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Granny Purvis’s Mustard Greens With Smoked Turkey Recipe

Barbara loves to cook and bake. She has many signature recipes that she enjoys sharing with family and friends.

Granny Purvis's greens and smoked turkey

Granny Purvis's greens and smoked turkey

Cooking With Granny

One of my most cherished memories is the day Granny Purvis showed me how to make mustard greens with smoked turkey.

First she took me into her garden where she grew mustard greens. We brought the greens inside, and she explained that we had to wash them and look them over for bugs and worms.

While we prepared the greens, Granny Purvis cooked the smoked turkey necks in homemade chicken broth she had made herself.

I remember everything about that day—what we said and what we did. I was given some mustard greens to take home for our dinner. Granny Purvis called it "supper." It was such a sweet day, and we promised to do it again soon.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour

3 hours

4 hours

6 to 8 servings


  • 1 to 2 pounds smoked turkey necks
  • 4 bunches mustard greens
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Your favorite hot sauce (optional)


  1. Fill a large pot with cold water and add your smoked meat. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 hours, until the meat is tenderly falling off the bone.
  2. Clean the mustard greens. Wash the leaves until the water is clear. Make sure all the dirt and sand have been removed.
  3. Chop the greens into bite-sized pieces.
  4. When the meat is done, add the greens to the same pot. Turn the heat to low and cook for 1-2 hours. Halfway through, add your seasonings to taste.

The Story of How I Met Granny Purvis

A product of divorced parents, I learned early in life that there were family members I could not meet or visit.

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I was four years old when I heard my Grandmother Knight tell my mother that she and I were going to visit a friend today. I knew right away I had to wear a dress in lieu of my usual jeans and shirt. My grandmother brushed my hair until my long curls seemed to take on a life of their own.

My grandmother did not drive, so another lady friend of hers drove us for a long way, it seemed. I was so excited to see who we were going to meet.

When we arrived, a beautiful lady was standing on the front porch. Her hair was blond like mine, and she had dimples on her chin and cheeks like me. I jumped out of the car and ran to her, surprising my grandmother and everyone else. I felt the love from her inundating my whole being—and she felt the love from me to her.

She kissed my face, and I saw tears in her eyes, so I kissed her back. My Grandmother Knight told me, "This is your other grandmother. She is your daddy’s mother. She is your Grandmother Purvis."

My new grandmother said, "You may call me Granny Purvis." And one of the most wonderful days of my life began.

Granny Purvis took this picture of me,

Granny Purvis took this picture of me,

I cherish this photo because Granny Purvis took it. Although it is not the same quality as printed photo paper today, I could not love it more than I do.

Life gives us special, unique events which are sometimes unexpected, and this was one of them.

My cup runneth over when I recall Granny and my love that day.

© 2022 Barbara Purvis Hunter

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