According to the tracking information provided by Amazon.fr and Chronopost.fr, my computer is on the delivery truck, which is on the road. It comes from Tours, about 45 minutes west of here. Now I have to wait.
Walt has to go out this morning, to the lab to have blood drawn for routine tests. I have to stay here until he gets home, just in case the delivery truck pulls up early. When he gets back, I can go out for the walk with the dog. One of us has to be here to receive the delivery whenever the truck shows up. In the past, deliveries have shown up as early as 8:00 a.m.
The collards right out of the garden, still on the stem, after a first washing... I found one slug and no bugs.
Meanwhile, I decided yesterday morning that there was at least one time-consuming task that I needed to get behind me before the new computer arrives: harvesting and processing some more greens for the freezer. The plants were starting to bolt. I forced myself to go out there in the cold with the required tools, and I did it.
A big basket of collard leaves that have been stripped off the thick, rough stems
I pulled each plant out of the ground and then cut off the root ball to leave the dirt behind. I put the greens, still on the stems, into a big plastic container and hauled them to the outdoor spigot, where I gave the plants a good washing. Then I brought them upstairs and washed them again with the shower attachment in the bathtub (which we never use except for washing house plants). I cut all the leaves off the stems, pretty much one by one, and then I washed the leaves again in a large bucket of water, trimming them to remove any blemishes.
After I packed the greens into containers for the freezer, I poured a little bit of the cooking liquid, known as "pot liquor," into each.
The greens were ready to cook. These are collard greens, and the leaves are small and very tender because it's springtime and we had a mild winter. I cooked them in a big stainless steel pot with water, duck fat, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. They required only 45 to 60 minutes of cooking to be extremely tender. I packed the greens in saved crème fraîche containers, and they came to exactly six pounds, without the cooking liquid — that's not quite three kilos.
I like to cook and eat greens like spinach. So-called bitter greens like collards, kale, and mustard are good cooked with animal fat (bacon or duck), or in chicken broth, and served with hot red pepper sauce or vinegar at the table. They are also good chopped up and put into soups — white bean soup, for example — with pork or poultry sausages. The hot pot liquor is good to dip bread or cornbread in when you eat the greens.