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…..