Double kale day

Lunch: wash and chop kale. Finely chop five cloves of garlic. Saute in olive oil, then add one tin of chopped tomatoes, put lid on and simmer. Then add chopped smoked chicken to the pan and keep lid on and simmer some more. Then add in the penne pasta you have just cooked. Serve with parmesan and black pepper.

Dinner: Finely chop 12 (yes twelve) cloves of garlic and one onion. Wash a pile of jerusalem artichokes (for proportions, think how many spuds you would use for a main course spud salad and that is how many artichokes you will want) and cut into even sized pieces. Wash and finely chop some kale. Chop up some bacon (I use hunks of bacon ends sold cheaper at the butchery). Put quite a lot of butter in a frypan and cook the bacon. Then add the garlic and onion and artichokes. Put the lid on the frypan and turn it down. After a while, add the kale as well. When the artichokes seem nearly done (about 15 minutes, and I had mine in quite small pieces, perhaps 3cm cubes), then take the lid off and turn the heat up and stir until the liquid is almost all evaporated. I served this with avocado. This avocado pairing is only a good fit if you are feeding my daughter. The artichoke dish tasted fantastic in my opinion, though how bacon-butter-garlic could go wrong, I can't imagine. If you hate butter, then substitute olive oil, but not any of those other inferior tasting oils. Butter is best for this.

When I wasn't in the kitchen or at the washing line/basket/machine, I was in my beloved garden today. Despite the wet cold soil, I still managed to weed a little bit, prune the pungas which were taking over the raised bed, plant the broad beans, bury some bokashi and transplant some jersualem artichokes into new homes. Corrine gave me these artichokes two years ago and they seem to thrive on neglect and taste great. Thank you again Corrine.

I've got a few more days (two evenings to be precise) to run up the cape and alter the underpants for book character day. Fionn is going to be Captain Underpants. I also have a short story competition to judge; a special five year old niece story to write, photograph and post to Taranaki by the end of the week, a particularly challenging array of things to do at work and about five other exceptional activities like extra kids, a dentist appointment, the need to make another GP appointment for the spotty girl, an outing with 84 year old Mary who needs her glasses back and a new heater and is increasingly finding decision making difficult. I'm hoping not to forget the swimming lessons in the middle of this and will confess that I think I'm going to drop a ball somewhere without meaning to. The school is also running various open-to-parents events this week for book week. I haven't filled the form out for any of them but I want to go to everything I can which doesn't clash with all that other stuff. (Will I fit in buying some wine? YES I WILL.)

Actually the thing I wish I could concentrate entirely on is helping the spotty girl get rid of her spots. I think the vitamin C is helping. For starters, she has so much exposed skin that we are concerned that she could get a skin infection. Vitamin C is, as far as my reading shows me, the very best thing to fight infection, and just about everything else besides. Considering I think her immune system is shot at the moment, I wouldn't like to be looking down the barrel of antibiotics. I have Thomas Levy's book on Vitamin C, which I've been reading as much as possible.

Did I mention we are going to kill the chooks? Not this week, but sometime soon. Not me either, that's why Favourite Handyman is indeed my very favourite handyman. They are two year old brown shavers who aren't laying much anymore and I don't expect them to produce strongly in the spring. I've ordered five new point of lay pullets from Heslips Hatcheries. They will arrive on the Coast at the end of July. I'd like a few weeks with the poultry palace vacant so FH can finish the new roof for the palace and I can remove some of the chook poo for the compost, spread new wood shavings on the run and clean out the coop and put in fresh straw. I do do these things at other times, but in a rotation, not as thoroughly as I can with no chooks.

So, today was wonderful. We decreed that we would go nowhere at all, and spend the entire day at home, all together, and that is exactly what we did. I celebrated this by wearing my pyjamas all day. Brighid and I have finished The Wishing Chair and now we have gone back to The Children of Cherry Tree Farm. A little Enid Blyton is good for the soul, and a lot is even better. I do like my primulas in the garden which I bought because they feature in the Enid Blyton books of my childhood. I want some primroses next, for the same reason. A friend of mine wrote to me recently that her only regret about not having children is the lack of an excuse to re-read Enid Blyton. Just read it anyway. My sister enrolled for a course on children's literature to give her an excuse to read/re-read all the kids books she liked, but there are cheaper ways than this, ones which don't involve writing essays.


Nikki said…
This reminds me that I was offered some jeruselum artichokes - must follow that up. Can always do with a bit of easy "starch" growing in the garden. Does it grow all year round? Do you need to put it in an area where it doesn't become a pest?

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