizers and chemicals and to raise tons of grains, just to feed them to cattle or chickens, pumping in more chemicals, shipping it all to your grocery store. How many pounds of corn and gallons of oil does it take to raise each pound of beef we consume?

"In 1940 the average farm in the United States produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil energy it used. By 1974 (the last year in which anyone looked closely at this issue), that ratio was 1:1." Somehow the author's final triumph is that he shot an elk and fed his family with it, seemingly in defiance of any vegetarians who might be reading. All I know is I damn well need to start a garden next year. Guess if it had really scared me, then I wouldn't have bought 16 pounds of pork shoulder. Had to buy one 8 pounder to get a second of equal or lesser value free. Ended up like sixty cents per pound though, so not too horrible. I'm hoping that good ol' long-grain rice gets less processing done to it than instant rice, so I'll be doing my part for the environment. Does that stuff freeze okay? Cause I could cook a big pot of it and just freeze it all, then it would be practically "instant" when I microwave it to use it later.

Never mind all that. Besides reading Jimmy Corrigan, an awesome comic book by Chris Ware which I'll have to talk about later to do it justice, I've been reading Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal by Howard Zinn. (Two more marks in favor of the Jackson Public Library system.)

I read this section below and thought about how it applies to Kucinich...

Scholars, who pride themselves on speaking their minds, often engage in a form of self-censorship which is called "realism." To be "realistic" in dealing with a problem is to work only among the alternatives which the most powerful in society put forth.... American society, although it has more freedom of expression than most societies in the world, thus sets limits beyond which respectable people are not supposed to think or speak....

To me this is a surrender of the role of the citizen in a democracy. The citizen's job, I believe, is to declare firmly what he thinks is right. To compromise with politicians from the very start is to end with a compromise of a compromise. This weakens the moral force of a citizenry which has little enough strength in the shaping of governmental policy. Machiavelli cautioned the Prince not to adopt the ethics of the Citizen. It is appropriate now to suggest to the Citizen that he cannot, without sacrificing both integrity and power, adopt the ethics of the Prince.

And then on the inside margin of page 17, apparently nothing to do with the subject at hand, somebody wrote, "I want a girl who will laugh at no one else." Go figure.


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