A date with my bipolar friend, the date

My father-in-law said, “Ugly was a beautiful dog.” Ugly was the female English bulldog he had in his pre-married life.

Simon Armitage has a poem, You’re Beautiful, I’m Ugly. This could be about a date.

For a while I ordered the Barhi, Honey Dates, and Golden Princess online. Then I got tired of paying shipping on those so I tried the Medjools at Adams Fairacre Farm in Poughkeepsie and discovered they carry a damn fine date.

I eat them plain. I eat them with cheese, I eat them with nuts. Last night I served them to my guests with salted pecans. Heaven. The left overs were for breakfast this morning which is when I shot the picture above.

Medjool Dates stuffed with Salted Pecans

  • Turn oven to 350.
  • Liberally smear butter on a baking sheet
  • Put a single layer of pecans on top
  • Liberally salt with a good sea salt (Maldon is good because of the big flat crystals that are easy to crumble and sprinkle at the same time)
  • Cook for 10 minutes, stir and check and toss some more salt on if you like. Cook until ligthly toasty brown. Check often so they don’t burn.
  • Let cool.
  • Slice dates, remove pit, stuff pecan into date and eat.

Hearty sausage soup with white beans and kale

What could be more comforting on a cold, rainy day than Sausage Soup? It takes time, but it isn’t like you have anywhere to go on a rainy weekend anyway, so stay at home and cook some soup to last you the week


  • Olive Oil
  • 8 oz Sausage; remove skin, crumble
  • approx 1/2 cup dried white beans
  • medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • rosemary
  • 6 cups pork stock
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 2 cups diced potatos
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Bring your pork stock to a simmer.
  • In a large soup pot over medium, heat the olive oil and cook the crumbled sausage until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon remove the sausage.
  • Add onion to pot and cook about 4 minutes, add in the garlic and cook another 3 minutes.
  • Add the beans and pork stock.
  • Increase heat to bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours
  • Add potatoes and sausage and cook for another hour partly covered.
  • Add kale and cook for another hour. Stir it often, soup will thicken considerably.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste

Eat with crusty bread. On the second or third day, add an appropriate hot sauce like Tabasco.

Kale salad please…

It is really simple and really good. Kale lasts a lot longer in the fridge than lettuce so during the winter, I especially like to keep it. The picture above show radicchio which I added because I happened to have it and it gave pretty color.

  • 1 bunch Kale (thick stems removed) laciano, purple whatever looks best and tender
  • 2-3 Tbs Pine nuts or small handful walnuts, lightly toasted in oven or stovetop, chop walnuts if using
  • 3-4 Tbs dried currants or cranberries
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or shallots)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 3 Tbs rice wine vinegar (or any light white vinegar)
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • Grated Pecorino, Parm or crumbled blue cheese.

Stack the kale leaves on top of each other (this is a very loose interpretation of stacked). Roll it best you can then slice very thinly across the “log” of kale.

On med heat warm the olive oil until little bubbles show up (4 min), add garlic, turn off heat, stir let sit.

Put kale, nuts, fruit into salad bowl. Add vinegar to oil, add pinch of salt, few grinds pepper. Take a piece of Kale taste dressing, it may need more vinegar. Add 1/2 dressing to the salad and toss, taste, adjust with more dressing or salt or pepper. Add cheese last. Serve.

Depending on the bunch of kale and how many people, you’ll need to add/subtract a little. Hope it is great!!!