A Funny Twist for a Small World

I like to strike up conversations when I’m out. A while ago I was at the grocery store in the produce department. Specifically, I was picking up some parsley. I had it in my basket when a man caught my attention. He was a little over sixty, wearing worn bib overalls that had seen better days. What surprised me was he was looking at bunches of collard greens with real scrutiny, picking up one and then another. Finally, he had the right one and put it in his cart. Now this man did not look like the typical healthy eater. With a big smile “in hand” I nudged him and said, “Are you really going to eat that stuff?”

With an even bigger smile, he said, “No way! They’re fer my guinea pigs at home.”

I laughed and then confessed, “Well that’s what my parsley’s for too!”  You can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Never in all my life would I have assumed that man had guinea pigs. He was probably thinking the same thing about me.


“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Peanut and Butter
Posing for the blog picture (out of their cage).

19 thoughts on “A Funny Twist for a Small World”

  1. What a great story! Thanks for sharing that! And, I didn’t realize guinea pigs ate parsley and collards. It’s sweet that the gentleman was so particular about choosing just the right bunch.

  2. Where to the guinea pigs stay while the family is on the road?
    Either with Nathan and Melanie or our friends who ship for us.

  3. Now, Brother Steve, as a North Carolina girl, I would be remiss if I did not chide you for referring to collards as “that stuff.” HA! My husband calls them “Carolina Gold.” God bless you! …and to all of the Maxwell family…a very Merry Christmas!!
    Yes Ma’am. I’m sure you are right. We just don’t have a clue how one could cook it and have it taste like something humans would eat. If you have a recipe, we’ll give it a try (cautiously, (grin)).

    God bless.

  4. Here’s another NC girl giving you a recipe…..take a bunch of collards(usually in the grocery store they’ll have them already divided up into a “bunch”). Fill your clean sink with cold water and let the collards wash in there for 30 minutes or longer (to wash the grit and dirt off, so stire the water with your hand every so often). When they’re washed you’ll want to pull the leaf off the stem (a little stem isn’t bad..you won’t want to eat the entire thing, though) and put them in a large pot. Cover with water and add a generous glob (sorry, these aren’t healthy!!) of bacon grease or add some fatback. Bring to a boil and turn heat to medium low for several hours…serve!! Delicious!! Some people like them served with a little apple cider vinegar, some like them plain…I’m a plain person. I did forget to mention salt and pepper to taste!! My grandmaw in law brought some over last night and we enjoyed them sooo much!!
    While I’m here, I would like to tell y’all thank you for your ministry and the blessing it has been to our family this year!!

  5. Oh, oh, oh — call on me! I live in Washington state, but we eat collards (well, and my mom IS from SC, so I guess that’s the southern girl in me).

    Clean thoroughly, slice like you would lettuce for salad, saute in (gasp!) bacon fat or with turkey bacon (you want the salt and a bit of oil). Saute to crisp-tender (not the consistency of canned spinach). They are delicious! And they are dark leafy greens, so very healthy!

    And, um, we eat brussels sprouts here, too. Boiled in broth of choice.

    Steve, your response to the previous poster put a smile on my face! Merry Christmas to your family!

  6. We also have a guinea pig and her name is Peanut, too. We also just came home from the store and bought parsley for her vitamin C. We have had Peanut for 5 days. We have all the Moody books and are looking forward to book number 6. We hope it will be done soon. Merry Christmas and God Bless!

  7. I remember buying collard greens several times a week for our pet iguana, until he died of old age a couple of years ago. I don’t know of any kind of human food one can make with it either, and could never understand why anyone except those with pets such as iguanas etc. would even buy collard greens. 🙂

  8. We juice Kale with lemon, apple, carrot, and a little knuckle sized piece of ginger. It is probably an acquired taste, but so good for you. I’m a little hesitant to show the girls your guinea pig photo, as they may try to test our resolve on our no rodents policy:).

  9. Okay, I can’t stop responding here.

    I would never have bought collards on my own, but my husband and I decided to try organic home produce delivery for awhile because our property doesn’t get enough sun to raise much of a garden (and we live in the Pacific Northwest, so not a lot of sun in general). Soooo, we decided to just let them deliver to us anything that was local or mostly local and learn to cook whatever came to us. Which is why we discovered cooking with collards. It’s actually been a lot of fun — we’ve been doing it for about 3 years and have found we are eating things we would never have bought had it been our hand-picked choice. We just think supporting the farmer that takes the effort to plant and grow it is a really good thing to do on so many levels.

    Bless you in your adventures with this discussion! Sorry, it’s probably WAY more than you asked for when you posted your blog post, but I think all the commentary here is valuable. BTW, my 11yo doesn’t really like the collards, but my 8yo and husband and I do.


  10. Reminds me of the time (before kids) when our cats would only eat baby food chicken and of course we went through quite a lot of it. Finally, after watching me buy dozens of jars per week my grocery clerk hinted that it might be a good idea to add some variety to my baby’s diet:)

  11. I also used to buy collard greens and mustard greens for our iguana (he died not long ago). Once in a while somebody would ask me if I was going to actually EAT those, and they seemed to get a kick out of me saying “No way! They’re for Diego the iguana!”

    Cute little guinea pigs!

  12. What a sweet, charming story. How thankful I am that God sees and judges us by our hearts. I pray that He will help me to view people through His eyes! I wish you and your family a blessed Christmas season.

  13. I will try the recipe for collard greens if the Maxwells will, since I think that pretty much anything cooked with bacon fat has got to be yummy. It is so cute the way the pigs’ hair can be “styled” in different ways. They are very funny.

    It is remarkable whenever I remember to take a moment and approach any situation with humility instead of being sure I’m right, there’s always a connection to be made. Thank God for being always available.

  14. Peanut and Butter are the cutest little things ever! Precious and soft.

    FYI, I grew up eating greens. My Mom, whom you know, cooked them up for Sunday dinner and then we ate them throughout the week. Wednesday night was my favorite night for dinner because we had cornbread wih the greens! This is my favoite way to eat them.

    Blessings, Mrs. Mari

  15. We do judge a lot don’t we? I might have assumed someone buying greens was raised in the south! I love the south and even took pictures of a field of greens with a big sign that read “Collard Greens For Sale” on one of my last trips. It’s a favorite picture. Cute little pets you have!

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