Superfoods

Something in my fridge stinks and I don’t know what it is.

No lie–I have a super power.  I can smell things before other people can smell them.  I think I am part hound.  Or I was a hound in a previous life.  I can walk into my kitchen and smell that there is something amiss.  “What is that smell?”, I ask my family, my face contorted in disgust.  They all shrug and bite into their waffles, and my husband rolls his eyes, because I probably say “What is that smell?” or “Something stinks in here” at least 4 times a day, and everybody’s tired of it.  But then–THEN–2 weeks later we will be cooking spaghetti sauce and I will ask that same husband to reach into the pantry and grab me an onion, and he will emerge with a full-on rotting onion, all soft and dripping rotten onion juice, and I will say:  “HA!  I TOLD YOU SOMETHING WAS STINKY IN HERE!”

I have not figured out how to use my super powers for anything other than driving my family crazy and occasionally sniffing out rotten food 2 weeks before it is actually rotten.  It’s really a burden more than a gift.  It’s not like I’m one of those dogs who can smell when someone has cancer or something cool like that.  It’s more like I will be laying in my bed at night and feel completely distracted and unable to sleep because I can smell that something in the kitchen downstairs is decidedly not right but I couldn’t find it on my pre-bedtime stink search so now I’m just laying in bed smelling it and wondering what it is and trying to ignore it so I can go to sleep but I CAN’T GO TO SLEEP BECAUSE I CAN SMELL IT, so then I have to put Vick’s Vapo-Rub under my nose so I can finally go to sleep.

Anyhow, this fridge business is different than the onion business, because everyone can smell it, not just me.  That’s how you know it’s bad.  I have been through that fridge at least a half-dozen times in the past 3 days, sniffing and wiping and scrutinizing its contents.  Yesterday I roasted up 3 heads of broccoli, just to get it out of the fridge.  It was still fresh, but you know how sometimes those cruciferous vegetables can emit that certain odor?  I had to get the broccoli out of the mix, just to narrow things down.

The only thing left that might be questionable is the kale.

I mean, it looks fine.  It’s in a bag, and it’s not slimy or anything.  But it’s kale.  It’s easy to blame things on kale, I think.  I started eating kale as I was approaching 40 because it’s good for you, and it’s a superfood and all.  I have this complicated relationship with kale because I don’t love it, but if it’s prepped right I don’t hate it either.  It’s growing on me.  And after I eat it I just feel like the biggest superstar, because I just ate a superfood.  So I’m trying to eat more of it, and I try to sneak it into recipes, much to my children’s chagrin.  So this morning after opening the fridge, the husband said, “Just throw out the kale!”  But I feel guilty.  I should eat the kale, because it’s good for me and all the health experts say it prevents cancer and is a good source of antioxidants.  But realistically, how much kale can I eat in one sitting?  Also, what if I throw away the kale and then the fridge still stinks?  You see my dilemma.

And then this morning the husband was in the crisper and found a little nubbin of an English cucumber that was all soft and macerated and sitting in its own cucumber juice there in the corner of the drawer, cleverly hiding under the tomatoes.  Could this nubbin have been the source of our fridge odor?  I have to tell you, it was nasty and drippy, but I sniffed it with my super-smeller and it really was not emitting any smell at all, which is impressive if you think about it.  The bag of kale doesn’t smell either, but I think all of these vegetables are LYING TO ME.  I just gave a whole bunch of celery the boot last night because it was looking a little brown around the edges of the leaves.  I HAVE NO PATIENCE FOR BROWN CELERY LEAVES.

I guess I could spend a little time today making up a fresh batch of kale chips with all of the kale that I feel guilty throwing away.  Except for one small problem:  Kale chips sound disgusting.  I have saved many a recipe to my Pinterest boards for kale chips, but I have not yet been able to bring myself to actually make them.  Chips are made of potatoes or corn.  End of story.  Bake them, fry them, cook them in a kettle, whatever.  They are one of life’s simple pleasures.  They are perfection.  To try to imitate this perfection with a cruciferous vegetable just seems wrong.  I can’t do it.  And you know that I would be the only one eating them.  No way that I could convince my two kids to eat chips made of kale.  And then if they were gross I would feel guilty throwing them away.  Because of the antioxidants.  You can’t just throw antioxidants into the garbage next to brown celery leaves and macerated cucumber nubbins.

So here’s what’s on the menu today:

Breakfast:  Smoothies made with bananas, berries, and kale
Snack:  Massaged kale, drizzled with a citrus dressing and tossed with walnuts and dried cranberries
Lunch:  Quinoa and mixed vegetable salad (featuring:  kale)
Dinner:  Teriyaki vegetables with rice noodles, edamame, and a side of sautéed kale.
Snack:  My tears
Midnight snack:  An entire bag of tortilla chips, with a side of Lay’s Classic.

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