Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sharing in Friendship and Food

2007 NZAK Circular Sock Machine
About once a year, several of us get together in mid-Michigan for a circular sock knitting machine retreat.  It’s always held on the weekend just before or just after deer hunting season starts, so the coordinator of the event has decided to call it “Deer Camp” -- well, at least our version of deer camp!  My knitting buddies and I stay at our favorite bed & breakfast where the innkeeper is not only a delightful hostess but she has also become a dear friend.  I think we all agree that we have as much fun together at the inn as we do at the knitting event… frankly, I think we have more fun at the inn!  In fact, we often don’t want to leave the next morning to go knit, or to go home for that matter. 
This last visit, we awoke for the second day of the retreat and sat around the breakfast table sharing everything from soup to nuts… literally!  I mean kitchen renovation ideas were flying, knitting tips were thrown around, discussions about birds, chickens, goats, sheep and rabbits and, of course, FOOD!
Thick Kale Stew With All Beef Smoked Sausage

I love it when friends share recipes.  We got on the subject of how to use various vegetables, especially those that are hardy growers into the late fall, early winter.  Well, kale came up. I’ve always been interested in kale because it’s considered one of the world’s healthiest foods.  One of the gals mentioned a stew she favored. Then she promptly whipped out her iPhone from her flannel pajama pocket and emailed all of us the recipe for Thick Kale Stew! (Thanks M! for the recipe.)  

I was very interested in the recipe since I had tried to grow kale during all of the torrential downpours last spring.  Sadly, my seedlings were all washed away.  Thank goodness I still have seeds left for next year.  But for this batch of soup, I relied on the grocery store.  It is a very easy recipe and very tasty!  It is very close to the Portuguese Peasant Soup recipes I have seen.  I imagine you could spice it up a bit if you like or use a chorizo type sausage.  I chose to add just a touch of organic apple cider vinegar to give it a little bite and then compliment it with some slightly sweet and nutty homemade honey-whole wheat bread. In our house we call a new favorite a "do over". 

A hardy bowl of kale stew with homemade bread