Sunday 22 December 2019

Christmas trees and kale...

Some new experiences are better than others, I find.

On Friday night, en route to Torridon, Gail and I stayed in Carrbridge with our lovely friends, 'S' and 'G'. An hour or two after dark I was surprised to find myself trotting along a track across the golf course under torchlight with the three of them, 'S' carrying a small saw, and 'G' with a hip flask of whisky and some snacks in her pocket, all the humans looking slightly furtive. We stopped under a power line, where I was fascinated to watch 'S' carefully fell a small Scots pine and skilfully wrap it up to be carried back to the house. But before returning we continued up to a view point and sat under the starlight, enjoying perfect peace for a few minutes, the humans warmed by a wee dram of Talisker and a slice of gingerbread, and me content with a venison chew.

That was a good experience.

Friends, have you ever tasted a vegetable called kale? I have now, and it was not a good experience.

Yes, yes, I know, it's supposed to be a 'superfood', and despite historically being used as cattle fodder in the UK, apparently many humans have now convinced themselves that it is also quite delicious.

So, back in the kitchen after the Christmas tree adventure, 'G' dropped a couple of dark green, rather coarse curly leaves onto my mat when she was preparing supper. I approached them with caution. The smell was not appealing, but I tentatively put one of the leaves in my mouth and, gently turning it over with my tongue, I tried, I really tried, to figure out how this was supposed to taste good in any way.  But after a couple of minutes I admitted defeat (something us terriers hate to do) and spat the still intact leaf back onto the mat.

Do you like kale?

We are now in Torridon, where Gail attended the Community Christmas Party. Dogs were not invited, although I think I might have done a better job of hitting the high notes of 'Ding Dong Merrily on High' and figuring out which direction to process in the 'Dashing White Sergeant' than some of the humans apparently managed...

I do hope the wee lassie pictured below was enjoying her first experience of ceilidh dancing more than I liked my kale leaf...


  1. Sir Bertie!
    But my mum loves kale with a passion.
    Sending you all good tidings, furtive, kale-like, and more.

  2. Mom remembers kale and turnip greens from her days of living in Louisiana. They are both bitter and nasty. YUK! And what she really needs to do is to find a recipe with very good ratings and give it a go again.

  3. Hari OM
    Bertie Lad, I too am a lover of kale - especially when it has been dehydrated into 'crisps' in a low-heat oven... then lightly salted. MMmmmmmmmm - you may find that more to your taste, the texture being entirely transformed. Kale cooked and mashed with potato and cream and butter is a Dutch traditional, similar to Irish concannon, which also goes down rather well... how do you feel about Brussels Sprouts then, Bertie? mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

    I shall turn a blind eye to the furtive frolics at Carrbridge. Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  4. We have no kale lovers in our house. Sounds like you are getting to enjoy some festivities.

  5. Oh Bertie, my Foxy Fit WFT, what a FUN FUN post. I especially enjoyed the nighttime excursion to cut down the Scots Pine. I have never cut down my very on Christmas tree.

    The party was quite festive and I say everyone danced with merriment like no buddy was watching and that is Aok with me.

    KALE: No thank you, raw there is a texture thing seems to grow in your mouth as it is chewed. I have had it from the frozen food area of the grocery store it was ok. But I still prefer spinach, which I will eat raw or cooked. Now collards or turnip greens must be cooked.

    Hugs Cecilia

  6. It sounds like you are having some fun adventures during your Christmas holiday. We aren't fans of any veggies so we totally understand you spitting out the kale.

  7. Bertie, your starlight adventure sounds lovely. Yes, I just received a large bag of kale (and other assorted greens) as a Christmas present. I was thinking of sharing the bounty. Merry Christmas!

  8. A purloined Christmas tree....BOL!

    SHE says the word kale immediately brings to mind the green-black glutenous gloop that was served on the school dinner's horrible juice melding with everything on the plate!

  9. We would love to see that pine tree decorated for Christmas:)

    Mom is a big greens lover, any kind of salad, but kale??? Nope, she just can't acquire a taste for it. So we haven't had the opportunity to taste it, and based on your opinion, Bertie, we hope we never do.

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  10. Growing up in New England Kale soup is a staple. It kind of looks, and smells like garbage but it tastes pretty good.

  11. A fun adventure getting the tree!! but we would probably think the same about the kale
    Mabel & Hilda

  12. I think that is called stealing a Christmas tree in America and from a golf course jeez Bertie you could have landed in the slammer for the holiday. We have kale Lee puts it in soups and she makes Kale Chips in the over you would like those.

    1 large bundle curly green or purple kale
    1-2 Tbsp melted coconut or avocado oil
    Seasonings of choice (i.e. pinch sea salt, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp curry powder.
    We do like the mans kilt who is dancing with the liit one.

  13. Thar sounds like a super fun outing for the holiday! The chilly walk to find the Christmas tree must have inspired lots of giggles my mom thinks...or maybe just the adult refreshment might have! Have a great Christmas!

    Kiki and Rosie

  14. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Bertie and Gail.

  15. Your adventure sounds delightful. We think if the Kale was fried with bacon, it might be edible....just sayin'

    Wyatt and Tegan