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That would be kale. Mom and I hit the Tuesday farmers’ market today and each got a mess of kale. I was channeling my inner Samurai when I got home, so I just CHOPPED IT ALL UP instead of pulling the leaf part off the stem part. Charlie likes the stems, too, so he’s a-gonna get ’em. I put it all in a pressure cooker with an onion, some salt and some garlic olive oil.

Didn’t put in enough water, alas, so it didn’t steam. I caught it before it scorched, added water, and put it on the heat again. Brought it up to where the pressure is jiggling the stopcock, then turned off the electric burner and let it cool down and depressurize by itself. Tasted some. It doesn’t taste SCORCHED, exactly, but it definitely has a little extra je-ne-sais-quoi to it. The guy who sold it to me said he fries it in a pan, and that’s what it tastes like–like it’s been pan-fried a little bit. So I’m going to pretend that’s what I MEANT for it to taste like.

Now here’s a little song for kale:

Kale! Kale! How I love kale!
Nothing is better except a big sale.
All other greens are too strong or too pale–
It’s perfect, most perfect, pluperfect! It’s KALE!

Okay, that’s enough of that.

I posted this morning on Fatal Foodies on the subject of Who Killed Flapjack? It’s a mystery with no solution.

MA

writing prompt: Oh, by the way, do you like my new blahg design? Okay, writing prompt: Write a romantic meeting at a farmer’s market stall.

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Here is what we had for dinner last night:dinner

Holy Kale and Ravioli With Stuff On

Break up your kale, discarding the tough stems. Charlie likes the tough stems, but I don’t, and he’s old enough to know you don’t always get what you want in this sad old world. Put your kale in enough salted water to cover and boil the hell out of it.

Meanwhile, cook frozen ravioli according to directions.

MEANWHILE, heat pre-cooked bacon and chicken until hot. If I had had some mushrooms, I would totally have cooked some in a dry non-stick skillet until they were browned and toasty.

Drain the ravioli, dress it with garlic-infused olive oil, salt & pepper, top with meat (and mushrooms, if you got ’em). Remove some of the kale with a slotted spoon and nestle it next to the ravioli. SAVE THE KALE WATER AND ANY EXTRA KALE FOR SOUP.

Sprinkle everything with shredded mixed Italian cheeses.

For dessert, we had this:dessert

Well, I had this. Charlie had this minus the topping. This is an old family (my family) dessert, kinda sorta.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit

Put cottage cheese in a little bowl. Top with fresh or canned fruit or with jelly/jam/preserves. Charlie and I like raspberry-flavored peaches. That’s it, for Charlie. My family and I top it with a dollop of mayonnaise. YES, I DID–I SAID MAYONNAISE.

Now I have to get ready to leave–going to Louisville to have lunch with Jane.

MA

Writing prompt: Give one of your characters an Old Family Dish that makes other people go ewwwww!

My #3 daughter gave me a recipe out of the paper, marked “looks good”. I thought so, too, so I made it last night. I didn’t do it exactly the way they said to, of course, because what’s the fun of that?

I got a good price on kale and potatoes this week, which were two of the ingredients, and on mushrooms, which were not in the recipe but I used them anyway because…I had them, right? I had some Navy beans and some smoked sausage from a sale last week, so there you go.

KALE STEW

  • garlic-flavored olive oil or smooshed garlic softened in olive oil
  • onion cut in rings
  • 6 oz mushrooms
  • potato, diced
  • kale, torn in bits and ribs discarded or chopped
  • can of white beans
  • chopped smoked sausage or ham or leave it out if you’re VEGETARIAN
  • water
  • bouillon powder
  • pepper

    start

Heat the oil and cook the onion rings (and garlic, if using) low and slow until softened. This sweetens the onion. Cooking too fast doesn’t do the job. Tear up the kale and add it to the pot. Use a BIG bunch, because kale cooks down to nothing, and this stew is all about the kale. Dice as much potato as you want. I used one medium one. More would have been okay, but not necessary. Add potato to the pot. Open the beans and dump them in; if they have sugar added, drain and rinse them. Add a couple cans-full of water. Add the raw mushrooms. Add pepper (freshly-grated, and plenty of it, for my taste) bouillon powder and chopped sausage or ham (or no meat, if you’re a VEGETARIAN). I used ham bouillon, but vegetable would have been good. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until potatoes and beans start to break up.

Charlie complimented this, and he very seldom pays much attention to what he eats.

finish

MA

Writing prompt: Bring two people together over a newspaper recipe. Are they shopping for the same ingredients? Or was the recipe published years ago, and one just read it in an archive and the other was the child or spouse of the originator?

I can hardly believe I’m saying this, but I love turnips! My mom got me some from the Farmer’s Market at her church, with the promise that they were very mild and tender–not bitter and “woody”, as so many store-bought turnips are. This was true. I didn’t even have to peel the one I’ve eaten, just had to scrape it. Here is my favorite turnip recipe, courtesy of Ginny Fleming, of the Southern Indiana Writers Group:

Turnip Fry-up

  • one turnip
  • one potato of about the same size
  • some onion
  • some bacon
  • fresh kale (not in original recipe, but I add it)
  • oil (I use olive oil flavored with garlic)

Cube the vegetables and cut up the bacon. Heat the oil and put everything into it on medium-low. Cook for about half an hour or so, stirring occasionally, covering part of the time to steam the veggies. Drain on paper towels and serve. Especially good with fresh bread (what isn’t?).

MA

Writing prompt: What does your main character (or villain, or just any character) like to eat that is unexpected?

I am all about cooking in one vessel, because a dish unused is a dish unwashed. So I made this one evening. I defrosted a couple of Tilapia fillets, sprinkled them with herbs and spices and put them aside. Then I cut up some Portabella mushrooms and toasted them in a dry skillet. Then added some garlic-flavored olive oil and browned the fish on both sides. I had some left-over Kashi (mixed grains), so I put that in, some onion and some fresh kale, covered it and turned the heat down and steamed it until the kale was tender. Divided it all into two plates for Charlie and myself. It was very good, and it looked nice, too.

I’m sitting here in my office, looking out the window. My husband sometimes uses my office but says he won’t be using it much after the election (he’s active in political blogging). Still, he suggested I set the office up so “I” can look out of the window in the direction of the driveway. He says it’s such a beautiful view. I’m like, “The driveway is a beautiful view? The WOODS, in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION is a beautiful view.” From this direction, though, “I” can see who’s coming, who’s stopping at Mom’s, who’s going past to daughter Annie’s. And, since we live IN the woods, there are certainly trees to be seen in this direction, as well. I’m not quite sure what’s up with the view thing, but it’s okay. I’m enough of a control freak to like being able to keep an eye on the traffic back here. Anybody remember Gladys Kravitz?

MA

Writing prompt: You’re looking out the window and see something suspicious.

WELCOME TO MY BLAHG

Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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