In Athens, Ohio we are extremely fortunate to have a wonderful farmer's market. In 2006, Audobon Magazine, ranked the Athen's Farmer's Market as one of the top 10 finest in the country. Living here in Athens, it is easy to see why the market has received such high accolades.
Strolling through the market, under a clear blue sky, with the sun shining down on a Saturday morning is mood altering. Too see the numerous vendors presenting beautiful, healthy products, and fresh, locally grown produce is purely inspiring. Inspiring from the sense of both finding ways to incorporate such beautiful ingredients in healthy meals but also to make more of an effort to grow more food on my own property.
Last Saturday, I came across Lynda who was selling really unique jams and jellies. In particular, this tomato jelly, peeked my interest. I'm not sure if it was the brilliant red of the jelly or the beautiful packaging. The farmer that made the jelly told me people have said it reminds them of strawberry jelly. One customer in particular told her that he likes to spread it on his hamburger bun.
I'm looking forward to finding ways to use this, whether it's on crackers with goat cheese or spreading it on a chicken breast and then baking it.
Food is so intriguing. I’ve always loved to cook whether it’s casual and simple or complicated and elegant. After living in the Midwestern United States all my life I find myself jumping between All-American foods and foods from other cultures. There is definitely a sense of comfort with cooking and enjoying food that I’ve grown up with.
I have a voracious curiosity to learn about all cultures, especially the Middle East/Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai foods. I’ve learned that a simple curry dish or an Asian dumpling can transform your mood and be just as much of a comfort food as the foods you’ve known you’re whole life.
It is fascinating to me how each culture has such a diversity of ingredients, and when used with different combinations and cooking techniques you can easily transform the same few ingredients into a multitude of dishes. The unfamiliar, the diverse ingredients and techniques, can be intimidating to many people. I’ve created this blog to chronicle and share my explorations in the kitchen so that hopefully you will want to start experimenting in your kitchen.