Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Man Food

I was using up some kidney beans for tea tonight and imagined making some kind of beany stew, lots of cubed vegetables, a few spices and so on. Fortunately, I have a good memory, a practiced 'reality checker' and a testosterone charged household behind me. I could see the inevitable follow on, a large dish of leftovers in the fridge that nobody would eat for a second time or a first; and it would eventually grow mould and be thrown out when the fridge began to smell enough to warrant the search.
What is top of the vege stakes at the minute, with 100% take-up is Kale. Be surprised because it is not a result of good parenting, just pure inclination.

What interests me are these little buds in the Kale 'armpits'. I haven't grown this green Kale before to know how it will end,  but they remind me of brussel sprouts. I was out of sync this year with everything; the winter stuff went in early and so did the Spring greens which are now nearly over so perhaps it is preparing to go to seed.
For my autumn clean-up around the fruit trees I chopped up the weeds and trimmings as mulch and banked them around the artichokes in particular. It felt like a good permaculture principle, saving my energy, and I expect it to both harbour slugs(bad) and keep off some of the effects of the frosts (good). Perhaps in spring I will need to rake it back to allow the ground to heat up and the birds in.

Moving along, the star of this photo is my new toy, the 3rd hand magimix off Trade Me. Cuisinart promise that their blades never need sharpening. It's true. Everything these days is getting chopped parsely because the blade chops things finely instead of bludgeoning them into a pulverised mess. The frosts are still only namby pamby, no ice on the window, frozen latches, frozen washing or lack of cold water in shower, and so I am still bringing in tomatoes to ripen in the hallway. These ones about to be baked with crumb topping, crumbs, tasty cheese, garlic, parsely and a little anchovy.
The beds in the tomato house are rock-hard for digging and watering hasn't really helped. If it was only me, and only a small space, I would experiment with swapping the tomatoes with the potatoes because potatoes leave the soil in beautiful condition. I know they are of the same family and disease prone, well you don't want to even whisper 'disease' in the vicinity but as I'm sure I've said before, Dirt Doctor in Kakanui follows one with the other with beautiful results (we have a strict segregation policy with each to their own house). Of course, just like children fighting, there is always a lot more to the story. The potato house here has not fared so well with the glass and is probably too cold for tomatoes now.

It's not a cast sheep, it's napping. They all were. Sheep and cows seem to like doing the same things together. They all gallop, they all eat, they all bleat, they all throw themselves down on the ground and take naps, all at the same time. It's sort of a collective Borg-like consciousness.


In case anybody was wondering, I made a Rose Elliot recipe with the beans. It included pasta and a tomato sauce and  had a delicious crumb/cheese topping. It was supposed to include lentils but I had a bit of leftover dhal (fridge clean out not fridge alert) which successfully blended without anybody noticing. Everybody ate it.
 Posted by Picasa


  1. Yes I've also discovered the power of "hidden vegetables." Last night we had meatloaf with hidden carrot, onion, and kumara. Tonight we had 'eat your brocolli or no chicken' which I guess is our equivalent of eat your greens or no dessert. Dessert! Fat chance. NO sweet things after the dinner says the dietician. Bummer. Bet it's more fun to be a boy in your house than in ours...

  2. I get new shoots in the armpits of the kale after I have snapped off the leaf to eat. Your picture does look like it is going to seed. Early. Though the flowers from seeding kale are lovely to look at in the vege garden and good spring (in our case) food for the bees. The seeding leaves are quite edible.

  3. Well I never thought a post entitled Man Food would be about beans. But then again, I served up chick peas the other night and Harry said "Oooh, I like these little things" so there you go. Beans can be small man food, at least.
    You wouldn't believe it but my tiny garden has been rather plentiful this week. We've run out of onions and so the leeks have come into their own. I'm always surprised and delighted when the garden comes up trumps.