May 2013
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Kale and California

Tonight I decided that I needed to eat out of the garden. Recently I have put together a stir-fry with kale, so I picked a little kale. I ended up with a paper shopping bag full of kale. For this stir-fry I would need to add a couple of red bell peppers and a couple of onions. After taking out the stem of the kale, I still had a lot of kale.

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I usually blanch the kale for about a minute and then cool it in some cold water. It makes the kale a little more manageable. I cut the cooled bunch of kale up in about 2 inch squares. They onions are cut in medium size pieces and the red bell peppers are cut julienne style. A heaping tablespoon of chopped ginger as well as several cloves of garlic that have been minced up should be ready as well. The tofu is cut up in to small domino style pieces, placed on paper towels with paper towels over them to absorb some of the moisture. About a cup of vegetable broth is required as well as some soy sauce with some corn starch mixed in. There is some salt, pepper and a tiny bit of sugar as well.

With my trusty 14” cast iron skillet hot and ready to go with a little canola oil in the bottom, I toss in the tofu for about a minute to gain a little color. Then the ginger and garlic go for less than a minute with the onions and red bell peppers following. . If I have a jalapeno or Serrano chili, they will go in as well. Because my wife does not like spicy, I save that for small batches.

Then the kale goes in with the sugar, salt and pepper following. The kale and dry ingredients get stirred around for about a minute, maybe two. The more in the frying pan, the longer it may take. Sometimes I throw in some curry powder and/ or some cayenne powder for a little change up. The final ingredients, the vegetable broth and the soy sauce with the cornstarch get incorporated in. I stir this for a minute as the liquid boils. Then it is scooped up and placed on a bed of brown rice.

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So as I sat down to eat, I decided to open some of the days mail. To my surprise, there was an envelope with the words, “Sign our petition to STOP the California Beverage Tax.” I thought it was crazy that someone wanted another tax in this state? Senate Bill 622 wants to tax soft drinks, juice, sports drinks and enhanced waters a penny per ounce. Would a penny per ounce tax stop people from drinking soda? I think not. They want me to send in my name on their “petition” to be listed publicly. We should have our freedom to eat what we want. My only thought is no more taxes. We have enough taxes in this state. Additionally, the legislature wants to regulate everything we do and take away anything that they think is dangerous. Then again there was a guy that showed up a gun buy back in Los Angeles with a pipe bomb today. He thought is was something he should turn in. Perhaps they should start a bomb buy back program as they could be considered scarier than guns.

Dinner was great. Something healthy always puts me in a good mood. It helps me to live another day and realize that someday I need to get out of this state. I would not be surprised if they will want to tax what I grow in my own garden. It is just the way things seem to go in California.


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