Sunday, June 25, 2006

Way With Words

Twice in the past week I have had people tell me (in email, of course) that they like my way with words. I certainly hope so since I am a writer. Two people thought that what I wrote was funny. Sometimes I use food-related metaphors and don't even realize it. I said, "My computer spit out the message twice but it got eaten up."

I've thought about trading my cooking teacher gig for writing and performing stand-up comedy. But I already do that when I am teaching so I might as well just continue. I just got it, I can do comedy cooking classes like comedy traffic school, or at least bill my classes that way. Or perhaps, I will just sit here at my computer and be witty with words.

I can work on my next book, Wake Up and Eat, or even the one after that, The Veggie Queen Spices it Up. The options are endless. Or I can...

The words keep on flowing, and for that I am thankful. if you need an witty words written for you, just let me know.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Walnut Creek Farmer's Market

A day at a farmer's market doing a cooking demo and selling books is always interesting and most often fun. Sometimes, though, it is just fantastic. My day spent at the Walnut Creek farmer's market ( with Lesley Stiles, demo coordinator, was like a dream come true.

Lesley was incredibly organized, having all the necessary produce for my recipe when I got there, an EZ up tent, along with a great spot for me under a stand of trees. It was hot but the breeze was nice. We were stationed on a corner and Lesley seemed to know almost everyone who came by. She helped me pass out the salad that I made and lured people over to by books. It was one of my most successful market days.

A dietitian friend, Vivian Cohen, stopped by to say hello, as did Jill Reyman who just finished her diet tech program at Mills College.

The best part of the day, though, was when two guys came by and each took a sample of salad. They then said, "If you'd like a massage just stop by." I thought that I might have only been imagining that they said that to me.

When I was done selling and giving away salad, I wandered over to Ed and ?, oh my goodness now I've forgotten his name, just a few steps from my nice spot, to see if they were serious about their offer. And indeed they were.

I didn't realize how stressed I was until the two of them started to touch my upper back and shoulders, hands and arms. I had 4 hands rubbing me, and we chatted while I sat in the chair. I moaned a lot and did a lot of deep breathing. And about 45 minutes later, I realized that I was expected at home and had to leave. Most likely an all-afternoon massage might not have been enough but I was more than thankful for what I had received -- and all because of my desire to give away some salad. I know that veggies are powerful but I find that I never quite know what they'll bring into my life. I am incredibly thankful.

If you go to the Walnut Creek Farmer's Market, I strongly suggest a chair massage under the trees, it may transform your day. Tell them that The Veggie Queen sent you. (When I find their contact info, I will post it in my blog.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I overheard this at the farmer's market this past Sunday and it is classic. I suspect that it will make you laugh. I did.

A mother said happily to her young son, sitting in a wagon, "Would you like to plant some Hollyhocks?" as she was holding a plant, intending to purchase it.

He responded with joy and glee, "I want to plant some pollywogs."

I turned to the woman and said, "That's every boy's dream, to plant pollywogs."

We both laughed, as did my 13-year old son Shane. It's always important with children to clarify what you really said.

The 4-year old boy probably had visions of planting pollywogs and shortly thereafter having full grown frogs.

Overhearing and participating in conversations at the farmer's market is often a great form of entertainment.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Google -- Food to LIve For

Sometimes I feel as if I am the luckiest person in the world. I do very interesting things in very interesting places. I had the chance to go to the Google campus in Mountain View, California. I say it like this because I told a class that I went to Google and they thought that I was searching on my computer.

Truth is that in March at the Seaweed Convivium in Philo (see Seaweed and More Bread in My Life in this blog in March) I met Renee Rohrig who works as a chef at Google. She is in charge of the vegetarian and mostly vegan food in the No Name Cafe on the Google campus. We arranged a meeting where I could come and see and taste the food that she prepares for the employees.

When I tell you that the food looks and tastes great, I mean it. There are 6 cafes at Google. And they have many different types of food. If you are lucky enough to work there, the food is FREE. Although I don't even know exactly what they do at Google, I'd think about working there just for the food.

Renee doesn't really interact with the employees to ask them what they do but from her perspective she said that she sees the same people playing volleyball and sitting around regularly. Her impression is that they don't do much work but I think that they do a lot of thinking. They must need all that fresh food to keep their brains sharp so that we can just enter words on a screen and find what we need.

But what we (being the rest of us) really need every day is food as fresh, attractive and delicious as what they serve at Google. If you want to know more, just ask me. (I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement when I entered the campus so I am not sure what I can divulge.)

Most impressive were the fresh shots of wheatgrass at lunch and kombucha cockatils in the morning. Free food also means mostly free reign for the chefs which results in food that makes showing up at work worth it.

I hope that I get invited for a return visit to see what's on the menu next time.

Third Corner, San Diego - Wine Galore

One very interesting stop in San Diego was at The Third Corner, a restaurant in a wine shop. They serve small plates, tapas style and you get to choose your wine from their truly fabulous selection of wine from around the world. Since I was alone, I didn't eat there only because I can truly only drink a glass of wine with some food and that's my limit (at least according to the chart that they sent me with my license renewal). I was also on my way to someone's house for a visit. But I enjoyed perusing the wine selection and viewing the menu. When I get back to San Diego, I'll take a friend and check out the food and ambiance. They are only open for dinner. It will give me another reason, other than yoga and the coop to return to Ocean Beach.