friendship & kale stalk pesto

it’s 12:40am. I’m sitting on the single couch in the corner of the dimly lit living room at work.
I’ve just finished my first cup of tea and I’ve been browsing the internet for various things that I’m looking forward to having more time to do once my final assessment is completed (next Monday). I’m also hoping that the rain is cease soon because I miss long walks in the bush at the end of our street

Breakfast this morning that we ate on the deck as the mist rolled in

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the greens that have been growing in our garden. I went down to the bottom patch today and was surprised to find that we actually have some broccolini growing ! I hadn’t realised and had mistaken it for another green altogether. Having vegetables that you can easily add to many dishes is really nice and I didn’t realise how much I appreciate it. I find a lot of joy in going to our different plots and gathering different leaves. This morning, I made Liam and myself a bowl of miso with vermicelli noodles, kombu dashi powder, mushrooms, tofu, bean curd knots topped with sesame seeds, furikake and chilli oil.

I’ve been thinking about making chilli oil and found a recipe the other day that I think I’m going to give a go.

A beetroot we pulled out of our Hugel bed the other day.

Something lovely and spontaneous happened the other day which I guess was a bit novel for me because it felt like lockdown had really eased. I was walking around the block with Bug, and had just finished a phone call as I walked past a friend’s house. A man was sitting in a van outside the house, seemingly trying to fix something and he looked familiar to me, but he wasn’t my friend (or at least I didn’t think he was). I was then further confused when he waved at me and started to walk towards me, I thought – goodness, my eyesight must be quite awful. As he got closer, I realised that I didn’t actually know him and that he wasn’t my friend. We introduced ourselves, I introduced Bug and it turned out it was actually my friend’s brother.

After a bit of chat, he asked if I wanted to join the house for dinner. It turned out to be a really lovely evening of getting to know him and his partner & sitting around the dinner table with the rest of the house. I have a special place in my heart for the spontaneous unfolding of events like this – I enjoy being able to have space in my life to be able to say yes and go with the flow and I think that with covid lockdown, that didn’t get to happen very often.

Last week, we got to celebrate a couple of the folks from the queer reading group’s birthdays. We gathered at E’s house, smashed flowers into a tablecloth with a hammer, shared mulled wine and home made dishes and enjoyed the fire. A couple of days later Liam and I were chatting about how thankful we feel about ‘finding our people’ up here in the mountains. Which then got us onto the topic of community, friendship groups, commitment and how we don’t spend enough time talking about the grieving of friendships when people move away or leave your life. It’s a topic I feel that I’ve thought about extensively, felt a large range of emotions around, grieved rigorously and talked about a lot.

When I was single, I yearned deeply to find that person who would not only commit to me as a person, but commit to being with me in a geographical sense. Living in a day and age where moving half way around the world is not uncommon and not an impossible feat for many who are in my life & social circles, there is no dialogue or discourse around geographical commitment to one another in the context of friendship. We don’t really talk about or have any expectations that our friends will make decisions about where they live based off how it will affect our friendship. When I was younger, I had these idealistic views that perhaps I’d find this kind of commitment in friendship, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised that our society is not really structured like that and people choose to move for all kinds of valid and great reasons. Now, I think I’ve come to accept that perhaps the only person who may choose to have this commitment to me is my partner. Together, we will discuss how and when we will move, how it will affect our friendships, which friendships we will grieve and why we will move and start a new adventure.

I do still dream about finding that forever place. That place where we’ll have a small piece of land that we can till and rejuvenate for the rest of our lives, that place that we may share with others, invite into, share with, commit to.

kale stalk pesto – recipe from Bottom Feeder
collecting toilet rolls for seed raising

I discovered this incredible instagram page the other day – Bottom Feeder. They shared a great kale stalk pesto recipe on their blog and I was inspired when my house mate was going to throw out the kale stalks. I didn’t have everything that’s in the recipe in the kitchen so I used

  • kale stalks
  • garlic clove
  • salt & pepper
  • cumin
  • sunflower kernels

I’d say that it wasn’t really a pesto and more like a dip / condiment that I ended up bringing over to my friend’s house and we ate on top of this delicious bowl that included sprouts, kraut, brown rice and other goodies. I’m keen to make some more, especially when it comes time to harvest the remainder of the kale from the garden.

I’ve also been saving toilet rolls for when I start to raise some seedlings. I found a good explanation of how to use them on The Spruce so we’ll see how it all goes. I’ve also been saving bottles from work to create little safety cones for seeds that I’ve sown directly into the ground that slugs and snails seem to like such as pumpkins.

I think that I’m going to get some good tips off this website The Spruce – I also found some good recipes / ratios for soil mixes on their website here.

Things I’ve been thinking/ dreaming about

This blog post on Condimental on Zero Waste ideas.

Making this pickled pumpkin rind next time we get a pumpkin in the veg box.

The carrots in the garden have started to grow true leaves and I can’t wait till they are all big and flowering and I can make carrot top pesto with them.

This article that SMH wrote on Sex, Love Goop.

Growing globe artichokes.

Sprouting sprouts.

(: k

One thought on “friendship & kale stalk pesto

  1. What a beautiful post to be shared in Kirsten! 😍 So much joy!! Sorry i’m so slow and I’m just seeing this now! The Condimental blog post was me too haha, happy to see you enjoying it. If you want the pesto to be a bit more emulsified just add more oil/parmesan/lemon. It is quite thick unless you really blend up the stems first, but I kind of like a but of chunk rather than a homogenous pesto. Maybe I need to revise the recipe, but I appreciate hearing real feedback!

    I’ve come to realise a lot of people are quite romantic about relationships of any sort, I feel like a lot of the popular media of our generation places too much emphasis on romantic love solving and rising above all problems – that freaking Romanticism, right?! I have the opposite perspective (or is it problem? 🤣) and happy endings give me a bit of a headache, which is maybe traditionally seen as odd for a female. My parents both fled their home countries and long term relationships, my mum an arranged marriage, my dad a deal-breaking relationship involving religion. I think that’s where a lot of my perspective stems from. If things are too romantic or idealised it just seems fake and unrealistic to me because of what I grew up around, I’m always trying to peel back the facade even if there isn’t one and wondering what the unsaid terms and conditions and strings attached are. I’ve found I can be too blunt when others start getting too romantic (in thought and plans) so I’ve really tried to understand the other side of this! On the other hand I’m quite creative, so I love a crazy idea. I don’t think anyone is ever one thing, like romantic or unromantic. I think I’m romantic about non romantic things like fermenting and cooking 🤣


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