The light has changed. There is a perceptible glow that heralds the arrival of Autumn. It is moody and wistful, filled with wishes, yearnings and memories. The sky becomes an achingly beautiful blue, or a moody, layered steel, or glows. Wind. Golds and reds. A hint of smoke and apples, rolls of hay in mown fields. The nights are cool and have been great for sleeping, for dreams.
During the last few waves of summer humidity this past month, before the heat of the day began, I spent one sweet morning harvesting cherry tomatoes, the whine of cicadas charging the air. As I reached for the ripest ones, my face pressed into the jungle of foliage – creating a sanctuary of sorts – it allowed the mind to fly a thousand miles away, yet remain remarkably present at the same time. The meditation of gardening.
The mornings are crisp now, with warm afternoon sun. Harvest is upon us, the year is spinning out and winding down. Which brings me to My Kale. I only grew a few kale plants this year, but they have yielded a tender, tasty, ongoing crop. I pluck a few leaves off daily and prepare it to last during the week. I have gotten into eating kale raw, with little embellishment. A few people have offered me their kale recipes to try and it has been fun and all good, but I find I keep referring back to this basic. It is so addicting (at least it is to me) that I am gravitating back and forth to open the container and have yet another piece. Here it is, without measurements, as it changes a little each time:
Basic Raw Kale Recipe
-Take a few leaves of kale, chop it into bite-size pieces and put it in a bowl.
– Use a good-tasting olive oil and massage it into the leaves. You need to use your hands for this. You are literally going to squish the leaves full of oil. It’s messy, but the kale needs to absorb the oil in this way, so just get into it. You will notice the volume of kale in the bowl will be much reduced after you do this.
– Add a very small amount of vinegar to the kale. I like to use cider vinegar.
– Mix in some lemon juice to taste over the oiled & vinegared kale.
– Sprinkle with sea salt.
That’s it. I like to throw some of those aforementioned very ripe garden fresh cherry tomatoes on top of it and add a few Greek or Moroccan olives. Put that in a container and snack on it throughout the day. Knowing it’s healthy for you makes you feel like you are doing something good for your body (calcium, iron, vitamin A, C & K, antioxidents, potassium!).
It tastes of the last days of Summer, the beginning of Fall, a connection to earth’s bounty.