If you can be schooled in food, than I have been schooled in food. That is the way I grew up. My mother, always an avid reader, devours cookbooks like I eat ice cream. I don’t consider myself a chef. I definitely have to work a lot harder at cooking than my mother does, who effortlessly throws together ingredients. However, I am a good student and therefore an amateur chef. I enjoy fresh produce, and unlike most twenty-something’s, my grocery basket abhors the idea of high-fructose corn syrup and pre-packaged foods. Since my move into the city, I’ve been scoping out good fresh markets to abuse before winter freezes the harvest.
Saturday was my first excursion, which was very overdue. The fresh, crisp morning air had joggers and their dogs out in full force roaming through the booths of local produce and goods. I spent about $10 on a bag of peppers, tomatoes, okra, basil, and Thai basil. Giving back to the local economy and supporting small farmers was only byproducts of the trip. The ultimate result was the delicious pasta dish I made from the local produce. I julienne the red bell peppers and sweet peppers and chopped a yellow tomato and a handful of Thai basil. All the produce was sautéed together. I tossed everything with bow-tie pasta (which is my favorite based on geometry) and sausage. I made a rue (1:1 ratio of flour and butter) to coat everything in creamy, Alfredo sauce.
My nose was feasting before I ever took a bite. It’s probably the best homemade dinner I’ve ever made. I hope I haven’t climaxed in my cooking career at my tender age, but it is a possibility.
I will continue to out-do myself in an effort to feed my body and my soul. Even as I sit here, I’m thinking of the ingredients in my pantry. Stay Tuned!