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Green to the Gills

Writing is tough business, people. It’s hard emotionally and, believe it or not, it’s hard physically, which is ridiculous because it involves LOTS of sitting around. That’s the problem. Writing, for me, also involves lots of caffeine and (until recently) sugar up the wazoo. Enough is enough is enough.

I am middle aged, but I have three school aged, exuberant children who wake up at six in the morning on weekends, can trash the house in the blink of an eye, and who think nothing of bouncing for hours on a trampoline. Something, I’ve realized, has had to give.

Writing takes endurance of the toughest kind. Novelists, I think, are the ultra-marathoners of the art world and therefore, we should eat like that, too. No garbage. Lots of greens. Only the good stuff for the long haul. Make the chard below and, I promise, you’ll be ready for the road, too.

Creamy Swiss Chard:

1 bunch red chard

two medium very ripe tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

smattering of red pepper flakes


1/4 cup cream

2 thick sour dough bread slices (or any rough country bread)

Cube the bread, wipe a pan with some olive oil, and toast in the pan until the bread is browned and crisp on the outside. Set aside.

Mince the garlic and sautee in 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large pan or pot with a lid. Chop the tomatoes and add, then sautee until soft. Wash the chard and chop roughly, then dump into the pan with the leaves still wet. Mix, cover, and steam until soft, mixing occassionally, about 15 minutes. Uncover, add salt and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes (just a few will do), then add cream and cook, uncovered, for another few minutes to thicken and reduce the sauce. Mix in the bread cubes and try to share. I dare you. You may be tempted to lick the pot.

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