The Tales of Leonardo “The Giant Leaves”

This post is also available in: Italiano

Today mama brought home some giant green leaves that were so big that they seemed as wide as the cap that I usually take to go to the beach.

Every week mama takes me to a place where I can play and eat the ground and she sings, “Weeee, weee,” as I go back and forth on what she calls a swing. After that she always brings me past a gate into a place with lots of boxes filled with big green things. She says, “This is a vegetable garden.” We look at green leaves of all kinds, large, small, dark green and other light ones. I also see 11 red balls among the leaves. She brushes my hand against the different leaves and lets me blow on the colorful whirley things placed around the garden.

That evening a lady and man from the condominium saw mama and me in my stroller and gave us a big bunch of those green things but first, laughing, the lady waved them in front of my face. The air the leaves created messed up my hair and I honestly don’t understand why she was laughing at something that was annoying to me.

Mama was very content, she is always happy when someone offers her some leaves that she calls vegetables. But I was intrigued, I wanted to know how they could ever eat such big green things. The leaves I know are small and I can put them in my mouth easily.

When we got home, she put them on the counter and from underneath I watched what was happening. Mama washed and cooked them for a long time, so long that I fell asleep on the carpet tired of seeing her move back and forth from the kitchen to stir the pot.

When I woke up, I smelled a peculiar smell that I had never smelled, but since I don’t speak yet I just twitched my nose in hopes that mama would understand that I needed to know what that smell was. She didn’t notice, but took me in her arms and placed me in my high chair. Then she put the bib on me I wear when I eat.

On my plate I found a big brown arched bone that had another funny smell that I didn’t recognize. She called it barbeque. And then I saw a dark green heap. Mama said, “Taste these collard greens, they are good.” I didn’t hesitate and with my fingers I collected some and tasted it, the taste was strange but pleasant and to my mother’s surprise I ate everything while she looked at me satisfied.

And so I learned that large leaves can be eaten, just let mama cook them for a long time. In the meantime, you can also take a nap.

Leo’s Collard Greens

Recipe by Colleen BeckettCourse: Articles


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 bunch of collard greens

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

  • salt to taste


  • Clean the collards, cutting the hard stem out of the middle. Then slice into thin strips.
  • Add the olive oil and whole clove of garlic to a pan, allow the garlic to flavor the oil for a couple of minutes over medium to high heat, then add in the chopped collard greens, season with salt and the apple cider vinegar. Sautee with the olive oil for a 3-4 minutes until they are wilted then add in a half a cup of water and cover.
  • Cook down anywhere from 1-3 hours, stirring occasionally. The more time you have the better. You want the greens to be very soft.
  • Remove garlic clove and serve, traditionally as a side to bbq.

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