Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I have a stalker. [Recipe]

I have this recurring nightmare/paranoia that someone is going to trick me into their car and then drive me out to the woods and chop me up.

This paranoia extends even to my beloved Bubba despite the fact that we've been together for more than eight years and we also don't own a big ax or chainsaw.

Sometimes, like during our yearly road trips to find snow, I get weirded out for no reason and in the middle of Wyoming look over at Bubba happily driving the truck and go, "Um, are you going to chop me up? Because if you are, just tell me now so I can jump out."

And then I watch him give me that look that says, "I married a psycho and maybe I'll throw MYSELF from this truck if this keeps up."

But because he knows the true depths of my crazy, he'll just say something like, "Baby, you're funny."

And then one minute later, "Hey, where'd you pack the snow shovel?"

And then I freak out and have to take a nap. This also explains why I sleep so much on our road trips when I'm not playing Hey!

Anyway, what I meant to say was, I have a stalker! But thankfully not a Chop Me Up Stalker, but an Awesome Stalker that hunts down my address via a hundred ways on the internets so they can send me presents.

How awesome is that?!

Awesome enough for me to forgive the extreme case of Chop Me Up willies I got when Jeph (aka Awesome Stalker) emailed me to say that surprise!! A present was on its way to me at my house.

Plus, I also love presents, so, you know, I was momentarily distracted.

So, what was this unscary present? Well, it wasn't the truckload of chard he originally claimed was being freighted to my doorstep - no, no. Can you imagine? Bad.

It was, in fact, a cookbook to help me manage the encroaching chard in my garden: Serving up the Harvest, by Andrea Chesman.


I was so touched by this very appropriate and useful gift that I waited one full email (and until after I sent him a thank you card - hello, I am not an animal) before asking him how exactly he triangulated my location.

I won't go into detail (no collection of cookbooks will get me to write out instructions for finding my house thankyouverymuch) BUT I can say with some certainty that Jeph could have a future with the CIA, if the whole Awesome Stalker thing doesn't work out.

And so, with my fabulous cookbook acquired by questionable means, I set right out to kill some chard because even though the threatened truckload didn't arrive, I still had a bed full of it that needed immediate taming.

Which is where the recipe part of I Have a Stalker comes in:

Swiss Chard Gratin

Serving up the Harvest, Andrea Chesman

2 lbs (12-16 stems w/ leaves) of chard - rainbow, swiss or otherwise sliced into ribbons
4 T butter
1 onion halved/sliced
1/4 cup flour
2 c milk
1 c grated Gruyere
Sea salt
Black pepper (fresh ground, please)
1/4 c bread crumbs

First, boil some seasalty water and add your chopped stems.

Give it a few minutes and add your ribboned leaves.

Then drain your chard after a few minutes and preheat the oven to 350.

See how small all that chard got? That's the best.

I used a 9x13 glass dish sprayed down with some nice TJ's olive oil spray, because I'm classy like that.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and then add your onion to cook until it's soft. Whisk in your flour until it's all pasty. Add your milk and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and add your cheese. Now add salt and pepper until it tastes the way you like it. Add your chard and stir it all up nice.

Now scoop all that into your oily dish, cover it with breadcrumbs (the more the better, in our house) and bake for about half hour or until the breadcrumbs start to brown.

Serve it up with something good - we chose to grill some mahi steaks and at the last minute (which is why it's not pictured) we warmed up some of the Zucchini Cheddar Biscuits from before so we could really be the boss of the garden all in one meal.

If only we could grow fish.

OH! Also - if you have leftovers (which you likely will since this makes 6 servings), maybe get some bagel chips from TJ's, you know, while you're there getting your classy pan spray, and serve them up as dippers for the Awesome Cheesy Chard Dip you'll have once you reheat the leftovers in a ramekin with a new layer of breadcrumbs on top.

Frankly, I'm more of a dip person than a gratin person, so I may forgo the whole Gratin charade in the future and just go for Dip for Dinner, which is just a more WT way of having Breakfast for Dinner and you don't have to gag down any sick eggs. Bleck.

Anyway - this is really good. I'll be making more. Because all that chard already grew back and I just made this last week. Yeah. It's scary like that.


  1. Hee. You have a Swiss chard STALKer. Geddit? Okay, I'm done.

  2. I just changed my header today. Yours is much cooler!

    And I thought I'd chime in to say that once I totally thought I was being abducted by people (or possibly aliens) that had on really good disguises and looked exactly like my mom and my aunt. They had picked me up from school, which was really out of the ordinary. I plotted my escape throughout the entire ride to my grandma's house.

    And at least we all have the stalker's blog address, so if you suddenly go missing, we know where to start asking questions.

  3. I have ALWAYS wanted a stalker! Actually I sort of had one in college...but he didn't send me cookbooks, he was just sort of everywhere I was....at the same time.

    Miss you! Love the header!

  4. Fin,

    While you were sleeping my secret agents snuck in and installed webcams all around your house. Now we all know what color...socks...you're wearing today! Hope my agents didn't wake you up...


    I'm glad to see your gratin looked kinda lumpy and green like mine - it's not as attractive as a potato gratin, but it sure did taste good. And I LOVE your idea of treating it like a dip - that's a GREAT idea!!

    Love the new look for the blog - rooowr sexy and great subheading! LOL

    Keep on enjoying that cookbook - you'll have to let us know what else you cook out of it. I can vouch for the Moo Goo Gai Pan being good stuff.

  5. Jeph is harmless....he's been stalking me for years with gifts and there have only been a few embarrassing pictures. (okay, so those pictures were taken while I was being a dork in public, but still). He showed me the card you made because I make my own cards too and I loved the photo idea. I usually don't incorporate photos, but cute idea with photo corners!

  6. Dear God, how is it that I have just found your blog? It is brilliant and funny and put a grin on my face. Love a blog that will make ya grin.

  7. Love the new look. Congrats on having a fair godstalker. The closest I've come to a stalker is having a spider ride on the back of my shirt for a few hours.

  8. I had that fear when i got on a shuttle at yosemite... It was a substitute shuttle, and the driver was pretty talky, and I was convinced he was going to take a bus full of people and chop them up... but it turned out ok.

    Your stalker is nice (and apparently resourceful)! Thanks for the chard killer recipe!

  9. I haven't chopped up anyone that's ever been found! :)

  10. Well, it seems like your fairy stalker was nice this time around. Your chard gratin looks yummy, and I would also be dipping away with some baguette slices. Yum!

  11. So here I am with an assload of chard and googling things and I think hey, finny had a ton of chard recipes last summer....This stalker recipe is in the oven right now. A little diff cause we didn't have onion or guyere but thanks for saving a girl and her family with an assload of chard.

  12. LOL Great, I'm still "the stalker"!! ;-)

    I ruined a potentially great pot of potato soup with WAY too much chard (and kale) tonite. :-( Chard will ruin your life!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.