Monthly Archives: November 2011

What to Do with Kale?

I have to admit that my main reason for growing kale is aesthetic. The purple kale is just to gorgeous not to grow. The main reason we planted it in our community garden plot was because it was available (leftovers from Garden Show), and we thought it would be a good sacrificial offering to the rabbits. (Sidenote: the rabbits preferred eating the tomato plants to the kale. Is that a sign?)

When I make the suggestion of eating the kale, my husband helpfully wrinkles up his nose and says, “Mmm…green.” And he’s right, of course – Kale is an extremely nutritious, dark green leafy vegetable. (DGLV’s as a nutrition guru might call them.) Somehow, I don’t think that’s what my husband was getting at though.

Mature kale is rather fibrous, chewy, and definitely has a strong flavor (especially raw). So what to do to get all those good vitamins, minerals, and fiber into your stomach when you’ve got a bumper crop? Here are my favorite 2 options.

1. Kale Chips

Kale chips are so easy, and very tasty. You just wash and dry the kale, tear it into bite-sized pieces, and toss it with just enough olive oil to give it a light coating. Then you bake them at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy. The difference between soggy/limp and crispy is usually just a minute or two, so keep a close eye on them! Once they start to turn brown, they will taste bitter. Once they are crispy, just put them on a paper towel to blot any extra oil and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you want. I like a dash of cayenne pepper.

2. White Bean, Sausauge, and Kale Soup

This isn’t my all-time favorite soup, but it a nice fall staple. I didn’t use a recipe this time, just browned up some diced onion, carrot, and celery with some garlic for good measure. Then I browned the sausage, and then a few mushrooms. We had some beans left from another recipe, so those went into the pot with the veggies and the meat. I used beef stock for the broth. I added salt and pepper to taste, as well as other seasonings that I felt like. I ended up using a Greek Seasoning that had cinnamon and peppermint in it, which wasn’t exactly what I was going for, but actually tasted really good! The mushrooms and the kale were added about 10 minutes before serving to get nice and tender. Yum!

These are the two ways that I use kale the most. How do you use kale (other than for garnish)?

What’s That on the Wall?

We happened to be looking out the window this afternoon (watching it rain, since that’s such a novelty), and we happened to see this.

Do you see what we saw?

Now do you see it? We’re pretty sure that it is a tomato sitting up there at the top of the lattice fence. We have absolutely no idea how it ended up there, but I blame an enterprising squirrel.

I call it “Last Tomato of the Year.”

That Wet Stuff

Hey, can anyone help me out and tell me what that wet stuff is that keeps periodically falling from the sky? I don’t recall it being around these parts recently. Maybe it’s a newcomer?

Friday PhotoEssay & Link Around

It isn’t often that I’ve gone outside the boundaries of our Demonstration Garden for pictures or post topics, but since our garden is pretty barren right now (see the previous post), I wanted to keep providing some garden eye candy for as long as possible. This week, I went out and visited the rose garden!

Our hybrid rose garden is still looking amazing, even after a few freezes. Aren’t these roses gorgeous?

This if the flower from the ‘Mister Lincoln’ hybrid tea rose. It is an older hybrid tea (introduced in the 1960s), and has big, beautiful flowers. A lot of catalogs show it as being a redder rose, but ours is definitely a paler, fuchsia color.

I also found a number of different articles and recipes to share this week, covering quite a range of topics.  Read the rest of this entry

Speaking of Renovations

Speaking of Demo Garden renovations, we’re also going to be renovating the blog here in the next several days. I hope the process won’t be all that painful, but you never know! I plan to have everything in place by sometime next week, if all goes well. If you find links that are broken or something missing, please let me know.