Pickling Time and Chunking Kale

A distressed mother barges into a Rabbi’s study:

“Rabbi, my son has gone meshuge (crazy)!”

“Calm down, lady, have you taken him to a specialist? What makes you think that?”

“Specialist-shmeshalist! Who needs specialists? I am a mother, I know!”

“But, dear lady, what does he do?”

“Oy, Rabbi, he eats pigs and dances with girls!”

“Listen,” – says the Rabbi with a sigh, – “If it were the other way around, that is, if he were dancing with pigs and eating girls, you would have a cause to worry. As it is, he is young and is simply going through a stage.”

Related image

Unfortunately, even the great Salvador Dali could not come up with a way of pickling time or preserving it in any other way. Therefore, we’ll have to listen to the Rabbi and do it “the other way around.” We’ll pickle kale, and we’ll let a specialist teach us how to chunk time while working at home which is something that many of us are doing during the lockdown.

Thanks to lovely and lively Carol at Retired? No one told me!, I have found out that this week is an International Pickle Week. Following experts’ advice, I have dedicated a chunk of time to pickling.

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I’ve been making kale chips (please see here) practically every day – we are meshuge (crazy) about them! The first step in making them is to remove the stems, and what should I do with a huge accumulated bundle of “superfood” stems? So I dice some into soups and stews, and I pulverize some to make Green Garlic Galettes (please see here), but the bundle still grows exponentially, threatening to take over my refrigerator space – “The Invasion of Superfood”! An intrepid adventurer, I pickled them. I figured, with lots of garlic and a little bit of time, it won’t go wrong!

pkld kale stms 2.jpg

And it didn’t! I used a slight variation on my standard pickling recipe (please see here): I used cilantro instead of dill and added grated ginger. Why? I have no idea! I felt that kale, cilantro, and ginger should be friends, so I introduced them to each other and gave them a couple of days to get better acquainted.

This is the incredible African American tenor and movie star Harry Belafonte singing in Hebrew: “How good and pleasant it is for brothers to be together” (Psalm 133). Searching through many variations of songs using this Psalm, I almost cried when I found this one. It is the one we used to sing saying our farewells to friends and relatives who were allowed to leave the Soviet Union, while most of us were left behind the iron curtain. It is the one that would get us arrested more often than not, yet we kept singing it, defying the communist dictatorship that separated brothers and promoted suspicion and hatred for foreigners, instead of love.

pkld-kale-stms-3

It is truly good and pleasant for all of us, brothers and sisters around the world, to be together and learn from each other. It is also good for kale stems, chunked and combined with garlic, ginger, and cilantro, to be together and enhance each other’s flavors. It takes from one to a few days, depending on the temperature and sun exposure. It is ready when the stems lose their bright green color and the brine turns muddy. I asked my husband to taste, to make sure it was ready. So he tasted, and tasted, and tasted… That’s about how much I was able to save to take a picture!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of kale stems, cut into 2 – 3 inch (5 – 7 cm) lengths
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled, cloves cut lengthwise
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) ginger, grated
  • A loose handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 3 cups boiling water

PROCEDURE

  • Place all ingredients, except cilantro, into glass, ceramic, or enamel container, shake lightly to distribute evenly.
  • Dilute salt in boiling water, pour into container. Make sure kale stems are covered with saline solution. More saline solution should be added, if needed.
  • Place cilantro on top, cover tightly.
  • Keep in sunny room temperature place until stems lose bright color and brine looks muddy. Refrigerate when ready. Drain before serving.

Enjoy!

34 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m not a fan of kale, but pickling the stems this way is just brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Ronit; I truly appreciate your opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kritika says:

    Like the Rabi story. 😃
    Nice recipe 😋😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, darling; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kritika says:

        My pleasure 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Doug Thomas says:

    What a clever use of something that usually goes into the garbage or compost! I wouldn’t have thought the fibers broke down enough to make pickled kale stems edible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my kitchen very little goes into garbage, and even compost left over from juicing is used in soups and casseroles. Pickled kale stems are so good that I add them when I pickle other veggies, such as cauliflower, for instance.

      Like

      1. Goes back to old times in the old country where almost nothing was available in stores and almost everything on the black market. My grandmother taught me how to make six dinners for family out of one chicken and still have enough for a chicken soup on Shabbos,

        Like

      2. Doug Thomas says:

        My mother’s generation, children of the Great Depression, was like that. Mom might have been able to squeeze half as many meals out of that same chicken to feed six.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I still cannot throw bread away, even though I come form a reasonably well-to-do family and never had to go hungry.

        Like

      4. Doug Thomas says:

        hen my mother burnt some potatoes au gratin, she just scraped the worst of it off and served the rest with dinner. Too my amazement, they tasted pretty good! I wo7ld have tossed them out.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Ah! So that’s why my husband likes stuff burnt to a crisp,

        Like

  4. Thank you so much for taking me back to my teens when I played Harry Belafonte’s Hine Ma Tov time and time again – without knowing what it was about I felt it so uplifting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so pleased to have elicited good memories, Derrick, Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. GP Cox says:

    You always surprise me. I’ve heard of kale chips, but pickling? Does it take some of the strong flavor of the kale? I’m more accustom to rapini (Italian broccoli rabe) or collard greens.
    My mother used to love that word ‘meshuge’ actually a bit longer ‘meshugena’ and she got me in the habit of using it! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Meshugene” is a noun pertaining to women, while “meshugener” is for men. “Meshuge” is an adjective. Now you know how to use it properly, GP!
      We happen to love the flavor of kale, used in everything, from soups to salads. Pickled, with garlic and cilantro, it is slightly tangy and delicious. I still have to experiment with collard greens. That’s my next project, when my favorite farm store reopens.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Enjoyed the funny – and the kale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear friend; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lulu: “🎶If I could save time in a bottle—🎶”
    Charlee & Chaplin: “STOP SINGING!!!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL You guys are hilarious!
      The Cat Gang.

      Like

  8. Unity sounds so beautiful. And these sound delicious, as do kale chips, i shall have to invest in some kale soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, dear Mimi! Kale really is delicious, if treated right.

      Like

  9. J Balconi says:

    I didn’t think I wanted to follow another blog, especially one about cooking, but then you managed to pickle kale. Well, I must follow you, Beautiful Person!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thank you for your kind comment and for following.

      Like

  10. This preparation sounds really interesting, and delicious. Btw. Its the first time i heared about this song sung by the famous Harry Belafonte. Thank you for sharing, Dolly! Enjoy the day, be well and stay save. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry about just getting to comments and such – have been very busy getting ready for a new virtual semester.
      I was also surprised when I searched for someone really good singing it, and up comes Harry Belafonte!
      Be well and stay safe, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dont worry, Dolly! I think i am in a time machine too. Days are leaving without notice of me. Lol Best wishes and good luck for your teaching goals.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much, Michael; you are so very kind.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. :-)) Enjoy the new week, Dolly!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You too, Michael! Be well and stay safe!

        Like

  11. I must give this a try! Thank you for the great post,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure, dear Suzette; I hope you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

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