Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eat yer greens

Eating kale seems like an act of extreme virtue. Maybe even a superhuman effort. It's famous for being full of nutritious vitamins and minerals and green power and fiber and so on. But raw kale is so shrubby and thick, with squeaky tough leaves. I had been avoiding kale because it seemed hard to wash (dirt can hide in all those folds), hard to chop (first removing the tough ribs, then wrangling the curly leaves) and not tasty enough to be worth the trouble. But I've been won over. This pasta/kale/butternut squash/sausage casserole recipe from Pink of Perfection got me started. That recipe also makes whole wheat pasta delicious which is saying something.

And then I had some extra kale hanging around and I remembered this Corn Kale johnny cakes recipe. I made this when Katy was a toddler and I thought she would like it for some reason. She didn't. (maybe I was taken in by the rah rah copy on that webpage) But I loved it and Nod was at least a mild fan so it stayed in my recipe box. Yum. I like how the cornmeal batter gets sort of rubbery when it's fried. (Okay, that's not going to help sell this to anyone else, is it?) Nod likes to put some monterey jack cheese and maybe some salsa with it. But I like them all by themselves. In fact I also made another savory pancake this weekend: vege latkes. Zucchini and potato and onion, panfried up all toasty, spread with sour cream and plain yogurt. So good. I wonder if I would get tired of the all pancake diet. All foods are allowed as long as they can be cooked in little flat cakes.

The kale kick has me feeling triumphant about my foray into virtuous vegetable consumption. Probably the all pancake diet will take the edge off my nutrition halo.

Mother's Pie
Did you see this quote on Mother's Day?  "A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." -Tenneva Jordan
I just read it on the Modernity Ward. My favorite commenter on this post heard the quote from another mom she'd just met and it put her back up: "I more or less told her it was stupid, that as a mother I certainly deserve some pie, and then told her my favorite motherhood truism, the one about putting on your own oxygen mask first and then helping your child. We did not become great friends. If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Pass me the Cool Whip!" I heartily endorse this reaction even though I will hold out for actual whipped cream.

I have more thoughts about the myriad of opportunities for self sacrifice that motherhood brings. But they are still swirling.

I suggested juggling as a friendly anti grief activity to a blogger yesterday. Because it takes concentration and bodily effort and allows for friendly companionship without leaving time for talk about anything deeper than what's falling where. But I realize that social juggling isn't everyone's first thought for grief therapy. My cutely wacky engineer neighbors brought out their juggling toys yesterday evening and I got to try them out. My juggling level is rank beginner who can keep three balls going for a little while. I like the meditative aspect of it. It's good for the upper arms and shoulders. Juggling nerds, my kind of people.


Amri said...

Hey, saw this kale recipe on Gluten Free Girl a couple of months ago, and it looks yummy, since you're on a kale kick. Personally, I like it sauteed with chopped olives and garlic and lots of salt. 2 quick tip to destem painlessly--first, just rip leaves off the stem--kind of like tearing on a dotted line--they come off quite easily. The other is to take a really sharp knife, hold the stem up and whisk the knife down by the stem on either side. Kind of a fun knife wielding maneuver.

I'm so glad you have geeky juggling neighbors--sounds like where we grew up!


Nimble said...

Hi Amri, I just saw that crispy kale recipe on a different site yesterday. I must try it and become even more superhuman.

Bee said...

When I was working on the Master's degree in education, I had a classmate who was convinced that juggling is the way forward for children with behavioral/learning difficulties. Maybe so.

On the topic of cornmeal, I love panfried polenta. You make it, then let it congeal, then pan-fry it in a little bit of olive oil. It is delicious with a generous grating of fresh parmesan.

Motherhood requires enough self-sacrifice without giving up pie. Although I, too, detest Cool Whip . . . I'm with the give Momma some pie (especially since she probably made it) camp.

I love that opening sentence and heartily agree about kale.