I was hungry.
Call it September's Blue Plate Special. I thought I was cleaning out the fridge. There was half a baked potato, a white onion, black kale, a handful of itty bitty tomatoes, basil, and some mashed up garlic.
And it turned into lunch pretty much all on it's own.
So I melted some margarine, a better thing than butter, in this instance, because it took more heat. I heated a cast iron skillet, which I'm sure had a lot to do with this. Tossed in the onion and the kale (took out the spines and cut the kale into bit-sized pieces.) Then I added some potato and the garlic. If I'd had some sweet red pepper, I'd have used that too. Last, I tossed in the tomatoes and pulled the leaves off the basil. Tossed it all together to cover the veg with the fat and let it go for awhile.
Then I got distracted.
A football game was on television, and it was right at one of the good parts. I checked the e-mail and sent a couple of photos to Lea, the kid who borrowed my camera and shot almost 200 photos in four days. (Her photo is at the top of the page.) I ironed part of a shirt in the bedroom and cleaned the toilet. Then scrubbed my hands and checked on the game. I began to smell lunch.
So, back into the kitchen. Time for the salt and pepper. The onions had become sweet; the kale and basil had become paper-thin, stand-up-chips, the tomatoes had cooked through and browned in spots, and the potatoes were crispy brown. Ready. The little tomatoes exploded with flavor—all of the veg did. You'll have to figure out how long it took.
It was perfect. A French country cook could not have done it better. Everything had carmelized, gotten crispy, had cooked itself through. I had a glass of milk, but a cold beer or a glass of icy white wine would do as well.
You have to understand, this was totally an accident. Nothing was planned, timed, or measured.
And yet, and yet.
Some days, you just get lucky.