photo by Hazel
Friday, March 22, 2013
Last spring as we planted our garden, my daughter gave me a packet of chard seed. She knows I love fresh chard, so we planted two rows in our garden spot.
At first I blamed it on the soil, because we had not added fertilizer last year and failed to do a deep rototill, only a shallow dig. Our chard was miserably stunted.
That did not daunt me, so with my handy knife, I dutifully cut off the tiny leaves and managed to have a few small “messes” of chard for our dinner.
Then fall arrived and with it some rain and the season changed. Around Thanksgiving, low and behold there were large leaves on my chard rows.
After all, chard is an early winter vegetable, so the fault was with me planting my nice vegetables too early. Through this winter, I have been able to take my trusty knife along with a plastic bag, and carefully taking each plant, cut down to the bottom of the plant. Moving on to the next plant until my bag is full of that dark green “good for you,” vegetable.
Chard is rich in vitamin C, K, A and B vitamins, plus minerals such as iron, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, zinc, which are important for your system. It also has Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits which is good for your heart.
Preparing the chard is not that much trouble when you consider stringing fresh green beans or opening fresh pea pods to gather your green peas.
Place chard in the largest bowl or pot that you have, run cool tap water over your chard and bounce it up and down several times. Then transfer to your largest colander. Dump the water and begin to wash again until you have washed at least 4 (four) times. Next break off the long stems and then rinse a final time and you are ready to cook your chard.
Use your largest pot, and understand that the chard will shrink, so go ahead and cook it all. The water still clinging to your chard from your last rinse will probably be enough, but my husband likes to add a bit extra water. Simmer around 15 minutes and your chard will be ready to enjoy.
We like to pour a dash of apple-cider vinegar on each serving, but season to your taste.
The more you cut your growing chard, the faster it will multiply, so keep up the good work and continue harvesting your healthy green.
I am reminded that when we give our gifts to God, he returns to us more than what we originally gave. That is a spiritual law and it will work for you.
This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s Food on Fridays