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Green is good.

January 25, 2010

It rained today. A lot. So much, in fact, that the boy’s Jeep Wrangler refused to start, despite even a jump from my car. Apparently water very easily leaks in under the hood and down the fire wall, often dampening the computer, starter wires, coil, and other electrical goodies. If things dry out, they’re usually okay, but it was warm today (56) and very VERY wet. And it’s supposed to stay relatively wet this week. So drying out was not really an option this time of year.

The boy missed work today and I worked from home and after being towed by a neighbor to under the apartment car port, being sprayed down with wire drying petroleum distillants, testing the coil spark, getting a dose of dry gas, a shock from a battery pack, and lots and lots of careful turning over, we finally got the damn thing running.

The boy and I have not been eating very well lately. We had pizza and greasy Mexican food last week and despite the purple soup I made on Saturday, I haven’t been feeling the most healthy. Especially since I made myself a moist chocolate bundt cake studded (kind of) with bits of dried apricot yesterday as it’s my birthday tomorrow and I knew I wouldn’t have time today or tomorrow to bake. Alas, I ran out of sugar (and had to substitute some brown sugar), subbed 3/4 cup A.P. flour with some whole wheat just for the heck of it, and added the apricots. But the batter was so runny (it’s supposed to be), they all sank to the bottom. And when the cake was done? Either I left it to cool too long in the pan right side up, or didn’t let it cool long enough upside down on the rack. At either rate, I left a good chunk of the top in the pan when I forcibly shook the cake out. Bad idea, future self, just fyi. HOWEVER, it made up for it by being completely delicious.

So we had some of that today and we also had ice cream. Which meant I had to cook something relatively healthy. I settled on Van Kemp’s beer battered fish fillets (cheating, I know) and I made some homemade tartar sauce and colcannon with kale instead of potatoes. It felt good to eat (kind of) healthily.

Colcannon:

3 medium red potatoes cut into eighths or smallish chunks
half a bunch curly kale, roughly chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
salt

Cook the potatoes in cold water brought to a boil (put the potatoes in when the water is cold) and boil until potatoes are very tender. Using a slotted spoon lift out the potatoes into a medium-sized bowl. Add the chopped green onion/scallions and cover with a lid or plate to keep warm. Add the kale to the hot water and bring to a boil again, boiling 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain (saving the water for soup, if you want) and add half at a time to the hot potatoes, mashing in between with a fork. Add butter and salt and mix-mash well. Serve with roast chicken, fish, or by itself. Serves 3-4.

This stuff is fabulous. It’s mostly kale, which is good, but still has the creamy texture of potatoes. If things are a little dry, add some of the hot cooking water, more butter, or a little milk. Delicious.

Homemade Tartar Sauce (without pickles!):

3/4 cup mayonnaise (I use Helmann’s made with canola oil)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
many shakes white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2-3 celery stalks, sliced
a shake of garlic powder

Mix all ingredients adding vinegar last and adding to taste. You can add pepper, but you shouldn’t need salt. Serve with fried fish. Makes approximately 2 cups sauce.

I never keep pickles on hand as the boy doesn’t really like them and I don’t eat them all that often. But he loves celery and it does add a nice crunch. The vinegar adds the sour/saltiness that pickles or relish normally add. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s the same idea. You could probably substitute half the mayo with sour cream if you wanted a little lighter sauce.

I should post the cake recipe, but I’m just too tired. It has been a very, very long day. Time for bed!

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