June 17, 2009

Food Without Boxes - What Do I Eat Now?


I feel that I was raised in a very health conscious family who considered fresh fruits and vegetables and important part of our diet. However, since I am a product of my bigger environment I have noticed in recent years how much more I can incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in my cooking.

What I have learned over this past year as part of my culinary journey is the exquisite fruits and vegetables that come from the earth. Sure, I add a little this and that to my dishes. However, when I make an avocado salad it is simply tomatoes, avocadoes, basil, garlic and a little olive oil, salt and maybe a dash of balsamic vinegar. I taste the freshness of the tomatoes. I allow the pungency of the raw garlic to linger. I allow the chiffonade of basil and the avocadoes melt in my mouth.

I have also experienced some of the most amazing potlucks here on Maui. Sometimes people will just bring a bag of fresh kumkwats or a bulb of fennel or a bunch of bananas. Freshness at it's finest.

For my birthday this year a good friend used fresh fruit to decorate the table.

It was awesome. Nature's beauty was good enough. The pineapple stood on its own. It's the essence of the earth that we can savor and enjoy fully when the ingredients are fresh and untouched. The oranges added color and the bananas added texture and an artisitc flair. Why do we need special packaging when nature provides the perfect color and assortment and flavors.

I will admit that living here in Hawaii has opened my eyes to the variety and colors and freshness that is readily available. However, it's possible to eat fresh more easily nowadays wherever you live. Mango season is upon us again and I am reminded at the richness and the sweetness and the abundance that is available.

Mangoes grow freely. The trees loom largely and the fruit falls to the earth to be foraged and enjoyed. My mouth waters just thinking about it. It's exciting to use what we have and appreciate the abundance that keeps on coming. This to me is the gift that keeps on giving and it truly is a gift. Aloha.

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