The last two weekends my dad and I have been hard at work getting our garden ready for the fall. We had a wonderful crop of tomatoes this summer as well as cucumbers, bell and hot peppers and okra. I was sad to see the tomatoes go, but excited to begin prepping everything for the fall season.
This year we planted four different types of greens: collards, curly mustard, spinach and kale. Collards are my personal favorite to eat. I like to sauté them in bacon grease with a little minced onion and garlic. Yum! To make them extra special I like to use the applewood smoked bacon from Fresh Market. It’s pricey, but it’s worth it because it gives the greens a really delicious flavor.
Kale is all the rage these days in some circles and I’m excited to try it. I have never grown it before and have only cooked it myself one other time so this will be an experiment for me.
As Dad and I were busy on Saturday getting our greens planted we kept talking about planting just a few rows of green beans. We had been told it was already a few weeks too late to plant beans, but we decided to visit the East Bend Hardware store just to check out the seed selection.
We decided to try planting a few rows of Blue Lakes and Tenderettes. The gentleman at the store filled up two little brown paper sacks with our seeds. He wished us a wonderful day — a day to make memories together. As we went to the counter to pay for our seeds he said again for us to have a nice day and told us to enjoy our planting. He wouldn’t let us pay a cent for our seeds. What a wonderful gift. I felt a little like Jack from the story about Jack and The Beanstalk. Chances are these seeds won’t grow a giant stalk into the sky which I will climb to battle a giant and rescue a princess. Nevertheless, I think the magic of the seeds is that we made a new friend and Dad and I had a delightful Saturday planting our garden together. Now if that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.
I plan to can the beans and freeze some of the greens as they begin coming in. One recipe I am excited to try is turning the kale into chips. There are multiple recipes online for kale chips and they all sound delicious. The recipe is simple, you take a bunch of kale, trim leaves into bite-sized pieces, wash and spin dry in a salad spinner then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. The kale is then baked in a 350-degree oven for about 10 of 15 minutes. It makes a yummy and healthy snack. I’ll report back as soon as my kale comes in and we give it a try!
If you have any recipes using collards, spinach, curly mustard or kale that you think I should try, please email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 336-518-3049.
Kitsey E. Burns is a reporter for The Yadkin Ripple, here she shares her musings on food, life and love. She can be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.