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Friday, November 5, 2010

Fallish Food

Recently, a friend of mine linked me to this recipe for apple and cheddar scones. Also, recently the grocery store down the street was selling bruised apples for really cheap. Clearly, it was meant to be! So I made scones. I always thought cheese and apples was sort of weird, but I guess it isn't. It's hard to tell though, because actually these scones need a lot more cheese than the recipe says--mostly they taste like apples. I also used somewhat sweeter apples than you're probably supposed to, so that might also be a contributing factor. Also they're kind of gooey? Usually my scone recipes have issues being too dry, but this one was super sticky, and the resulting scones are kind of over-moist. So, maybe add some flour or something. Also I don't know why they say it makes six scones--I made eight, and they were big, and they got HUGE in the oven, so pay no attention to that either. They are delicious, though.

The other thing I acquired recently is kale! It turns out that the school "farm" (=vegetable patch) has lots of kale, and it is free for the taking, and I think I may be one of the few people really excited about this. The Dutch eat kale! The Dutch eat kale with potatoes and sausage, in a dish called "stamppot". So, it is childhood memories. Not that I was really excited about the stuff then, but now it is nostalgia. Problem is that all the recipes I could find were sort of assuming you went and bought a nice package of kale at the greengrocers, so it was nicely measured in grams, and then you had several kilograms of potatoes, and none of it seemed very applicable to me so I just winged it and boiled up some potatoes to a mashable consistency. Then I drained them, lest I have too much water, and then added some sliced-up kale with what seemed like an appropriate amount of water for it to cook in, which turned out to be really stupid because the kale shrank and I had way to much water and my already-cooked potatoes were now disintegrating into a slurry and I was getting cream-of-kale soup and it was bad, and the potato/kale ratio was all wrong. So, don't do that! Probably it's best to cook the kale a few minutes first and then add it to the potatoes. Also I kept adding more and more bundles of kale to the mixture every time I reheated it, so the lesson is basically to have way more kale than you think you need--like a bundle of leaves for every potato you use. And to cook it first, or maybe cook it with the potatoes so you can drain out excess water before it's too late. And then spice with salt and pepper and nutmeg or whatever you have lying around. And if you do have too much water, oatmeal makes it all coagulate nicely, unless you REALLY have too much like I did and you get a kale porridge. Serve the result with red wine vinegar and some smoked sausage with mustard for a good cold-weather sort of meal.

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