The herbed potato chunks and chicken in the oven were almost done. I needed a quick vegetable dish. Darkness had already fallen (so early now, with the switch back to Standard Time), but there was enough light from the back porch light to let me grab a handful of Tuscan kale out of the garden. It only took a few minutes to saute some garlic and chopped mushrooms, clean the kale, and dump the still-damp leaves into the skillet. Putting the lid on to let it steam-fry 'til done, I went about the house closing up the blinds and shades for the night.
And was genuinely surprised to see that during that little bit of time from when I'd just been out in the garden, our first snow flurry of the year was now coming down fast and furious. Ah well, it is the middle of November, after all.
Speaking of the garden, I love the Tuscan kale. This is the third year I've grown it, but the first time I've been able to eat any. The past two years Aries had pulled up the plants when he was gathering up spent plants to shred for the compost - his defense, "they didn't look like food." The first time, I figured it was an honest mistake. But twice!? I chewed him out last year, but the damage had been done. So this year, I made sure to set down the rules before he even set foot in the garden. "I don't care that you don't eat salads - don't you DARE touch these kales or those chards! I want them for fresh eating until it finally gets cold enough to kill them." He got the message. And I'm still eating fresh greens, despite temps in the low 20's :-)
I'm happy too, because I scored a sweet deal today. A friend gave me two cases of empty Grolsch beer bottles - the reusable kind that seal with a porcelain top, gasket, and metal bail. Aries had used up all we had when he made a batch of beer a couple of weeks ago, leaving me NONE for my kombucha. We do have the smaller tall-neck reusable beer bottles, but I don't like having to go out to the shed and get the equipment necessary to hand-crimp metal caps onto those (we'll use them for the hard cider when it's ready - 12-ounce bottles are the perfect size for cider). Plus, there were also four glass gallon jugs in the boxes she gave me. They need new stoppers, but will be nice to have for smaller experiments in home brewing and vinegar-making. Besides, I think things just taste better stored in glass.