Chesapeake Bay and the living is easy! I was staying with friends in a quiet backwater of Virginia preparing for tomorrow’s adventure, the famous Dragon Run kayak trail through the headwaters of the Piankatank River. The porch is the heart of the home in the South and as we watched the sun retire over our G&Ts Lu’s next door neighbours, Marsha and her husband, dropped by with a supply of sun proof shirts and an iceboxed offering of oysters from their river bank.
Cocktails morphed into supper and Marsha nipped home returning with the makings of this unusual warm salad which I publish with her blessing.
Take half a dozen eating apples (my apple of choice in the UK would be tart Cox’s Pippins in the UK when in season). Peel, chop and place in a large frying pan with a generous glug of olive oil, several turns of pepper and a large pinch of salt. Cook gently until most of the pieces are partly caramelised.
Strip half a dozen large handfuls of kale off the fibrous central vein, roughly chop and add to the pan, pressing firmly down to pack them on top of the apples.
Lower the heat slightly and gently stir fry until coated with oil and starting to crisp. Season again with salt and pepper and serve warm from the pan.
Delicious on its own as a speedy and nutritious midweek supper or as a side dish with say mashed butternut squash or salty jacket potatoes.
Back to the Dragon Run! The Friends of the Dragon Run is a Charity staffed by volunteers who preserve this pristine wilderness. The trail is only navigable for 6 weeks each year before the waterlilies and beaver dams block the way. Kayak is the only way through the shallow, cold and muddy waters and I took a rookie ducking after just 50 yards so I know.
A list of the rare plants to be seen in addition to eagles, turtles and beaver dams making it all worthwhile…..
‘Queen of the Dragon Run’ instructs the Newbies.
Lunch break – no escape from them there canoes!
Sapphire blue sky in the wilderness…
What an amazing once in a lifetime experience – 3 hours of unforgettable beauty and adventure in the heart of unspoiled nature.