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Saturday, March 6, 2010

My plan for the day.

It is close to 9am and I wanted to already be at the barn, brushing and getting a horse ready for the first ride of the day.  The weather was suppose to be in the 50's today, but the reality is... it is only 31 degrees and the wind blows about 15 mph so it takes the feeling down in the 20's.  While riding is work (if done correctly) not so much work for me to have my fingers frozen in the first mile of riding...

so I will wait till the chill is above freezing to get my plans started.

I hope to start my day riding Navarre,
I then hope to take a second ride out with SweetPea
Clean stalls when I get back,
Then come home and start to turn the compost pile... Yes a hopeful thought, but I can at least turn what ever is NOT frozen, and cover the rest with plastic to pull in heat during the next few days...
I hope to hear from a Joelton friend, get our tickets to the Biltmore for tomorrow
I then need to get all my paper work ready and renew the Equestrian Pass I hold while we are there tomorrow.  List... Shot Records, Coggins, Pictures for files etc...

I then hope to enjoy the rest of my evening and go to bed early. 

I will be in serious pain Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (if I don't get too lazy riding) but the walk around the house and the grounds tomorrow will help work some of this out.

I may actually get out of the house...

To take up my time this morning awaiting the warmth of the sun... here is yet another food item.
Please note I took pictures of my kale, heritage curly kale because I wasn't sure how it would taste considering all the freezing we have had here.  But each time it a new weather situation came in I covered my Kale with more hay.  Yes it should have been straw... and I will  pay for using rotting hay ( that I could not feed to the horses) but I was not going to spend more money and wanted to use the resources I had on hand.

Kale... another new way to eat the stuff most just throw vinegar on and cook it too death!!! Well cooked my way I crave it, I can only hope you will like it.

This is what you will need.
Kale about the size of a grocery bag...
Garlic, two or three pods.
Soy Sauce... nto 1/8 of a cup if orgional.. but if low sodium... 1/4 cup.  for taste...
ONE cup of  water.

I took this picture, because this is the average size of my leaves this late in the year.  TINY!!! Most of the time I harvest leaves that are the length of my standard knife shown in this picture... most were not the length of my fingers.

I collected Kale from the garden, yet another thing that you can just throw out seeds in the late summer early fall and let them take over.  I tend to thin them out by just cutting lines in my free seeded areas then I thin them out more as they get larger eventually leaving only one plant every 7 inches or so.  These plants are just about gone but (having nursed them) they have lasted me the winter. Well... truth is... normally I would be planting MORE THIS MONTH, but it is still too cold for the seeds to germinate so I will have to wait till April... this is a wierd year!

At any rate... I use my small cast iron skillet for this... Nannies! I gather ( or you can purchase) a collection about the size of a standard grocery bag.  ( not our reusables... but the Ingles, Krogers, Food Lion non recyclable pieces of crap)    Now this sounds like a lot but it cooks down to LESS than my 8 inch skillet!  

I wash the kale by soaking it in the sink first.   Then I use my fingers on EVERY leaf and soak it again.  Then I fill the other side of the sink and soak again.   I put mine in the fridge for an hour or more so it will crisp back up.  The store purchase ... you can skip this.. it's done or has preservatives!

I then cut the tender parts off the stem.  This is NOT hard... just hold the end and let your knif easily slide down the center vein.  What does not come off ... well you probably don't want it anyway... Don't force it but hold the knife firmly.  But do make sure it is a decently sharp knife so not to waste your kale.
These are ALL my center veins after I am done... See they are NOT CLEAN just managed...

Put as much of the cut off kale leaves into your skillet (does not matter the size) WITH one cup of water.   This will seem impossible but trust me this amount here will cook down to LESS than 1/2 of the skillet size.
Put a lid on it! Cook on NEXT to high untill the lid fits.
The kale will turn a brillian green as it starts to cook.  In this picture I have moved over some of the wilted kale to add more into the open (boiling) area, then I will put my cut up garlic on top of all of this so the garlic is steamed to perfection. Then I will add more of my kale on top of the garlic as well.
I use a LOT more garlic than most... One more thing I get honestly!  My maternal grandfather... Paw Paw... loved garlic as do I BUT ONLY if it is cooked properly.  People are afraid of garlic.. when steemed like this it is SWEET not garlic strong in taste.  But use the amount above unless you are like me and love roasted / steamed/ or boiled garlic taste.  It is like onions.. I can't stand them raw either.
At this point start to add your soy sauce but use it sparingly... you do not want to over do the salt thing...( you will note, I don't use a lot of salt but for some reason I love this dish... )
As it all starts to cook down even more you can start to stir it flip it put what has been on the bottom on the top etc...
You can see I eat my kale with my sweet potatoes... This is what I am packing in my back pack for todays ride... Both are great eaten even cold... But I do all the work on my potatoes and then I prep and cook my kale while the potatoes are cooking... it's all done about the same time... So the kale only took about 25/ 30 minutes..
Beautiful taste, Beautiful food, Easy, cheap, and something we can grow even if we live in the city...

Now Hopefully I am out for my rides... Hope your day is Sunny, Warm and FUN!

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