Wash the collards, breaking up the bunches as you go. Remove any tough or woody stalks. Cut the leaves into half-inch-wide strips. You can roll them into cigars to speed this process up.
Put the bacon in a large pot on high heat to render its grease. Cook for three or four minutes. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, but not very brown, about 5 minutes more. Add the collards and cover with cool water. Also add the seasonings and the ham bone. Cook collards until tender, which may be up to 2 hours.
Even people who love collards complain about how they make the house smell while cooking. People have different cures for this, but none of them work. Just open the windows.
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