What the Hell is Kale?

First off, let me just get this out of the way: My blog is all over the place (and that’s when it’s anywhere at all). I know. I get that the original intent was to review places, events, things, insanity around this city and I’ve really only done that for about half of my posts. The other half have been me raging, mostly about all the shitty drivers in Seattle (I’ve got more in me, too…just you wait).

So here’s the deal. I’m straying even more from my concept. Apparently I don’t go out enough to keep to it (so, so sad…). If I’ve got something I’m willing to sit down and write about, I’m going to do it, even if it’s not relevant to the Sessionista concept. Some may just start a new blog for that. Me? I can barely keep this one going, much less another one.

This is kale.
This is kale. Sad kale, but kale all the same.

Kale. I’ve heard of it. I’ve probably eaten it. I’m pretty confident it’s a green vegetable, maybe a lettuce. After that…sort of in the dark. Tonight I decided to make sausage, kale and bean soup from a cookbook I got for my bridal shower last summer, The Newlywed Kitchen. The idea is that you’re suppose to cook with your spouse. Which would be great, minus the fact every time the Sessionista’s Man starts to help I start to convulse and peer over his shoulder, tracking his every move (it’s true…in fact if HE’S cooking dinner, I don’t even go in the kitchen, much less offer to help, for fear I’ll rip the spoon/whisk/baster out of his hand and shoo him away. Not because he’s a bad cook. But because apparently I like to be in control of everything, including the macaroni and cheese).

We stopped at the grocery on the way home to pick up a few ingredients…I wandered around the produce section, looking in vain for kale. Then I went over to the organic section where I was confronted with red kale and Italian kale, but no plain green American kale. Also, it was organic. The Produce Man actually looked apologetic for answering “no” when I asked if there was any non-organic kale in the house. I ended up getting Italian kale since a: the only other option was red and b: it looked the most like what I IMAGINED kale would look like. Mr. Sesh then tried to put an organic onion in the basket to which I scornfully shot him down, “no, no…that’s organic” as if its mere lack of pesticides made it too pure for my basket.

For the record, I love sausage, but I hate the idea of casings…this recipe calls for the sausage to be removed from the casing. I learned a good trick from Cooking Light, about cutting the sausage in half with scissors (cooking scissors, not, say…your child’s art scissors) and sliding the sausage out of the casing. This was the first time I tried it, and let me just say it sounds a lot easier than it is. Instead I cut, made another small slit parallel to the sausage and sort of peeled it back. Halfway through I realized my face was frozen into this completely disgusted expression as raw sausage built up under my fingernails and discarded casings piled up on my cutting board.

I was supposed to use “3 cups” or “1 bunch” of kale. Here’s the deal- it’s quite difficult to measure a leafy green (although if anyone has a good suggestion, let me know). One whole bunch looked like a lot of kale (I mean, I doubt we’re shopping at the same supermarket…) so I just sort of guessed and ended up using about 2/3 of a bunch. I felt good, looking at its deep green dimpled leaves, knowing it must have slightly more nutritional value than what I’m normally serving (pasta, cheese, bacon, more cheese… and maybe some sort of ground meat. With cheese.).

I just went and checked the soup. It looks…errr…like soup with green leaves. Also, I managed to forget the diced tomatoes at the store, so I had to use the diced tomatoes with green chilies that I had in my cabinet. Something tells me that’s going to bring another dynamic to my soup pot (a spicy one, so it’s a good thing I didn’t buy the spicy Italian sausage.).

Tonight’s dinner is going to be complimented by toasted bread with butter and Parmesan. Which is pretty common in my household, since the thought of having dinner sans carb is like going to Hawaii without flip flops.

The Good: We ate something dark green and leafy. I uncased some sausage.
The Bad: Diced tomatoes had green chiles in them; burned onions; decent chance that “chicken stock” is not the same thing as “chicken broth”
The Verdict: Mr. Sesh: “This is really good. But spicy.” Mrs Sesh: “I don’t really like this…”
Make it Again?: No.

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