Stand In The Kitchen

Scarlet Kale

Scarlet Kale

The word “cooking” was on the calendar this afternoon. I went into the kitchen at the appointed time and stood there.

After a while I turned the radio to National Public Radio news, and stood there.

I stood there and let the quiet of a placid summer afternoon sink in.

Filling a wide-mouth Mason jar with ice, I drew filtered water from the icebox and drank.

I refilled the jar.

The green beans had gone bad, so into the compost. A moldy squash was removed to the compost bucket.

There were too many cucumbers, so the small ones were made into sweet pickles (I hope).

When I selected Brandywine tomato seeds last winter I had no idea the fruit would be so good. A dozen were lined up on the counter in the order of ripeness. I took the biggest one and made two slices from it. I diced one more that was injured from growing between wires on the tomato cage and piled it on top. With salt, pepper and feta cheese, it made two meals by itself.

I cleaned and picked over a crate of kale and found a couple of green worms on the leaves. The predators have arrived. Removing my guests, I tore the leaves and filled up the salad spinner. The kale dried on the counter.

I stood there a while longer, but now I knew. The other dish would be a kale stir fry.

Slicing half an onion, seven cloves of garlic, and a yellow squash, I sauteed them in extra virgin olive oil until tender. Then I piled on the kale and stirred gently. First it turned bright green, then it wilted. It cooked down to two servings, which was just right.

The meal was satisfying, and unexpected. Which is what happens if one would but stand in the kitchen and live.

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