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What the Kale?

Five years ago we didn’t know what CSA stood for in the farming community.  Or what it meant to buy a share from a local organic farmer. We just knew we wanted to eat better.

Like lettuce and stuff.

Which was when we bought a share at Terry’s Berries and learned somewhere on their website that CSA stood for community supported agriculture.  Which really means that there’s a relationship between the grower and the buyer.  Or the farmer and families coming to pick up produce.

Both need each other.

An organic farm like Terry’s Berries plans their crops according to the number of shares that are bought.  Then they plant, water, pray for rain to come, pray for rain to stop, and harvest the produce.  All the hard stuff.  Those families who buy a share–a designated portion of the harvest (enough to feed a family of four)– come to the farm once a week and pick up the produce harvested that day.

Like carrots, potatoes, beets, bok choy, onions, strawberries, squash, leeks, apples, and other leafy surprises.

Now the perk or the downside, depending on your perspective of the glass, is that you get to try a bunch of vegetables–things you may never have picked up at Fred Meyer because you haven’t heard of ’em.  We’d never bought purple potatoes or leeks, but we loved ’em. Others, like kale and fava beans, we knew we should eat, but we didn’t know how to get ’em down.

That was then.

We joined a CSA closer to us this summer–Little Eorthe Farm in Orting, and in June and July we stared at the kale on our counter. Gobs of kale.

Ech, we thought…who eats this stuff?

About that time, Carrie, Little Eorthe’s owner, scratched out a recipe for kale on a piece of paper and gave it to my husband. I ignored it for a month.  Kale shmale.

Until, well…it seemed we ought to try it.

All I’ll say is we laughed the laugh of disbelief.   Maybe you will, too.

Here’s what you need:  kale, olive oil, salt and an oven set to 350 degrees.

I started with a wad of kale straight from the farm.

What I did was pull the spine out from the rest of the leaf.  Just hung on and yanked.

Then tossed the spines.

Then I put the leaves in a bowl and mixed them with my hands in olive oil.  A tablespoon or two.

From there I set the kale on a cookie sheet, such that each leaf had its own space.  And then I twisted salt all over them…

and placed them in the oven at 350 degrees for ten minutes…OR…until every piece was crispy.

Here they are ten minutes later…

looking dead.  But they should.

And here’s the laughable part.  They taste like chips.

Chips.

I don’t get it.

I don’t know what happens in that oven.

I just know even my kids will even eat crunchy kale when it comes out.

Here’s the recipe for the daring:

I bunch of kale de-spined

1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Salt

Directions:  Pull the spines off of the kale until only the leaves remain.  Mix the leaves in olive oil and spread them single file on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees until crisp.  About 10 minutes. Try not to freak out that you’re eating kale and actually enjoying it.

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2 Responses to “What the Kale?”

  1. Sarah says:

    Hmm I will try it. I have tried everything else in the last two months. 🙂

  2. Linda H says:

    Sounds good. I’m going to try Kale. Thanks for the idea and the recipe. If you get the recipe for the zucchini fries, I’d like to try that too.

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