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Dinosaur Kale Information and Facts 

 

“Oh, I just love kale!”

So insists my friend. Frankly, I don't believe him.

Let's be honest here: kale is not a lovable vegetable. Bearable, yes. Lovable? Well, let's be generous and credit my friend with magical (i. e. wistful) thinking. Call it the “little lie.” You really, really want it to be so, you keep saying that it is, and eventually you may even start believing it yourself.

Well, half-believing.

As a vegetable, kale has a lot going for it. It's cold-hardy: there's kale to be had when nothing else will grow. It doesn't get much more nutritious than kale.

On the other hand, there's the flavor and the texture.

If any vegetable besides onions and garlic has a claim to be the ancestral pagan vegetable, it's probably Brassica oleracea. We've been cultivating it for the last 4000 years; every bite of kale that you eat is a taste of the Bronze Age.

Here's something that I can tell you for certain: the ancestors had more sense than to make kale chips.

Unlike contemporary food-faddists, the fore-mothers understood that kale plays best in a supporting role, not as a star. So, on the principle that any vegetable can be palatable if you know how to cook it, I set about looking at the peasant cuisines of Europe. If anyone knew how to make the most of kale's nasty rubbery texture and unappealing sulfurous flavor, I figured, it would those who had to eat it because that's what there was.

My favorites so far in the search for edible kale are incavolata, an Italian bean-kale soup thickened with corn meal, and trinxát (treen-SHUT), a scrumptious savory cake of potato, kale, and onion from the Catalan Pyrenees, Iberian kin to the Irish Samhain staple, colcannon.

The major secret to enjoyable kale seems to be to blanch it first to take off the sulfur, and then to wring it dry and mince it fine, thus getting rid of the rubber.

Oh, and another thing: if you want to enjoy your kale, don't bother with that curly shite that they overcharge shamefully for at the stores: that's a decorative, not fit to be eaten. Go instead for the black or Italian variety, known mostly here in the US by the delightful name of “dinosaur kale.”

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Kroger used to have a super foods salad made of chopped kale, blueberries and cashews. I think they had something else in there a

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Slavic Irony

The traditional Polish name for cucumbers in sour cream is mizeri, “misery.”

Call it Slavic irony.

In these first hot days of summer, we're not getting much from the garden yet besides herbs and greens. Still, we've got the first baby cukes—you want to get them young and tender, before the seeds set—and we've got dill, and that's all you need to make summer's most cooling and delicious salad.

Sure, you could go the sweet-and-sour route—vinegar and just enough sugar to (barely) take the edge off, but for my sols and lunas (= pagan currency, gold and silver pieces respectively), nothing cools like cucumbers in sour cream.

Slice those cukes as thin as you can get them. Dress them with plenty of sour cream, a little splash of vinegar, salt, and pepper. Don't forget that good, healthy handful of chopped fresh dill: that's what raises this common summer salad to ambrosial, food-of-the-gods status.

Chill for an hour (at least), then grab a spoon and tuck in. Good old summertime.

If you're wondering what any of this has to do with paganism: Begone, foul cowan!

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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, May 14

It's that time of the week again: time for Earthy Thursday! For this week we've gathered a wide variety of stories that discuss environmentalism, nature, and wildlife. Read on to learn about prehistoric mammals, puffins' recolonization of the American northeast, and the urbanization of local food. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle.

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