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Gill and I may disagree on many things but we have discovered, during her current trip here for holidays, that we have a common enemy: kale.

She went to Toronto to visit friends for a few days. “Ma, I can’t believe it! Has all of North America lost its mind? There’s kale everywhere. We went to a greasy pub for a dirty burger and fries and one of the options for a side dish was kale salad. Who goes to a pub for kale salad? Whatever happened to coleslaw or onion rings? That’s just wrong.”

I was worried. “Oh, well, I’m afraid I have to warn you about something. Don’t open the fridge door. . .and don’t go to the cold cellar.”

“Why? I’ve always been terrified of what’s in your fridge, Ma. Especially the third tier of stuff. . . there is usually all manner of blue fuzz and botulism-in-progress back there. I just ignore it and move on. What could possibly be worse?”

“The thirty pounds of kale.”

“What? You hate kale. Why do you now have 30 pounds of it? Tell me early onset Alzheimer’s hasn’t kicked in.”

“No. I still hate it. But Crazy D and L’il Sis love the stuff –that and hemp hearts and kamut flour and nutritional yeast and some bilious green glop in a bottle.”

“But this is still your house and your fridge, right?”


“Ma! I fear things have taken a disturbing path here. When I left, we ate one small chicken breast between us for three days, popcorn and ice cream for dinner sometimes. The cupboard always had potato chips and you ate salmon five times a week. What is going on? And what’s with the cold cellar? I just thought that housed your tornado kit and the cute little chipmunk that comes in every autumn.”

“I don’t know. . . I guess I’m feeling weak. I have caved. Take a look in the fridge. You’ll see what I mean.”

And with that, she yanked open the fridge door. A shocked look came over her face. “OMG! It’s the invasion of the Alien Kale! It’s everywhere. How can two people possibly eat this much kale . . .even people who like kale?”

“Well, they’ve taken to buying their weight in veggies from a local food farm co-op. Each week they trek out to the farm to collect their ration. They then have kale salads, cooked kale, kale with garlic, fried kale, diced kale, mashed kale, kale chips,kale hidden in zucchini loaf, curried kale. I’m waiting for kale ice cream. When Crazy Dave travels, L’il Sis has to eat twice as much. I’m surprised her skin hasn’t turned green by now. But that would detract from her pink hair so I’m sure she’s careful not to overdose. Which brings me to the cold cellar. Crazy D keeps his emergency, auxiliary kale supply there. You know, in case they run out when the tornado hits. God forbid they have to go kale-less for a day.”

“Oh, Ma. I’m so sorry to hear it. Tell you what, if it becomes too much for you, come over to the UK and we’ll rent a nice little seaside cottage where we can eat popcorn, drink gin, and fry sausages in a greasy old pan. It will be good for your health and peace of mind. Too much kale will kill you –especially if it falls out of the overloaded fridge and suffocates you.”

“Thank you, dear. You’re a thoughtful daughter.”