Apr 7, 2008

Blissful Day

It all started with a 4-mile jog to awaken the heart and get the blood pumping. Followed by a fresh Starbucks made by professionally trained baristas (remember that day they closed...aka, Y2K for caffeine junkies). Then it was off to the Public Market. The smells, colors, and indescribable magic in the air; It all hints at one thing: Spring has arrived. Berries are almost ripe, flowers are eager to bloom, the entire community comes out to breath in the fresh breeze. It's a foodie's dream to walk the path between fresh produce, surrounded by farmers and vendors anxious to feed the masses with their surplus of peppers, potatoes, onions and other various imports. But produce has yet to reach its peak for the season on the East coast, which actually makes me happy because now I know things can only get better each week we go to fill up our straw tote.

So away we went to store the goods we of course didn't have any immediate use for. I then made an independent detour into an intriguing world I had only heard about from reliable sources (aka, my culinary aficionado friend from France). That world was none other than the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority. You see, I had decided earlier on in the week that for the Final Four games I wanted to make a healthy appetizer to bring to a friend's house, of course along with delicious Key Lime Meyer Lemon Tangerine Velvet Falernum margaritas (yes that's a fla
vor). So I came up with the idea to make fresh spring rolls. But you see, my reliable source informed me that I absolutely must get the rice paper from Lee's Oriental Food Grocery. I said, "where and what is this place you speak of?" Let me tell you, if you ever need another Asian ingredient, go here because not only are the owners the nicest people you would ever meet, their selection is unbelievable and the prices are ridiculously fair (I ended up buying 24 rice papers for 99¢).

After my great success at the Asian market I ventured over to Lori's Natural Foods, which I've never been to before, and not so ashamed to admit I probably won't
be going back. Their produce was bleak and the prices of their pantry items were not competitive. My next organic adventure will be to Abundance Co-Op. As my friend Kate puts it, "the produce is so alive you can feel its presence when you walk in." I'm paraphrasing a little bit, but basically she loves it there so I know I will too.

I was done shopping for fun and new food and now it was time to let out some aggression on the court against my mom. We met up and played a couple games of tennis. I of course beat her. But it's only because I was so happily looking forward to the Backbend Workshop that was about to start. For the next two hours I connected my mind, body and spirit and opened my heart in a way that allowed my spine to fall backwards trusting only the strength of my shoulders, wrists and thi
ghs. Wow, what a rush.

Speaking of rushing I had to get started on my fresh spring rolls soon because the games were about to start. First I loosened the rice paper in water and laid each one out flat. I then began layering various flavorful ingredients that made up the filling. I started with shrimp or avocado, then a bed of basil, followed by ribbons of chiffonade mint, a sprinkling of cilantro, a couple pinches of freshly grated ginger, then julienned mango, threads of refreshing cucumber, and finally finishing it off with crunchy slices of cabbage and carrots. A little fold, tuck and roll and you've got the cylindrical epitome of "earth's garden-girthiness." Needless to say, they were delicious and the perfect ending to such a wholesome Saturday.

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