Saturday, September 19, 2009
All Hail Kale Chips!
One of my favourite memories from early childhood is of my mother's garden. It was in the back yard of our green and white Vancouver special and was the tiny oasis of our dead end East Van street. This tall garden (to a tiny me) was like a protective wall that kept me away from what was behind it: a gravel pit for u-turning cars, and a great big unknown ravine which sunk into the depths of who knew what. (I'm sure it was a lovely creek, but I was a toddler then and was too afraid to find out.)
She grew a lot of veggies in that small space, and I remember tiptoeing with care through the stalks of sweet corn, the vines of runner beans and sugar peas, and stooping to peer at the watercress growing in her inverted tire planters. Unfortunately, our dog King was not so delicate and loved digging gigantic holes in her precious garden. Her weariness with covering holes combined with a busy schedule as a working mother of three, meant that it was time to give the garden up.
Now many years later and in her retirement, my mom has begun to garden again. Cherry tomatoes, purple potatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, goji berries, chili, garlic, shallots, chives, kale, and her old favourite the runner bean, line the circumference of the backyard. I love that my mom is gardening again because I know how much she loves to grow things, and because she is so proud whenever a new thing sprouts. It's also pretty great that from her bountiful garden, come many gifts for me. This summer, every visit has come with a companion in the form of a garden goody. Lately, it has been kale. A lot of kale. I wondered what to do with all this kale, and then decided to take to the internet. And lo and behold, I found a recipe that I have made several times now and find to be one of the bestest ways to eat this hardy leaf. The answer to all this kale was Kale Chips!
The recipe goes like this: Wash and dry the kale leaves and cut out the thick stems. Tear into bite-sized pieces. Put them in a bowl and splash enough olive oil to lightly coat (not soak) the leaves. Add a dash of apple cider vinegar, salt and any other seasoning you wish. (You can use cayenne, garlic, more vinegar for more of a salt and vinegar taste.... Personally, I like the basic recipe pure and simple.) Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. These are straight out of the oven goodness, and good for you :o)