One week into a four-week road trip in my van and my homing devices are already firing. Like it or not, I seek out the same things each time I travel: wifi zones, pedicure providers, and… raw food?
Yesterday, on the hunt for a quick off the highway snack I end up at Veggie De-Lite. Home of Massaged Kale. Raw is clearly the new cooked, but even for me, a girl from Boulder, De-Lite is over the top. It’s everything I wanted as a 21-year-old vegan and everything I don’t, but think I should, a decade later.
For those who are wondering, massaged kale is, according to De-Lite’s Wednesday prep cook: “Kale that has been lightly massaged with lemon juice and olive oil, usually for 3-5 minutes.”
“Massaged?” I clarify.
“With your hands.”
I must still look confused because he then adds, “Or my hands.”
When I still look confused he says “Massaged. With hands.”
“So you massage instead of cook?” I ask.
I tried some. It’s nice. Lightly lemony, softer, almost pre-chewed from its massage.
I must secretly want massaged kale in my life because otherwise I would not keep finding my way to these odd bastions of alternative living in the middle of the Vegas (# 1 in growth, #2 in foreclosures). I’ve lost count of how many trips I’ve done here in the past dozen years, but I can tell you I’m starting to wonder if I know this land of extremes better than the landscape of my childhood. I can find my way to the laundromat, movie theater, post office and secret Thai restaurant, but worry I would no longer be able to find the sledding hill of my youth. Does memory overlap or run out of room? Will I know now where to find massaged kale but not the creek where the one-claw crawfish lived under a cotton candy colored rock? Maybe as a writer I worry more about these memories and their space and longevity. Maybe massaged kale is the new crawfish.