When I spoke on the food storytelling panel at BlogHerFood last June, my message was a simple one: Everybody has a food story. Sounds obvious but when it comes to food, so often people dismiss the possibility by saying:
I’m not a foodie.
I can’t cook.
I eat to live, not live to eat.
I’ve found, though, that even the staunchest denier of their inner foodie, has a great food story to share.
- The guy who swears he’s happy living off of hot dogs and burgers – well he turns out to be an award-winning canner of jams and spaghetti sauce.
- The I-can’t-cook person has vivid memories of her childhood in the Ukraine picking fresh cherries so her grandma could fix a Ukrainian dumpling for her and her sister.
- And the I-only-eat-to-live person texts me a picture of matzo ball soup because she is so happy that it has survived the freezer and still tastes fantastic. And did I mention the soup is homemade?
My third year of blogging included many highlights in addition to speaking at BlogHerFood– a feature in the Mercury New food section, teaching my first cooking class, and launching the Tasting Jerusalem cooking community are among them. But as I look back on my three years of blogging, nothing nourishes my desire to continue blogging more than food stories like this:
“I decided I would make Boeuf Bourguignon. I followed Julia (Child's) recipe and added some le Soeur peas. I used more burgundy than Julia asked for and we both loved it. I was darn proud of myself. Last Sunday we went to a little French bistro and Alan had the Boeuf Bourguignon and although it was very good, I liked mine better.
And I have to say that it is due, in large part, to you and your blog.
So, thank you, my dear, for the inspiration.”
As a THANK YOU to my readers for your inspirational food stories, I'm giving away a cookbook of colorful recipes and stories called: RIPE: A Fresh Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables by the talented food writer Cheryl Sternman Rule with stunning photos by Paulette Phlipot. If you haven’t stopped by Cheryl Sternman Rule’s blog, 5SecondRule, then you are missing out on some extraordinary storytelling. Whether you consider yourself a foodie or not, her writing will draw you in and keep you reading until the very last crumb is gone.
The cookbook offers simple, approachable, and creative uses for fruits and vegetables organized by color. A feast for the eyes and the mind -- Cheryl’s words are as evocative as Paulette's photos.
And Cheryl will sign the book specifically for the winner of the giveaway. This contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada. You can enter until Feb 28 at midnight.
To enter, leave your own food story about a fruit or vegetable in the comments below - all stories count even if it's about the canned grean beans you hated when you were a kid. If you want to enter more than once you may follow my OMG! Yummy page on Facebook, add me to a circle on Google Plus, or follow me on Twitter (and let me know if you do so I can keep track). But the only requirement is the food story so start sharing!
3/1/2013: This giveaway is now closed - thanks to everyone who shared their colorful stories. Now to pick the winner!
For a little extra incentive, I am including Cheryl's recipe for Green Beans with Pistachio Dust below to give you an idea of how creatively simple the recipes in RIPE are. Most of you probably know how to prepare a plate of slightly crunchy green beans but what if you add a bit of
gold pistachio dust to top them off? Once you make a batch of this golden pistachio topping - your taste buds will want to know when they get to enjoy that flavor again. Perhaps on roasted or steamed asparagus or maybe pasta? Remember my beggar's linguine post with Dorie Greenspan's recipe that includes pistachios and dried fruit? I'm sure this dust and some olive oil or butter with pasta would be lovely. I know cauliflower marries well with hazelnuts, I'm sure a little pistachio dust would sparkle as well. Or how about a pistachio-crusted rack of lamb? Do I have your attention yet?
The dust is only four ingredients - pistachios, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper - but the sum is definitely greater than the parts.
- 1 pound (454g) green beans, rinsed, stem ends snapped
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¾ cup (90g) dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios, toasted and cooled completely
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, or to taste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fill a bowl with ice water.
- Bring a medium pot of generously salted water to a boil. Drop in the green beans and boil until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain. Transfer the beans immediately to the ice bath to set their color and stop the cooking process. Drain again, pat dry, and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil.
- Combine the pistachios, smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process for 30 seconds, or until finely ground and reduced to “dust.” Sprinkle ½ cup (60g) dust (reserve the rest for future use) over the green beans, adjust seasonings, and serve at room temperature.
Melissa | Dash of East
Congrats on 3 years Beth! I am now reminiscing about BlogHer Food and how fun it was to meet and speak with you last summer! One of these days I will make it out to the West Coast and we can explore food spots together again 🙂
Now that my little one is getting close to eating solid food, I am very much looking forward to taking her fruit picking - starting with strawberry picking in just over a month. It's something that Paul and I have enjoyed doing for the past few years and we can't wait to pass the tradition down to our little girl.
I can already see her face covered in strawberry juice - take a lot of pictures and send me a couple! Would love to explore food with you here - please let me know if you plan a trip west so we can get together. BlogHerFood was a great experience!
I totally live to eat. Is that wrong? Oh lawdy! Thank you for visiting BeQuoted today!!!
Wrong - no way. I think it's fantastic! I hope you had a great SITS day Andrea!
When I was little I planted a pumpkin in our garden. It was kinda a sick looking vine--- but one day I came home and there was a full grown cantalope on it. Of course, no one told me until I was about 25 that they had just put a cantalope from the store out there. I thought I was a fantastic gardener.
Ha - I love it! We'll do anything to build self-esteem in our kids, won't we!! 🙂
My story is about canning fruits and veggies. My husband and I started probably the 4th year we were married, back in the early 70's. We had a very small vegetable garden and decided to grow and can zucchini! The growing was simple! We bought lots of jars, rings and lids. We bought a huge pressure canner. We followed directions. The canned zucchini came out great! BUT did you know that once you open the jar, then you have to boil the zucchini for about 10 minutes to make sure it is safe to eat?!? You can imagine what the zucchini looks like after that! Ugh. In our next home, we had a huge garden and 20 fruit trees and probably as many tomato plants, along with other vegetables. I soon decided that I would stick to canning fruit and jams (is there anything better than homemade apricot jam?) and tomato products. To fill my 20+ dozen jars, I made vegetable juice, tomato juice, tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, salsa. I froze Anaheim chiles for Chile Rellenos. I made pickled figs-so good! Plum jam, cherry jam, apple pie filling and the best green tomato mince meat for pies! It was wonderful. Yes, we still grew zucchini, but ate it fresh! The only problem was that the tomatoes didn't ripen until late August, so I was doing most of the canning in hot September!!! After 16 years, we moved to an even bigger home but the smallest back yard so my canning days were over. I kept one set of jars just for the memories. But what wonderful memories!
Wow and to think such an expert canner only lives two doors away! I am so seriously impressed and am particularly intrigued by the pickled figs!!!!
congratulations on 3 years!! my food story is about cabbage and how much I love it. every year for my birthday growing up I'd request steamed cabbage, which is such a strange choice for a child! even now, I have 2 cabbages sitting in my kitchen. my mom knows that when I come to visit I will always request steamed cabbage as part of my welcome home dinner!
Thanks for stopping back over and reposting here! Tastebuds are not always rational or typical - cabbage lovers of the world unite!
I love the concept of Cheryl's book and the photos are just stunning:) Congratulations on persevering! Wishing you many more years of blogging:)
And I have to jump on the Ottolenghi project ASAP! (I just got a job in a restaurant and my life is beyond hectic:)
Hugs to you, my friend!
We will welcome your photos, commentary, blog posts, or quick hello anytime. Stop by soon Lana!
Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)
...and followed you on Twitter.
Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)
I also followed "OMG! Yummy" on Facebook.