apricots, friendship, greens, vegetables
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armchair travel

My friend Andrea is a good friend to have.  She will agree to come along and pick cherries in unbearable weather, and show up with even more containers than you have brought–a sign of her optimism and enthusiasm.  She will share your obsession with cracking the code on some elusive Turkish or possibly Greek baked pudding that may also be boiled, which seems to contain chicken but doesn’t have to, and present you with cookbooks and late-night emails testifying to her mettle as a code-cracker.  She may, if you are very lucky, also present you with a bottle of olive oil, which turns out to come from the olive grove belonging to her family in Greece.  

Then again, she may twink off to Greece for a month, and send you what can really only be described as apricot porn.  So think twice before getting too friendly with her, or you may find your inbox clogged with images like these:

all photos by Andrea, who is in Greece, and not by me, home here in Massachusetts
Look at the pits, lolling about in that sultry way, on top of the jars.
She says she has a jar of this in her suitcase for me.  I think that is the sea that I see, there behind the jars and the olive trees.  I hope some of that is in her suitcase, too.

As for what we can actually eat, the greens have been glorious lately, now that the weather is cooling off and we have had some rain.  My default treatment of a mess of greens is to saute them with garlic and tamari, but I went successfully out on a limb last night and this is how you can, too:

almost rich greens

a large bunch of kale 
a large bunch of swiss chard
2-3 T olive oil
1-2 T butter
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt to taste
1-2 tsp curry powder
2-3 T heavy cream

Wash the greens (leave the washing water clinging to them) and chop them up–I like to roll them and then cut in fine ribbons.  Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy skillet and saute the garlic for maybe a minute–don’t let it brown, just become fragrant.  Stir in the curry powder and immediately add the greens, in batches if need be.   Cook, stirring, with maybe the addition of a splash of water if there is not enough water on the leaves, until the greens soften and become almost tender.  Now add a fat pinch of salt and the cream, and cook another few minutes, until tender enough to suit you.


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