Okay guys, it's here, that time of year when everything (hopefully) slows right down to a halt and we get to do all those things we've been planning and see all those folks we've missed all year-long. How is everyone doing with Christmas just two days away?! As always, we're ready to go with all the last-minute things happening all at once, as I can never seem to fully get in the spirit until the last week anyways. The tree is up, the outdoor lights are finally up (after much procrastination), and I've pretty much wrapped everything (I think).
I think I'm so last-minute simply because still, no matter after how many years, I still sort of want to pretend I can ignore this whole Christmas thing (but who are we kidding, at the end of the day I am a total sucker for this time of year), that is until, It hits me right over the head. It's just, well, as our sensibilities evolve and we move towards wanting a lighter load on all fronts, the kids are still conditioned to enjoy the holidays the way they've always known them: with great abundance. As the years go by and the kids get older, it becomes important to set the right example, but at the same time when it comes to magical times like this, a good dose of precedent can always go a long way. In our case, we (actually it was I) set the precedent early in the kids lives, and that has always meant what Christmas might mean to many a household that enjoys means to do so - loads of gifts under the tree, food & treats in abundance everywhere, and more than enough of everything to go around.
There are the traditional holiday meals, the traditions on Christmas Eve, and the way that Santa comes in the night and devours the treats left dutifully for him each and every year. This year I've tried to keep it mellow, and as always, I'll break the mould for Christmas dinner and serve what I always serve alongside the turkey: salad. But as my good friends & folks all around me have babies, I can't help but wonder how they'll set the precedent for our future generations that are coming up the wings.
Will we always give so many gifts as a society, or can we dial it back to the way it might have been in the old days? As a household, how do you approach Christmas time gift giving? I always picture an ideal scene of a few well made toys and a new outfit or two, maybe a book. All set out on Christmas eve under a tree lit with real candles (I actually knew someone who had one of these in the old days of my childhood). However it's done, the main goal should always be the same: to enjoy the special time with loved ones and appreciate the blessings we have. Tree or no tree, lights or no lights, that's what counts. Here's a minimalistic kale salad to try that will likely knock your socks off (it's that good!!), and for any others who are still looking for what to serve for those veggies in your life, you may just find a way to enjoy this green after all!
Merry Christmas, everyone!! Can't wait to see you all on the flip side! Lots of love to all. :)
Winter Kale Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette & Parmesan:
- (3-4) cups mixed kale greens, washed and shredded
- (1/4) cup olive oil
- (2) tbsp red wine vinegar
- (1) tsp minced shallots
- (1) tsp sugar (optional)
- (1/4) tsp salt
- (2) tbsp parmesan cheese
Wash and shred the kale with either your hands or a sharp knife. You can leave the pieces as thin or as chunky as you like according to personal preference. The beauty of the greens used here is I collected them from my local community garden and this was a sampling of all the varieties that were growing there (I just thought they were so beautiful!!).
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, sugar & shallots and pour over the kale, massaging gently with your hands. Just before serving, toss in the parmesan cheese and toss again, using more or less as desired. Serve with optional black pepper as is, or, dress this up as you wish!
I enjoyed it with toasted walnuts, arugula, and fresh cherry tomatoes, but this would easily go well as a side with just about anything! I know there are a bajillion kale salad recipes out there, but this is just too easy and tasty not to add to your rotation, especially if you've still got winter kale kicking around.