I am, to the best of my knowledge, not a jerk. I strive to be mindful of others. I say “please” and “thank you,” even to the mean bus drivers. I try not to keep people waiting. I work hard to meet deadlines. I’m quick to offer help when a friend asks for it, and sometimes even when they don’t. After yesterday, though, I feel like it might be a while before I voluntarily help a stranger again. Yes, I know this makes me sound like a jerk, but hear me out…
My day started very quietly. I woke up after a full night’s rest, made a list of the things I wanted to accomplish and got down to work. My morning was extremely productive and, feeling good about everything I’d done, I decided to reward myself with a quick trip to the store and a nice, leisurely walk. Soon after I got outside, I encountered a woman in a wheelchair who was just sitting in the middle of the intersection, and she asked me to help her cross the street. Not being a jerk, I obliged.
Almost immediately, I regretted my decision to help this woman. Once she discovered we were going in more or less the same direction, she decided that what she really wanted was for me to take her to her destination. She worried that I would break the wheels of her wheelchair if I tried to get her on the sidewalk, so she insisted that I push her down the bike lane, against traffic. Then, she spotted a curb cut she liked (after I had already passed it, mind you), and bellowed at me to turn around. After ten minutes of being yelled at for going too slow and for not trying hard enough to make sure she wouldn’t fall out of her wheelchair, I’d had enough. I told her, politely, that I’d be leaving her at the corner once we got to the end of the street, which didn’t make her happy, but at least she didn’t yell at me for it.
I can’t say that I let this encounter ruin my day, but I did feel annoyed about it for longer than I should have, or at least longer than I wanted to. By the time I got to the store, my leisurely break was nearly over and I had to make a quick decision about dinner, which brings me to the lovely plate of food pictured in this post.
I know that everyone in the blogosphere is so over kale right now, but I’ve never been a very trendy person. If it’s easy to pull together and it tastes good, I’m all over it, and this braised kale is both simple to make and extremely delicious. Plus–I have no idea why–it really helped shake me out of my foul mood. So, if you find yourself in a bad mood, for whatever reason, I have just the ticket: a steamy plate of garlicky braised kale. It’s a simple and incredibly versatile dish: serve it as a side next to chicken or fish, on top of pasta with some nice parmesan and a drizzle of lemon and olive oil, or as a main course, topped with a poached egg.
Braised Kale with Garlic
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a small main course
1 large or two small bunches of kale (any type will do), roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2-4 cloves of garlic, slivered
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Then, add the butter. When the butter has stopped foaming, add the kale and cover with a lid or large plate until the kale starts to wilt, about 1-2 minutes.
2. After a few minutes and once the pile of kale has gotten smaller, clear a space in the pan and add the garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and is beginning to look golden in places, being careful not to burn.
3. Stir the kale and the garlic together. Remove from the heat, season to taste and serve.