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.