The cabbage and collards will keep happily for a day in the refrigerator. Make them the night before, store in the fridge in an airtight container, and then reheat gently on the stove right before serving.
Get your baking done ahead of time. Bake both the caramel cake and corn bread a day in advance, and store in an airtight container at room temperature. If you’d like to serve your cornbread warm, place it whole on a baking sheet or wrapped in aluminum foil in a 350º oven for 5-10 minutes.
The trick to silky-smooth grits is constant whisking. Don’t skimp on the effort, or lumps will develop; your vigilance will pay off.