Saturday, January 17, 2009


It's demoralizing, y'all.

I was making a ham sandwich to take for lunch the other day and had layered on my meat and cheese and went to the crisper for something green only to find it empty. Any other year since we've lived in this house, I would just march out to the garden and trim some lettuce or spinach and be done, but not this year.

I've come close to declaring a total loss on the winter garden this year thanks to those fluffy-tailed rat bastards. Spinach -- gone. Lettuce -- gone. Chard -- gone. Beets -- a handful of survivors. And all this is despite my heroic security efforts.

On the bright side, the carrots have remained relatively untouched (except by drought, which is another story). But the primary saving grace has been the greens -- specifically the side bed patch of Chinese kale (aka Chinese broccoli, kai-lan, or gai-lan) and broccoli rabe.

We actually had enough that we didn't quite keep up and some went to seed.

Most of the time, it got a quick trip through a skillet with some hot bacon drippings.

That's the Chinese kale. It has a good broccoli flavor and even the stems are pretty sweet, they just need a little longer on the heat.

The rabe is a little tougher, but it found its way into several pasta dishes.

The ultimate winner, however, had to be kale with bacon and oven-dried tomatoes. It was a fine partner to the mac and cheese on the other side of the plate, although next time, we may just put them all together into one dish.

Sadly though even the greens have now come to an end, but I'm not mourning them too much -- I've got seed packets strewn around the kitchen and will be off to Callahan's shortly for supplies to get the spring crops started. That big wheel keeps on turning.

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Blogger Bob said...

Check Renee Studebaker's blog about the squirrels. You will like it. I could tell you what to do about your problem, but you wouldn't like it. Read her blog and you might get some ideas.

January 19, 2009 11:14 PM  
Blogger Randy Emmitt said...

We had some Chinese Kale at a restaurant last week they called it Chinese Broccoli and it was really good. We found it in Johnny's Seed catalog listed as Chinese Kale. Nice blog!

Oh and please send Meg and I an economic stimulus package as soon as you can.

February 25, 2009 9:27 PM  

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