Lemony Kale

Easy, good for you.  Need I say more?  Oh yeah, it tastes great too!

You need:

garlic cloves, sliced

olive oil

kale

lemon juice, fresh squeezed

What you do:

1.  Slice 1-2 garlic cloves per person.  Heat olive oil in frying pan on medium heat.   Add garlic, and fry briefly.  It should not turn brown.

2.  Cut the leaves of the kale off the stems, and chop roughly.  Add kale and stir, adding a tablespoon or so or lemon juice.  The kale will begin to wilt, and it will be ready to go!  It should be bright green and fresh looking when it is, finished cooking, which only takes a few seconds.

3.  Eat it right now, while it is still warm and fresh!

Kale is an anti-oxidant, and is a good source of beta carotene (good for the eyes), vitamin C, lutein (also good for the eyes), calcium, and has cancer fighting properties.  It’s a superfood!  So eat up!

Honeyed Ginger Carrots

Here is an easy and tasty way to serve carrots.

What you need:

A bunch of carrots

1 tablespoon butter (olive oil for vegans)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, grated finely

1 tablespoon honey

salt

What you do:

1.  Scrub peel carrots and slice diagonally.

2.  Place carrots into a steamer basket and bring water to a boil.  Cook for about 5 minutes, making sure they don’t get overcooked.  They should still be a little firm.

3.  While the carrots are steaming, heat the butter in a frying pan, then add ginger and garlic, cooking for just a minute.  Add the honey.

4.  When the carrots are cooked add them to the pan with the ginger and garlic.  Stir until they are all coated.  Transfer to a serving dish.  Yum.

Oma’s Chicken Soup

There’s a tickle in the back of my throat and I’m doing my best to fight it off, so it’s time to turn to my Oma’s chicken soup for some healing.  At 98 years of age, she’s not making soup anymore, so I’ve gleaned her wisdom, and I’m doing my best to use the basic elements of her recipe.  Oma’s recipes are stored in her memory, not written down, so a recipe from her sounds like “a little of this, a bunch of that.”  Here’s how I make it, based on what my Oma has told me about how she makes her chicken soup:

Put the following into a stock pot:

chicken backs and necks and feet (yes, feet!)

carrot (I used one)

celery (I used one stalk)

onion ( I used one, skin removed)

garlic (I used two cloves, but only because I was running out)

ginger (this is a key ingredient for fighting illness – I used about 1/4 cup or more sliced)

bay leaves (I used two.  I keep them in the freezer because I think they taste better when I  buy them fresh & then freeze them)

star anise (I used two)

peppercorns (I used about 2 teaspoons)

this time I added some parsley stems because I had them on hand, but it’s an experiment

sometimes I add an apple or sun-dried tomatoes, depending on what kind of flavour I want to impart, and what I have on hand

enough water to cover it all up

I never add salt to the broth – I wait until I use it in a soup recipe

When it’s all in the pot:

Now bring to almost a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for hours – 4-5 if you’ve got the time.

To cool it I place the pot in a sink filled with cold water.

When it has cooled a bit I pour the liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, and store the liquid in canning jars.  Refrigerate it until the stock is cold, then skim off the fat.  (My relatives would have saved this to make soap.  I just throw it away.)

I store some of the broth in canning jars in the freezer, making sure to leave some space for it to expand as it freezes – if you don’t do this you end up with broken jars and wasted broth.

When refrigerated, the best chicken soup broth will become gelatinous – all the chicken stock makers in my family, Oma, Tante Katje, and Mom, say that it’s really good for you.  No reasons why, it’s just “good for you.”

Oma served this with her homemade noodles – something I’ll try after the soup has healed me!