Spice of Life

Alamelu Vairavan, a Whitefish Bay resident, is an author and culinary instructor. Alamelu has a passion for educating the public about the use of spices and legumes in preparing healthy and tasty foods. She is also interested in educating the public about the growing research that points to the enormous health benefits of spices in preventing many diseases. Her mission is to enrich people's culinary experience and to inspire them to discover that cooking and sharing healthful foods can be an especially joyful experience.

Visit Alamelu's web site, CurryOnWheels.com.

Magical Experience In A Farmer's Market

Farmer’s Market is my playground during summer and fall weekends. I love the vibrant fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers that farmers so enthusiastically bring to us in their trucks for bargain prices. I feel so happy to talk to the farmers and enjoy buying farm fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers. To me, farmers look like so divine when they bring the nutrient-rich, fresh produce harvested from their farms.

I was invited to do cooking presentations in two open air farmer's markets in Milwaukee this summer and fall. In both places, it was a beautiful sight to see people so relaxed, talking to each other and asking farmers, what is this, what is that, and how do you cook this vegetable and so on.

In one of these markets, I remember several visitors taking a variety of eggplants and asking what each was? I was standing next to them and told them to come to my “Chef Demo” tent and to see these vegetables being cooked. They got excited and many came to see me cook eggplant and zucchini (green and yellow).

While I was cooking, many volunteered to wash, cut the vegetables and were eager to be my assistants. So, I put them to work and it was fun. It was a great bonding experience with the community. Many came to me and said, they had enjoyed my cooking TV programs on MPTV. I was thrilled to hear some say that they cook a lot these vegetables after watching my shows.

After the cooking presentations, my assistant, Sharron Jewell and I packed everything, then bought a lot of vegetables, fruits, and herbs and came home. My husband, KV asked me how everything went and I showed him all the fresh chilies, tomatoes, vegetables that I bought at the market. He was happy to see me so energized by the “treasures” that I brought back home.

After about an hour, my doorbell rang. I went to answer and there was this young woman standing with two bowls of vegetable dishes. I immediately recalled that she had attended my cooking demonstration at the farmer’s market.  I was surprised and invited her into my home. She said, “What you cooked in the market was amazing,   I am glad I bought your cookbook and your start-up spice package after your demonstration. I went home and cooked what you showed us in the market. I brought these dishes for you to taste and to tell me if this is what they should look and taste like”.

I said, “Oh, wow, let us see what you cooked”. This young woman had cooked the same Eggplant Masala and Seasoned Zucchini Poriyal that I had just demonstrated in the market.

I could not believe my eyes and it was like I made it. She followed our recipe and there it was. I tasted it and it was delicious. I was amazed that I could motivate someone to do what I did in the market within a very short time. It was truly a magical and memorable experience for me!

Note:  I will be thrilled to read your comments to this blog.Thank you.

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