In exercises eleven and twelve, we move on from simple (and boring?) things like printing to getting data into our little programs.
Exercise 11: Asking questions
Zed explains that software is mostly 1) taking input from a person; 2) changing it; and 3) printing something to show how it changed. So far I’d just been printing strings, not getting any input from the user. In this exercise, I use raw_input to ask questions (…of myself) about basic facts.
Exercise 12: Prompting people
I also used the pydoc command to learn about raw_input, open, file, os, and sys, as directed. It’s certainly faster than Googling!
Finally, I wrote another little “form” to ask questions using the new style:
Funny that the day I move on from simplest concepts, I’m sharing one of my easiest recipes! In fact, I’m not even sure you can call it a recipe, but rather a series of guidelines for success with kale. Yesterday I demonstrated how to prep it, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t already.
Today’s recipe is for kale with “four flavors”: hot, sweet, sour, and salty.
Pictured above: organic vegan cane sugar, apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, fresh garlic, and soy sauce.
Kale with four flavors (serves two or one very hungry person)
- one bunch kale, prepped as directed
- as much chopped or minced garlic as you desire. I used four giant cloves.
- tablespoon of oil
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- apple cider or rice vinegar, to taste
- soy sauce, to taste
- sugar, to taste
Warm oil in pan. Add garlic. Quickly cook til fragrant, about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Partway through, toss in some red pepper flakes. If garlic is cooking too quickly, remove from heat. Do not overcook and do not allow garlic to burn.
Add cleaned kale and toss thoroughly to coat with garlic and red pepper flakes. Some of this garlic got a little browner than I would have liked because the pan was hotter than I realized, but I decided to share the image (and story) anyway to show you that even folks who have been cooking for a long time occasionally slip up. When this happens, just put a descriptive adjective in front of the noun when serving it: voila, it’s kale with crispy garlic!
Sprinkle kale with apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar to taste:
If you’re completely uncertain about this, start with a tablespoon of vinegar, two teaspoons of soy sauce, and a teaspoon of sugar. Mix well over medium, medium-high heat; kale should be wilting and releasing juices, cooking down significantly:
Continue to toss thoroughly so that flavors combine. Taste for seasoning and add more of what you think is missing. This is your chance to experiment with strong flavors and discover what works for you!
And there you have it: a lovely little bowl of kale that you seasoned to your own taste. Well done!
Bonus lesson: you can treat swiss chard and collards the same way, just vary the cook times. If kale takes about ten minutes to cook down, swiss chard will finish in 6 – 8 (it’s tender!). Collards will need around 30 (tougher!), and you might have to splash in a few tablespoons of vegetable broth. Make it happen!