Kale and Other Growing Things

I’ve probably already told you about my kale plants, but that’s because they are one of my only vegetables that has actually done anything this year. Actually, after a quick morning inspection of the gardens, I take that back. Things are growing, just later than expected and maybe not as successfully.  Tomato plants grew tomatoes (but are refusing to ripen), my cucumber produced one cuc that might actually be edible and my zucchini has two zucchini (but nothing compared to these). Of course, the Swiss Chard has done what it usually does, and I already have a couple of batches in the freezer. The rhubarb has been a disappointment, but I have stored some of it away. I am not sure why I am the only person who has a well-behaved, compact rhubarb plant. I want a monster out of control rhubarb!

But back to the kale. I have four giant Russian kale plants. Which produce big flat leaves, not the little curly ones. I think this is better, less crinkly spots for bugs to hide. No one wants to eat a bug. Not that I had a choice, these were the only kale seedlings we could find. But I really wanted kale, so I could make soup. I hadn’t really thought beyond the soup, because I had no idea they would grown so big. They have outgrown the garden, and hang over the retaining wall.

What to do with all the kale is the question now. Besides putting it in soup, I know you can freeze it, but I am also trying to use some of it fresh because that’s what you’re supposed to do with your garden veggies.

I gave kale chips a try the other day, and while they were delicious fresh out of the oven (crispy! salty!), they did not store well. When I tried them the next morning they were more like what I would expect if I picked up a piece of dried kale stuck to my floor (not that I have any kale stuck to the floor). Unpleasant. Jonny did not like them from the start, but I would be willing to give them another try if I thought I could eat a whole batch fresh.

Last night I tried again, and put some chopped and blanched kale into the meatloaf I was making (the recipe called for zucchini but I’m actually out of that, finally). It looked pretty, and Jonny didn’t seem opposed to eating it. I had some for breakfast this morning  and it’s tasty. But there is only so many meatloaf on can make, so I will still need to find more kale uses. Salad is out of the question (giant kale isn’t tender), but I’m sure the internet will provide me with some ideas.

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