Monday, November 3, 2014

The End of the Season: Braised Kale in Apple Cider with Browned Butter Chicken (a #Microblog Mondays post)

On Saturday, as we watched the rain pour down and listened to the wind whipping around the corner of the house, I took down the Halloween decorations.

It was a weekend of endings: Friday was also the last pickup for the season at my CSA, and after my neighbor delivered my share (completely taking me by surprise because he rang the doorbell and it wasn't yet time for the trick-or-treaters to arrive), I found myself missing my farm already, wishing that I'd gone for the last pickup myself, to say goodbye.

This year we (or maybe I--it was definitely a planning process that I drove) decided to go to Disney for Thanksgiving; my daughter is the right age to appreciate it, and my son hasn't yet outgrown his sense of wonder, and I figured it would be a good way to try out time to ourselves for a holiday (which we almost never do).  And I'm looking forward to the trip, even though Disney still feels a little overwhelming.  But taking down Halloween without looking forward to Thanksgiving felt strangely depressing, even though I don't love hosting that meal.  Because in a way, that meant this really was the last harvest week.

I'm considering starting to bake cookies for Christmas, even though I'm also considering swearing off sugar again.

Have you ever spent a holiday in a nontraditional way?  Did it change your anticipation for the holiday at all?  Do you already have plans for this years' holiday season?

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post over at Mel's blog which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

Braised Kale in Apple Cider with Browned Butter Chicken

There's a lot of fall packed into this dish: kale, apple cider, pumpkin seeds, and the nutty taste of browned butter.

4 T. unsalted butter
1 lb. chicken, cut into 1/2" pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 head kale, stems and leaves chopped separately
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds
1/4-1/2 c. apple cider

Brown 1 T. butter for the kale.  Add garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add kale stems and saute until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add pumpkin seeds and saute until just browning.  Add kale leaves and cider and saute until wilted.

Rinse and pat the chicken, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. In a separate saute pan, while the kale is cooking, brown a few T. butter for the chicken.   Place into the butter and allow to cook for two minutes without disturbing; turn over and cook for two more minutes.  Check for doneness and cook additionally if necessary.

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  1. I feel like I've celebrated a holiday in a non-traditional way, but now I can't remember what it was. It may have been Mother's Day pre-kids when I had gotten to the point of hating it (plus my bday is May 11). So, for a couple of years we planned long weekend getaways over that weekend and left our mothers in the lurch. That definitely felt weird.

  2. We're going to Disney over winter break for similar age reasons.

    The best Thanksgiving I've had in my adult life was the year I didn't go "home" because Tiny Boy was less than 2 weeks old and my mom was already with us. Everything I wanted was in my home.

  3. I actually get a little overwhelmed by the "traditional" ways of celebrating holidays and all the expectations therein. So I prefer non-traditional holidays. We are going to a nearby city and spending 2 nights in there for Thanksgiving this year---just for fun. We don't have any family coming and are traveling the next week for a big family wedding and staying a while, so it would just be the 4 of us at home and the whole turkey & stuffing &pie thing always seems much better to me when there are LOTS of people gathering to eat.

  4. That looks like a great recipe.

    Non-traditional holidays are full of trade-offs but worth trying out! We haven't started our holiday planning yet. We usually start earlier, just because it can be a tough season for us, and it having a strategy seems to help.

    Thanksgiving Disney sounds like fun!

  5. Disney is so much fun -- think of it this way, it's your first time getting to celebrate and anticipate the lead up to that. Which is instead of Thanksgiving. So you're looking forward to something, not nothing. And you could always throw a little non-traditional November harvest meal. Invite some friends over. Could be fun.

  6. I love non-traditional holidays - the thing is, we spend so many of our holidays doing the traditional thing, that it really doesn't matter when we're off doing something new and fun and exciting. Those are often the years we remember best.


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