Yellows and greens

Published on Sunday July 13th, 2008

Saturday mornings are for the farmers’ market. I thought my nascent cardigan might look fine reposing among the fresh produce and, for the sake of the composition, the bottle I saved from the best wine I’ve tasted since the Brunello we brought back from Montalcino in 2003.

The Red Russian kale went into an experimental Indian-esque dinner in the following way: I sautéed half a yellow onion in olive oil, added a can of chick peas, then stirred in some chopped fresh ginger, a Murchi curry blend (I went a little overboard and it wound up pretty hot – a couple of teaspoons would have done the trick), a handful of unsweetened coconut shavings, and a dash of hot pepper flakes. I removed the kale “backbones” and roughly chopped the leaves, then threw them into the mix. At this point I needed some liquid to keep it all from sticking. There happened to be some apple cider (sweet, not hard) in the icebox, so I poured in a slosh of that. Then I noticed our growler from the local brewery was in there, too, and still had a glug of flat pale ale in it. Into the pot it went, to counteract a little of the sweetness of the apple juice and deepen the flavor a bit. As soon as the kale had steamed it was done. I shaved a little ricotta salata over the plates to serve it, on the theory that the mild, salty cheese could stand in for proper paneer. It turned out pretty tasty! I often cook this way, starting with a good fresh main ingredient and improvising based on what happens to be in the cupboards. Sometimes the result isn’t what I could hope, but mostly it works out well. And luckily my husband is a good sport about it (not that he has an alternate choice, unless he cooks himself).

We also bought raspberries, and unfortunately Mr. G figured he could dispense with their little boxes and pour them all into a plastic bag. The fragile little beauties promptly squashed each other and I knew they wouldn’t last out the day. We ate a bowl each, and then I made freezer jam. The half a cup of mashed raspberries left over went into a fruity cocktail each:

I adapted an internet recipe and it came out a bit too strong and too sweet, but here’s what I’d do next time:

half a glass of crushed ice
1/4 c. mashed raspberries
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 measure light rum
a slice of lemon


Today the chard, spinach, courgettes, and summer squash will join a trio of eggplants in a couple of pans of lasagne. One will be for us and a friend who’s coming to dinner; the other we’ll freeze for our friends who just brought home their beautiful new son.

Meanwhile, the Tour continues, and so does my progress on the yellow cardigan. If this piece of knitting has its equivalent of the Pyrenees, that’s where I am, right along with the cyclists. Two more rows and I can put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn, but those rows are awfully long. The Alps will be the part where I have to pick up stitches and work a 1 x 1 ribbed edge around the whole body, but luckily I’ve got a couple of flatter stages in between to race down the rest of the cropped torso. Overall, I’m feeling good about my chances for the maillot vert!

Of course, there’s going to be a major interruption in my focus on this piece. Pro riders are required to report their whereabouts to the team leadership even during the off-season, so I’ll follow suit: on Thursday I’m leaving for Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp in Wisconsin, and I’m perfectly giddy with anticipation! I may have to put down the yellow cardi for a couple of days, but I intend to be knitting constantly for four days. And I’ve got a project in my head that will employ the techniques I need to work on at Camp without sacrificing the French connection – stay tuned! I’m off to wind the yarn I have to pack and do some weeding before the sun comes fully over the trees to bake me.

12 Comments to “Yellows and greens”

  1. Renna Comment Says:

    The recipes you shared sound absolutely scrumptious!

  2. Karen Comment Says:

    I just LOVE the photos you take incorporating your yarn! You inspire me to do the same. I have not been as successful but boldly march on!

    I often cook the way you do and when things turn out yummy I try to write it down. I think sometimes the magic of the moment is a necessary ingredient.

    It will be so wonderful when you wear your yellow cardigan to think back on the Pyrenees portion of your knitting memory. I often do that with items I have knitted/quilted.

    Have a wonderful time at camp! :0)

  3. mamie Comment Says:

    i like your cooking style. i was just going to post about my use of kale that was procured at our f.m. this morning. i’ll have to try your indian-esque dish.

    cannot wait to see the new piece. could it be true that a year has passed since you completed your tour sweater? i still have the yarn i won and finally found the project for the mission falls.

    knitting camp sounds like the best thing that could happen to a girl. take lots of pictures so we can live vicariously.

  4. Lisa Comment Says:

    Your cooking is inspirational!! I wish I could just rely on my sense of taste and confidence in the kitchen like you. Your dishes always sound so tasty! I need to get more adventurous at the farmers market–my goal for the summer.

    Can’t wait to see your cardigan! Have a great time at Knitting Camp!

  5. bells Comment Says:

    Wow. Fabulous photo and a lovely write up. Summer is just the best for that sort of thing isn’t it – so much produce and so much scope for the culinary imagination!

    I keep reading about this fridge jam, which I’d never heard of. I must investigate!

    As for the MS knitting camp…..oh my Lord. I am jealous.

  6. Jessica Comment Says:

    You post cocktails that make my mouth water every summer! No raspberries to be seen where I am, but when I do get my hands on some….
    And for a brief and beautiful moment, I saw your market photo and thought that the yarn was purchased there too, and was about to move to Portland for the coolest farmers’ market ever….

  7. Jodi Comment Says:

    Oh, have a fabulous time at Camp! I’m heading to WI for the weekend, too, but not to Camp — spinning and dyeing workshops at Circle M Farm. Bummer about the raspberries. Some don’t survive even when I do use the little boxes at the local organic market.

  8. Katie Comment Says:

    Yeah, have a great time at camp! That sounds fun. I’m loving the farmers’ market these days too. I pick up some rainbow chard that I’m going to improvise upon tonight. Yum. I wonder how it would do with chickpeas and curry?

  9. Nonnahs Comment Says:

    Gorgeous farmer’s market haul! Your raspberry cocktail sounds yummy!

  10. whitney Comment Says:

    Oooh, that yellow looks amazing! I can’t wait to see your project in full, eventually!

  11. Debby Comment Says:

    Please come to my house and teach me how you cook. You are fearless; I need recipes. I hope you have a wonderful time at knitting camp!

  12. Kristen Comment Says:

    I didn’t reply to this when I first saw it, but I must now, as late as I am, to say that your first picture is just inspired. I love the yellow yarn, but placing it with all that yummy produce is brilliant!