Do you ever look around your house and want to get rid of everything?
I’m in that kind of mood. I want to purge.
Not things in my kitchen. I find use of almost everything in my kitchen. Not much out of my closet. I have spent years cultivating a wardrobe that can last season upon season and still look in style and fresh and not tattered.
Mainly I want to purge from my bathroom and my office. Beauty supplies and books.
Why do I have hair spray that mimics the salty sea air. Couldn’t I just mix salt and water in a squirt bottle and have saved the fifteen bucks. And, am I really going to re-read “Secrets of Life, Secrets of Death”? It is filled with notes and 15+ year old post-its that were invaluable to me when writing my graduate thesis. Do I need now? I don’t think I do.
I am starting to feel suffocated by unnecessary items.
You know what’s interesting about this, though. I just started reading Tamar Adler’s book, An Everlasting Meal. In it, she espouses the virtues of not throwing away parts of food that could be used in a number of magical ways.
I will admit, I never knew that a delicious broth could be made of pea casings. Did you? (No fair to answer yes, if you read the book.) It never occurred to me to repurpose food in such magical ways… breads, leftovers, boiling water, and more. Prior to this book, if I boiled broccoli, I dumped the water it was cooked in.
Never more. I think a huge wave of guilt would envelop my every last essence of spirit and I would never forgive myself.
So, in this, I find it interesting that I want to dispose of things in my house for no reason that they “take up space” and at the same moment, look at each item in my fridge with ideas of how I can extend it and not be so wasteful.
For example, in this recipe, use the stems. Seriously, use them.
I would normally be the kind of person that would de-stem the kale and toss them. Using excuses of “too-fibrous” or “the recipe didn’t call for it!” In this case, I implore you to please use the stem. I cut off a bit at the ends, they just seemed a little past their prime. But, otherwise, I used everything. It added new dimensions of flavor and texture… and that’s why we cook and eat, anyway, right?
You want to be excited about food!
Well… in this case, the stems added just a wee bit of excitement in the form of a CRUNCH!
Some notes about this recipe: I did not include a recipe for the vegan béchamel. There are a lot out there and you may have a favorite already. This is my recipe in case you want to use it or have never made a béchamel before. Just plan on whisking the entire time…. Heat 2 T olive oil and 2 T flour, whisking continuously, let it bubble and boil for a couple minutes. You will add 1 cup unsweetened soy milk, but do it a little at a time, 1/4 cup at most. Whisk to blend flour mixture, until all milk has been added. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and big pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Can be used for a lot of things from gratins to mac’n'cheese to vegan croque monsieur. Possibilities are endless! Lastly, when you are done baking the kale casserole in the oven, if you want to throw it under the broiler for a few minutes to make sure the bread crumbs are good and toasty, by all means do. Just be careful not to burn it!