Monday, 16 January 2012

Cooking with the Kale Queen - Maple Kale Chips

My friend Aviva will happily share the story of our meeting some 8 years ago - when she claims I "dragged" her to a Parent Council meeting for our children's Hebrew School.  Well, I guess I should come clean - I did "encourage" her to join me in my first council meeting, and we kept going back for about 5 years. 

We also discovered that our lives were following parallel paths.  Her mother-in-law and my mother were both suffering from the onset of dementia, and suddenly we each found ourselves in the role of middle-aged matriarchs of our respective clans.  Through it all, a deep friendship grew, and extended to include our husbands as well.  Aviva has been my friend, my confidante, my supporter and my therapist.  She simply understands what I am going through, and is always there.  I should also mention that Mom also really liked her - and she is one of the few people who I feel comfortable bringing to see Mom - she has that amazing ability to calm and reassure her - and Mom really seems to enjoy the visits. 

Which brings me to my next point - although this really isn't where I planned to go with my entry, but - what the heck - I am going to wing it! LOL!

Aviva has over 25 years' experience working with seniors in retirement and nursing home settings.  She has recently branched out on her own and opened her business - Leisure-Full Life - where she brings her unique, and much-needed skill set to the homes of seniors who are alone and lacking companionship.  It is an amazing service which I wish had been available to our family when Mom was first diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's.  What a comfort it would have been to know that someone so kind and compassionate was spending time with my mom when I couldn't (I work full-time and have 2 children who were 6 years' younger then!).  I urge you to visit her on Facebook and check out her website  Leisure-Full Life if you have a loved one who could benefit from some one-on-one companionship. 

But I assure you, ours is not a "sad" friendship - we spend an unusual amount of time laughing - the best therapy ever.  And this past Thursday was no exception. 

Somehow Aviva was dubbed the "Kale Queen" in Norene's Kitchen, and I was relegated to be her sous chef and housemaid!  It was decided that we would try out this recipe she had posted in the Kitchen Kale Queen's original post once I had dropped the kids to Hebrew School.  So, off I went to cook with the Kale Queen!  Below you will find her recipe along with a pictorial step-by-step of my 1.5 hours spent with Aviva - I haven't laughed that much since the last time I was with her! 

In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful day filled with family, fun, friends and fantastic food!  B'Tayavon & Buon Appetito! 

The Kale Queen's Recipe for Maple Kale Chips
Rinse and break up Kale leaves into big pieces...put them in a bowl with 2 tbsp oil and 3-4 tbsp maple syrup...put them on a cookie sheet, add a little salt and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes... check on them often depending on your oven 10 minutes may be too much or too little.

Kale Queen breaks up kale, then rinses and pats it dry

Sous chef tidies up

Adding the olive oil

Then the Maple Syrup

In Mom's words: mixie mixie a la pixie, diddly dum and diddly dixie!

Spread on parchment-lined cookie sheet

Add a little salt (although I have to tell you, we did a couple of retakes
 of this photo and perhaps our first batch was a little too salty!) LOL!

Into the oven!  Or was this out of the oven?!

The final product ... yumm!