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Kale and Farewell

My friend Alice is a gardener. More accurately, her husband is a gardener and she is a weeder and waterer, but I have to think that, if not for her ministrations, there would be no bounty of peppers, basil, rosemary, parsley, sage, orange mint, tarragon, regular mint, thyme, lavender and scarlet runner beans at the end of my street. (There are heart-stoppingly beautiful zinnias, too, but I haven’t figured out a way to eat them, yet).

Today I hung out with Alice on her porch, gossipping a little, drinking a Blue Moon, and complaining about the heat and humidity. When it was time for me to head home to make dinner, she gathered me a bouquet of zinnias, lilies, echinacia and something tall and dark purple and leafy that I can’t recall the name of, and I was ecstatic. She also cut me two bunches of kale, claiming that it “had to go” because it was taking over the garden and blocking the light from reaching the tarragon. We talked about how it was a little strong, might need to be cooked with a really good piece of pork, and I smiled and nodded, embarrassed to admit that my experience with kale was limited to viewing the purple variety planted in neat rows outside of office buildings. I had a vague idea that it could be slow cooked with pork fat and maybe garlic and onions, sort of like collards (which I have also never cooked), but I wasn’t really sure I was up to the challenge presented by a strong, leafy green. I’m still not.

So I have this kale, organically grown, planted with love and watered and weeded with care by Alice…but what do I do with it? If you are kale-savvy, I will try anything you suggest, and write it up enthusiastically. Please help – my kale is in your hands…..


About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

8 responses »

  1. Try this salad–you don’t even have to cook the kale (it’s ABSOLUTELY NOT bitter this way!), this is quick, easy, and you will LOVE it.

  2. for you and alice

    i quite like this one
    destem the kale
    tuscan isn’t necessary – what you have will be lovely

  3. did i not leave a comment earlier?

  4. My copy of Vegetables by James Peterson has an Italian Style Kale and Garlic Soup with White Beans and Prosciutto recipe. I’ve never tried it, but I’ll send the recipe if you’re desperate for something.

  5. ricki, the salad sounds AMAZING (and the dogs would back that up, I’m sure) but I have to wait until we have real tomatoes here. Fortunately, Alice has lots of kale and she’s already sick of it.

    claudiam I made your suggestion last night, and we loved it. Good call – I will definitely be making it again.

    Barbara, I’m not desperate yet, but don’t lose the recipe….

  6. I have been eating a LOT of vegetables from my CSA share this year. I can officially say I am sick of cooked greens and beets. I got fresh cranberry beans this week and am looking for a recipe for them. I probably only have about a cup and a half once I shelled them…any ideas?

  7. Amy, I think we are sort of “over” kale around here, too, although i have learned a lot about cooking it. I saw cranberry beans at the Farmers Market last Saturday and bought them, but I still haven’t used them – no good ideas here yet. If I try some and love it, I’ll let you know; I hope you’ll do the same.

  8. Pingback: Chorizo and Kale « Forest Street Kitchen

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