the kale stands alone

After a meal of many hands and many calories, I was looking forward to a weekend alone in my country kitchen. Festive meals are fantastic, but there is also something to be said for simpler, quieter repasts.

Looking at the garden — now mostly bare but for a clump of kale — one would think of this as the lean season. But instead I find myself overwhelmed with choices in a way that I never do in the summer. Then, the answer to “What’s for dinner” is inevitable as the tides. The wave of summer squash crests just as the tomatoes begin to roll in. It is a matter of keeping your head above water as one crop, then another, spills over the countertops.

The late crops, the storage crops, are much less insistent. The buckets of potatoes and shelves of winter squash aren’t going anywhere. Ditto the dried beans. The shredded beets (aka “ruby kraut”) will continue to ferment, their acidity rising as the months pass. I have more than enough garlic to get me through, plus a few giant leeks contributed by a friend. There are also dried apples and tomatoes; flat frozen slabs of pesto; and more multicolored jars of pickles and preserves than I care to think about.

Then there’s the kale, bushy and green despite having endured a few snowfalls and more frequent frosts. It’s not really alone in the garden, of course — up front there are still a few parsnips to pull, and along the back are a few rows of garlic thumbed in last month. And every time we have a run of warm days, leaves of self-seeded lettuce will emerge; some even live to survive a few mild frosts.

I do miss the tomatoes, I confess, but I wouldn’t trade this season of quiet, not-so-needy abundance.

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One Comment on “the kale stands alone”

  1. Alan Herman Says:

    …likewise..thank you…

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