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Writing Ruminations

Writing is such an internal process. Why not make those private ruminations public? This is how stories take shape and grow.

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Location: Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

I've been supporting myself as a writer for many years and am watching the changes in the publishing world with fascination. For me, sharing the craft, teaching, is as creatively satisfying as the writing process itself.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Kale and Gender

I was listening to yet another discussion about the election. Well the radio was on and what else is out there right now? This one was all about Hillary versus Obama. The question of gender and race came up. Misogyny might be more powerful in this country than race, said the guest. I hadn’t been paying attention, was working on a story, but those words hit me like a slap on the back of the head. Whoa. There’s an interesting thought to make the public airwaves. I’m still thinking about this. Race is mostly about externals – skin, hair, facial features, behavior. Gender is a much deeper issue and skin color means very little. It ties in eerily with the current story I’m working on. Does that make me timely?

Meanwhile, let’s talk about winter farmers market good stuff. This is kale season. The stuff is tough in the warm months, but turns VERY nice after a few frosts and gives me great greens all winter. I grow three or four varieties every year. How about a kale pizza? Oh, it’s good. And you can substitute any flavorful green.

Kale Pizza

Wash a bunch of kale. The strappy-leaf ‘Tuscan’ is the best. It’s tender and you don’t have to remove the rib. For any other type, slice out the center rib unless you really need crunchy fiber in your diet. Now cut those leaves into strips. Not hair fine, just not huge pieces.

Saute some garlic and a handful of walnuts in olive oil gently for a few minutes until they’re fragrant but the garlic hasn’t begun to brown. Pine nuts are nice, too, but way spendy. Do them for the ‘company’ version.

Toss the wet-from-washing kale into the pan with the garlic and nuts. Salt lightly or not if you’re not using salt. Stir it around until the kale is limp and tender but still dark green. If you’re not using Tuscan kale, you might want to cover the pan for a minute to steam the leaves. Take off the heat.

Lay out a pizza crust, whatever you normally use. I love a sourdough crust for this, but any pizza crust, home made or bought, works. Film it with olive oil.

Spread the kale/garlic/nut mixture over the crust.

Add what you like. Last pizza, I added sliced winter onions and some canned smoked oysters (they’ve very nice with the kale if you like smoked oysters).

Sprinkle on some grated cheese. Parmesan, mozzarella, provolone work well. Try some crumbled blue cheese for extra zest.

Bake in a hot oven until the cheese is melted and crust is done – say 425 degrees.

Great way to eat your greens. And think about the misogyny versus race thing. I wonder.

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