I hate paper and packaging waste. To combat the deluge of catalogs I get daily I use CatalogChoice.org. Every company doesn’t participate, however, so that takes care of only a small fraction. When I get a catalog I don’t want, which is almost all of them (I can look for products online, free of charge, free of trees) I put it aside in a certain spot for when I have a moment to call and ask them to stop sending me the catalog. Invariably, I have to wait a long time on hold, and listen to several automatic menus, all while Anna cries and whines for the phone. She particularly likes to talk to robots.
I’d like to know how I got onto a list of people who can afford Restoration Hardware and even better, this place: Frontgate.com. What the hell luxury item did I buy that caused anyone to think I could afford, say, a $250 dog bed?
The moral of this story is: use CatalogChoice.org and don’t buy anything luxurious.
The other day I bought kale at the farmer’s market this week. What do you do with kale?
I decided to make something up that was vaguely reminiscent of a classic Italian escarole and white bean dish. This was spur of the moment so I used what I had in the kitchen already.
Do you know how hard it is to take food porn shots with a cell phone camera? Canon Powershot, good luck at the repair shop, xoxoxo.
I didn’t have any chicken stock in the house. Not even a measly bouillon cube. So I used the only can of soup on hand, a very desolate Amy’s Minestrone that had been hiding in a cabinet for a long time. It was vegetarian so it wasn’t going to give me that chicken flavor I wanted, but the spicing helped.
I started by softening a lot of minced garlic in olive oil. I added the Amy’s soup, a can of cannellini or Italian white beans, and a few cups of water. I seasoned with salt, black pepper, and oregano. Cannellini beans are absolutely delicious and they don’t need too much finessing to be awesome. I added a lot of salt because I remembered that Amy’s soups are way under-salted for my taste. They probably have a healthy amount of salt, and I’m used to over-salted flavors. Oh well.
I brought this to a boil, then added in a package of pasta mista. I am a weird snob about pasta, and I only like imported from Italy brands. I love De Cecco. Pasta mista is just mixed little pieces of pasta that is perfect for a minestrone or wet type of dish. Mmm, wet.
I also added the kale a minute or so later on top, then covered the pot so the kale would wilt. Then I mixed it together, lowered the heat and let it simmer for ten minutes or so.
Serve with a boatload of Parmesan cheese. It came out really, really good, especially considering it was thrown together. It was hearty and warm, more of a cold weather dish, but hey, I ran 4 miles and it’s almost fall.
Oh, I should tell you how to prepare the kale. Similar to Swiss chard and other greens, if it’s from the farmer’s market, you need to soak the leaves in many changes of water to get grit and sand out. You also have to basically devein the leaves. You have to cut (I just pull) the pink and white heavy stems out of the leaves because they aren’t really edible. Then the leaves go in wet to the dish. You don’t need to drain or spin them.
Now that we’ve all seen food porn for so long, will we ever be able to crave something shown in bad lighting and messy? Like a porn addict dude who can never appreciate a real woman?
What do you do with your kale?