While Mitch was still sleeping, Evie got ready for her morning run. Heading down the hall, she was full of energy she hadn’t felt in weeks. Sprinting out the lobby door, her mind was on Mitch, still lying on her bed with just a swath of cloth, looking like a Roman painting. He was a fine specimen: taller than her but not by much, muscular but not overly so, considerate but not a softy, and he didn’t overheat like her old, two-cup food processor. He seemed dependable, in every way.

No sooner than she hit Lakeshore Drive, her cell phone begged for attention from her front pocket. “They really shouldn’t make these things vibrate so…effectively.”

It was Kim, wanting a TPS report on Mitch.

Evie explained, while huffing toward Grant Park, that though they had many things in common and last night had been pretty great, something was missing. “Kim, he even brought me a cupcake! Way better than getting flowers.”

“So what’s the problem? Did he puke on your kitty?”

“No, it’s just…” She sighed and laid it all out, “he asked if I had any Bud Light.”

Kim snickered into the phone.

“I mean, I made this 4-star dinner, massaged a cart-load of kale—and you know what that does to me—got all the breading photo perfect on the tofu cutlets…I even ironed the table cloth! And he wants a Bud Light to go with that?”

There was silence, then, “You know Evie, that’s really nothing.”

“So I’m being shallow?” Evie knew the answer.

“Little Missy, if he’s not a microbrew, then you just have to accept that. Or move on. Now go home, get cleaned up and come over this afternoon for the game. And don’t forget to bring some munchies,” then Kim teased, “and I don’t mean Mitch.”

Kim was having the Bettys over for game day, girl style. That meant lots of Oreos and ice cream along with the requisite BBQ fare. Evie’s standard contribution was her famous BBQ kale chips. Little did the Bettys know, her secret ingredient was a bottled sauce.

Heading back to her place, her mind was still on Mitch. She decided she would not hold his beer preference against him as she had other implements in mind before turning him loose.

Quickie BBQ Kale Chips

  • Curly kale, washed and torn into chunks, no big stems. Curly kale is the better choice due to its perky nature and the ability of its curls to hold the sauce.
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce, I used Annie’s Sweet & Spicy (gluten free) because the sweet edge complements the kale nicely.
  • Optional: a healthy sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Not neccessary but a very nice addition.
  1. Wash and spin the kale chunks in a salad spinner (or pillowcase method, or towel dry). Get as much water off as possible.
  2. In a very large bowl, drizzle BBQ sauce over the kale and work it onto every leaf but don’t overly massage the kale. It needs to maintain its sturdiness to withstand the heat of an oven.
  3. Now is the time to sprinkle on some nutritional yeast, once there’s some sauce for it to stick to. Toss lightly and sprinkle some more.
  4. If using an oven, preheat to warm or your lowest setting. I’ve seen some recipes that call for 350F but I was afraid I’d burn the kale because my tiny oven is so freaky. The warm setting took longer but nothing burned.
  5. Spread the kale on pa archment paper-lined baking sheet and pop in the oven.
  6. Check every five minutes and turn the chips when they start crisping up so they dry on both sides. I found that if I didn’t turn them, they sort of flattened to the pan and were difficult to remove later. My batch took about 15 minutes.

Serve with a good microbrew, very cold.