Thera-Tea and Soup (y)

A chef recently told me not to buy produce or meats at the market… not even places like Whole Foods. although he said they were a bit better than the others.  He said that most of the markets were selling “prime” meats that were not in fact prime.  I guess I wouldn’t doubt it.  And who amongst us is really trained to know the difference, aside from a chef?  The key is to learn your way around fresh fish, fresh meats, veggies and fruits… To know what things are supposed to feel, look and taste like.  It is worth the time, and yes, perhaps extra money, to seek out a local fish monger… a meat market… no, not a bar… and your local farmers markets.

Last weekend I bought heirloom tomatoes from my regular Sunday Farmers Market guy… I have not been able to make Saturdays for a while, college football and all, and although I like that guy a lot, too… the Sunday guy is always giving me suggestions, telling me what is really good that week… and sending me home with as many free tomatoes as I buy!  Based on his suggestion… and keep in mind, he is very healthy and very vegan… I took the tomatoes… put them in a pot with nothing but a little salt and pepper and fresh basil, and kept cooking and smashing them down… At the very end was when I added a little olive oil… According to him if you heat it at the beginning, all you are getting is carcinogens.  What was left was the simplest but most delicious tomato soup.  The whole family loved it.

It made me realize that great cooking is all of four steps…

Picking the best ingredients…

Seasoning them just right…

Cooking or prepping them just right…

Serving them or saucing them, just right…

Simple, yes… but extremely difficult to master.  It is like Buddhism… the simplest lesson is often the deepest, and can take years to truly understand and execute fully.

The first key is to get back to basics and for us to truly understand what nature intended things to be and taste like.  Not a bad place to start at all.

My other fun little discovery was the delightful smelling Lemongrass stalks… 25 cents each…

You cut the rough tops off, leaving yourself as much of a white, softer stalk as you can.  You either beat it with a meat tenderizer or twist it in your hands, breaking up the fibers.  I like doing both… and then you can put it in a stir fry or make tea.  For the Thera-tea, I like to use one stalk per one cup of water.  Mash the Lemongrass up, put it in a pot with a little bit of honey or Agave syrup, bring it to a boil and four minutes later, you have a healthy cup of tea that will soother you and help your digestion… Well, that is if you do not eat the Lemongrass.  Make sure you strain it out… and take it out of the stir fry, as it is indigestible!

So go out and shop, cook and eat healthy.

Speaking of soup… Rest in peace Soupy Sales… I remember watching him as a child on a variety of things… and even meeting him in NYC one day as he was walking down the street with Anita Gillette… He sweetness and kindness existed on the little screen as well as in real life.  He was a funny and gentle soul…

So go Milton Supman, onward to heaven,

And make ’em all laugh in that place.

For when you arrive, and you know you’ll be welcomed,

Give ’em a pie in the face.

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Filed under Dinner And A Movie _ When Food and Art Collide, Food, Glorious Food, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything

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