Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A kale chip off the ol' block.

"What is this?" Fintan asked me this morning, his mouth full.
"They're called 'kale chips'," I answered.
"Mmmm, I like kale chips."
Through the monitor I heard Coen crying again, adamantly refusing his nap, and I gave up. I brought him down and asked them, "Would you guys like to go to the indoor playground today?"
"Yes!" Fintan said. "But first I want some more kale chips." He held out his empty bowl.
"That's all we had, Sweetie, they're all gone."
"But I want more!"
Well, would you rather go out to the greenhouse and harvest more kale for chips or go to the indoor playground?"
His pause was long and thoughtful as rain sheeted against the windows.
"Go to the indoor playground."

This evening I put on a hat, a puffy coat, wellies and a headlamp and went out into the freezing rain to harvest kale so Fintan could have kale chips in his preschool lunch tomorrow. He and his daddy watched me from the window while I worked and Fintan said, "I wish I was big so I could put on a headlamp and a big coat and go out all by myself when it's dark and harvest greens."

Gosh, I love that little boy.


Hez said...

Please do tell how you make kale chips...
What do you have growning in your green house and how big is it??
Heather (from SF playgroup, mom to Maya and now Quinn)

SaRaH said...

that little smarty has the best mama.

Alina said...

Heather, congrats, again, on the baby girl! She's a beauty.

Kale chips are easy! I harvest, rinse, remove stems and tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces. I dry them in a salad spinner then toss them with a bit of olive oil and some other seasonings like salt or soy sauce or seasoned salt then lay them out in a thin layer on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven (or a cooler temp for a bit longer) for approximately 10 minutes until they are crisp to the touch. Try to avoid stirring the leaves while they're cooking because they'll stick together in a big clump. :)

There's a fine line between kale chip crispness and burntness so I try to take them out when the majority seem done. The are some that aren't dry enough to store, but I solve that problem by eating them immediately. ;) I store them in a bowl with an airtight lid. Ours haven't lasted longer than a day, though, so I don't know how long-term they retain their taste and texture.

As for the greenhouse, it's about 8' by 16' and hmmm, let's see if I can remember the names of the things I have growing in there without my list--since it's out in the barn. I have Swiss chard, arugula, bok choy, tatsoi, kale, carrots, green onions, mache, spinach, sorrel, Italian dandelion, miners lettuce, and a few other greens I can't remember the names of. :)

Sarah, today that "little smarty" would have definitely begged to differ. He was in time-out about as much as he was out of it! And anyway, I know *you* have already earned the Most Magnificent Midwest Mama badge. I'm still just trying out for regionals. ;)

Hez said...

Thanks Alina!!
I can not wait to try some kale chips!
You have inspired me to look into a green house... after the summer I get so bummed about not having a fresh garden.

Thses little 'sunflowers' are becoming wonderful little kids, aren't they??....most days ;)