By Montana Grant

Posted: June 22, 2023

Years ago, we would take annual trips to fish Canada. The local outdoor shows would come to town, and we would pick one out and schedule a trip. Some destinations we could drive to, others we had to fly in. Taking kids was usually free or really cheap.

One year we scheduled a trip to Lake Ogascanon, in Quebec. They had a cool logo of a giant red and white daredevil spoon. The outfitter had volumes full of great pictures of happy customers with pike, lakers, walleyes, and perch. 

My buddy Howard and his son Mike came along. We also had another buddy and his grandson along with my son Kyle. The road went to the lodges, but some pruning was required. When we arrived and met Howard, he came bearing fresh greens. The greens were in 2 huge full giant trash bags. The bags contained kale, turnip greens, spinach, collards, and mustard greens.

None of us had ever eaten these “weeds” before. Howard assured us that they were tasty and healthy. We all agreed to give them a try.

He started by cooking ½ lb. of chopped bacon. Heck, bacon makes anything taste better. Next, he added 3 cups of chopped onions, a tbsp. of minced garlic, and seasoning. He used salt and pepper with a pinch of cayenne. The pot was huge!

Next, he added 6 cups of water, ¼ cup of rice wine vinegar and ½ cup of brown sugar. Once everything was dissolved, he began adding greens. He started with 5 lbs. of washed assorted greens with the stems removed. They quickly began to wilt as he added more seasoning. He would press the greens down, using a giant spoon. He kept adding the greens until everything would fit into the pot.

Howard reduced the heat to medium low and continued to cook the greens in the uncovered pot. It took about 1 ¼ hours for the greens to soften completely. I was frying fish and preparing the rest of the dinner.

When it was time to eat, Howard proudly began serving up his greens! All of us Green Virgins looked at each other skeptically. We were hungry, in the middle of Canada, no grocers for a hundred miles, what would you do?

The hungry crew dug into the greens and surprisingly, we were all pleasantly surprised. Howard’s Greens were amazing! It’s true that none of us had any comparisons but the greens accompanied every dinner after.

The “Green Master” would serve our filets of trout, walleyes, pike, and perch atop the greens. Martha Stewart would have approved.

The best memories from our fishing trips are not just about the fishing!

Montana Grant

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