Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kale fail

CSA season is finally here!

Our family signed up for a CSA for the first time this year. CSA stands for community-supported agriculture and is a kind of “farm club:” You pay up-front during the winter for a weekly share of the farm’s harvest during the summer and fall. Our CSA runs from mid-June through mid-October, so we’re in for months of farm fun.

Chloe was so excited for the veggie club to start that she woke up asking about it every morning for a week before the CSA’s kick-off. When the day finally arrived to head to the farm and pick up our first share, she was beyond excited.

I couldn’t believe the size of our half share: We got a huge bunch of kale, a head of lettuce, a bag of mesclun mix, a bunch of scallions, two massive turnips, a pint of strawberries and a jug of apple cider.
The fact that we were bringing all this fresh produce home to eat was beside the point. Just going to the farm was an awesome experience for Chloe. At the farm, she rode tire swings, ate cider donuts, watched in hushed excitement as a little duck family came waddling toward us, and fed lettuce to a flock of very hungry and excitable chickens. 

See that look on her face? That’s pure, complete, strawberry-stained joy.
Everything is right in her world. 
Everything in the share was wonderful. Everything except the kale.

That’s because I hate kale. My whole family hates kale. I know I’m supposed to love kale, this exalted and trendy superfood. It’s in smoothies and salads. There are bumper stickers and t-shirts and throw pillows imploring people to eat more of it. And yeah, I know why. WebMD says that one cup of chopped kale boasts:
·         33 calories
·         206% of your daily vitamin A needs
·         134% of vitamin C
·         684% of vitamin K
·         9% of calcium

I feel like hating it is some kind of moral failing on my part. (Although I suspect the people who say they love it are really full of shit*). But still, I try to listen to the bumper stickers and eat more kale when I’m in the mood for self-flagellation. And when kale appeared in our CSA share, I had to make use of it.

I made a kale frittata. In the frittata’s defense, this was the best incarnation of kale I’ve ever tasted. The recipe had its work cut out for it, trying its best to disguise the offending vegetable with Parmesan cheese and pepperoni. It’s not the frittata’s fault that kale is terrible.

So I served up this frittata to the fam, and was thinking, “Hey, this isn’t so bad,” even though I had to chew every bite the way a cow chews her cud. Brian choked his down without a word. Chloe on the other hand, did have a few words for the kale frittata. She ate the first few bites in silence, and then as if unable to hold it in any longer, burst into tears. This wasn’t a tantrum. This was actual, kale-induced pain.

This is a re-enactment of Chloe’s kale face.  
Chloe and I had also made strawberry-rhubarb crisp out of the berries in our CSA share, so I promised the warm, sweet dessert to anyone who could live through the frittata. Dinner played out like a culinary version of good cop-bad cop. Through her tears, Chloe somehow managed to finish almost every bite of her dinner, and I promised never to do that to her again. If kale shows up next week, I’ll call one of my alleged-kale-loving friends and give it away.

I’m so sorry, Chloe. Mommy really does love you.

*Yo, don't write to me telling me how kale is really, actually amazing, and you really do love it, and so do your kids. Lies.


  1. So weird. All my kids beg for kale for dinner! Ha ha ha!!!! Totally kidding! Love the write up! Sounds like you did a great job disguising the kale! Kale isn't for everyone! If you get more, I'd be happy to take it off your hands to try that kale guac a mole!

  2. Once the CSA gets going, they will have a swap box where you can trade stuff you don't like. Also we will always happily take your kale. We have it in smoothies every day! PM me on Facebook if you want recipes.

    1. Oh, yeah, thanks for the reminder about the swap box! I'll happily swap the kale for anything else!