Swiss Chard Recipe for Thanksgiving (and my Vampire Brother)

Before you (yes, you) go anywhere and brush this off as a “weird Vampire story” full of blood…DON’T. No blood or gore. Just good food and a  little romance and family adventure AND a recipe that EVERYONE (except maybe Werewolves) can and WILL enjoy! Even kids like it. Yes KIDS!

But before we get to food…a little adventure and romance.

Explaining to your kids the dangers of the world is already confusing and difficult – especially when you have a family member on the front lines.

My eldest brother works in the intelligence field and he is a Vampire. As always secrecy is the law.

I am the youngest of five Vampire children, the only daughter with four older brothers.

Maxwell, Aaron, Andrew, Valentine and Juliette.

For the first time in years we’ll all be together for the week of Thanksgiving.

I frequently see Andrew and Val. Andy lives in London but visits several times a year. Max loves us but sees us when he can due to his somewhat dangerous profession.

You see, Maxwell is in the Vampire intelligence and enforcement business working for the Circle.

Max is the classic brooding dark alpha Vampire, the avenging angel so to speak. He is the guy in the black leather that sleeps during the day and hunts at night. He is the one who reeks of testosterone and speaks in hushed whispers. He gets that from our mother (the fearless part, not the testosterone). Maxwell’s job, which is more of a calling, is to keep all of Vampire society safe from rogue Vampires and even more importantly, safe from Vampire Hunters. He is a hunter, then again so are we all, he just does it for a higher purpose.

For a short while, before I was involved with him, my husband worked with Max. They hunted the rogue Vampires who turned Teddy from a regular human into a Vampire. After that they went after nasty posse of Vampire hunters. All in a day’s work. The kids love to hear these stories, not in glee but in awe. They know it isn’t easy. War stories.

Over the years Max, Teddy, our mother and other vampires have been involved in this field. For Max it is a calling and he is one of the best.

As children, Max and my husband Teddy were best friends. When Max found out who’d turned Teddy into a Vampire he hunted them down. Max was a Vampire but he knew it was not a choice Teddy would have taken. He avenged his friend, loyal and true to the end.

Max called me a few days ago. “May I bring a guest? A woman.” He asked.

“Of course.” I said wondering if it was a wise thing to agree to.  A guest? He had his affairs and had no trouble attracting women, but he never brought them home to the family.

“Remember Roxanna Jones?” His tone of voice was deep and quiet.

Of course I remembered her. They met on the Titanic – the only two Vampires on the ship.  For my eldest brother, the result of the ill fated voyage, other than the ship sinking, was a short lived but passionate and fiery affair.  They parted as friends (other places to go, things to do) and went on with their lives.

Max continued to do his never ending job saving our kind and others. He had many affairs with others, Vampire and otherwise but more or less stayed alone. He was considered a catch with his sexy brooding manner, tall, dark haired, handsome, but Roxanna spent 40 years with Alex Price (a well known Vampire historian) who was killed by Vampire hunters.

I have to admit Max has had some unfortunate choices in girlfriends. This includes the woman who brought a basket of kittens for dessert to one dinner party (we don’t do that anymore).  Needless to say, when he says he is going to bring someone to meet the family, a rare event in itself that is something to look forward too.

I know by her reputation that Roxanna, a vampire born in the 1840’s in Italy to American parents, is a lovely Vampire. Sort of reserved for Max, but then again, I’ve never met the woman and I don’t know about their “private” life.

Then he asked “Juliette, are you going to make Uncle Reggie’s Swiss chard”.

I told him “No, I’m going to make MY Swiss Chard for Thanksgiving.”

Juliette’s Swiss chard

  • About a half pound of bacon (or more to taste, use whatever kind you want but a good thick cut pork bacon works best for me)
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh lemon juice (about ¾ cup) or Balsamaic Vinegar
  • 1-4 table spoons fresh garlic chopped – to your own taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • One onion – chopped and caramelized
  • Hand full of roasted chopped walnuts.
  • 4 bunches Swiss chard, cut in 1 inch pieces. It is up to you if you include the stems (I don’t, my mom does). I also add in a hand full of flat leafed kale and sometimes some spinach.

Put some olive oil, a couple of table spoons of the stuff, in a large skillet and heat it up nice and hot. Throw in the garlic and chard and crumbled cooked bacon. Toss it around until the chard starts to wilt a little. Throw in about a table spoon of butter, the onion, and a little bit of the bacon fat. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then drizzle with the lemon juice or vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Top with walnuts. Taste as you go to make it just how you like it. Simple and easy. That’s all.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving,




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