By mid-November, I was starting to feel a little bit guilty about the kale. It had been quietly patient, waiting around in our garden without a fuss for me to finish dealing with the pears and the chard and all of the other higher-maintenance vegetables (not to mention all of the moving and boxes and unpacking), even though it had long-since been ready for harvesting. That’s one of the things that I love so much about kale–it’s remarkable ability to wait–remaining strong and steady and vibrant all the while. Can you imagine asking a green bean or a head of lettuce to wait to be picked for a month or two after reaching it’s prime, while still expecting it to be sweet and delicious? Not so much. But still, it was time to give the kale a little love. As strong and cold-hardy as it is, even kale can get a little weary after repeated frosts and thaws, and I was hoping to avoid that if possible. So, during early November the boys and I harvested all of the kale and set about putting it up–which ended up taking several days. Yes, this is much longer than I’d like it to take, but you know, this just seems to be how it is at our house these days. We grew three different kinds–Red Russian, Winterbor, and Toscano, and, as with the chard, there were several trash-bags full to get into the freezer. With winter looming, we tried to enjoy as much of the not-too-cold late fall weather as possible, doing all of the preserving outside. I de-stemmed, washed, blanched and chopped as the boys played (and occasionally helped). Fortunately, kale is quite fun for the littles. The big bunches are well-suited to parading with and waving around like flags, and the discarded stems are perfect for whacking the ground, rocks, dead trees, and the like–a perfect accessory for the general outdoor wildness of which my boys seem to be so fond.