Like any good Millennial, I frequently hate-read trend pieces about Millennials. One of my favorite facts about our generation, besides the fact that we are all lazy and entitled, is that 21.6 million of us live at home. And while I understand the larger social implications of such a staggering statistic, I have a confession to make.
I love it.
My parents make great landlords. They mostly charge in homemade meals, which I am more than happy to provide. In exchange, I get a cozy bed, a live-in accountant (Dad) and a conveniently located business partner/fellow crafter (Mom).
Home is all the more comfortable when you’ve experienced what it’s like out there. I will not pretend the decision to come back was an easy one — it felt like admitting defeat after living two years on my own in THE big city.
But the best thing I could’ve done for myself was pressing restart. Trying again. This time in a space that always smells faintly of chocolate chip cookies and offers frequent warm embraces.
With every passing day I feel more like myself, once again bursting with enthusiasm and optimism. I can’t say exactly why those qualities felt so suppressed by city life, but I know that soon they will be the very qualities that lead me, eagerly, back into the great unknown.
For now, I close my eyes and allow the familiarity of home to cover me like a blanket.
Speaking of cooking for my parents, I made this meal as a delayed birthday present for my dad. I won’t reveal his age, but let’s just say that it now ends in 0.
I loathe raw kale, but we have an inordinate amount of fresh produce right now from our CSA; I had to do something with at least a few of our greens. Besides the dreadful, inedible texture of raw kale, it feels like the most self-righteous of vegetables, like it’s somehow my problem that I can’t eat it without a 30-minute lemon juice massage.
The best way to spite kale is to rob it of its healthy reputation, so I added bacon and butter and called it a day. The fact that I was serving the kale with buttermilk fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits probably contributed to my inspiration.
Sautéed Kale with Bacon and Onions
2 strips bacon, chopped (I cut them with kitchen shears)
2 tablespoons butter
1 sweet onion, diced
1 to 1-1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
6 cups kale
Pepper, to taste
1. Heat a high-sided pan to medium-high. Add the chopped bacon and cook for about one minute. Add the butter and cook until melted. Stir in the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Pour in the stock to deglaze the pan and add the kale. If it doesn’t all fit, stir in a few cups at a time. It will cook down quickly. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook with the lid on for five minutes.
3. Remove the lid and raise the heat, adding the pepper and stirring constantly until all of the liquid has cooked off, which should only take another minute or two. Serve immediately.