May 1, 2012
Marta Ruggles, District Manager
I am fortunate that part of my job allows me to taste great food. Recently I had two tastings that struck me in such a way that I really started thinking about appreciating food on a different level. Both tastings were everyday items, but because of the love and ingredients put into the food, the experience came together for me in a unique way.
At Duke Diet & Fitness I did my usual sampling at lunch. The white bean with tomatoes and herbs was especially good! When I mentioned this to Cate, she promptly reminded me that this was an adapted version of the original white beans that went with the salmon at Meriwether’s. Of course I loved that dish – it was my main meal for many nights when I returned to Lynchburg! So, on a whim, I asked Cate for the recipe.
The following day I was visiting Chatham Hall. Trey graciously split his time between being "host" and getting lunch out. A few minutes prior to the girls coming in, he sauteed the freshest, most local greens, which looked and smelled delicious. I rationalized that it was time to do my job and "sample". Of course, they were also fabulous.
I am the first to say, I am not a Chef, and of the big 3 (love food, people, serving others) loving food — such that it involves preparing food vs. eating — is the one that is not as "natural" for me as the others. This has given me something to think about. How can I continue to love food more and more in the right way?
In pondering this, my recent tastings, and the spirit of Earth Week – it all started to fall into place. The result – a trip to the farmers’ market for some local greens, fresh herbs to plant, and later a stop at Whole Foods for some salmon and I was ready to have a few friends over for dinner. What better way to love food, than to prepare it with my own hands? I know, the majority of you do this all the time. But for me, this was special (and a stretch!). I reviewed the white bean recipe, made my list, picked my fresh herbs, made the white bean ragout, sauteed the greens and broiled/baked the salmon. The end result – salmon on white bean ragout with fresh sauteed greens and a much deeper appreciation and love of food.
Which of the big 3 (love food, people, serving others) is less natural for you? To me there is no shame in recognizing it – the shame is in NOT recognizing it and/or not stretching yourself to continue to grow in that area. With that, I will say….to Be the Best Partner, we need to learn grown and improve, in all areas – even the areas that we think we are already "ok" in…or in BSC "speak," a 3. I want to be at least a 4 if not a 5. How about you?
My mini herb garden is planted, my friends and family are ready to give me feedback, and I am ready to enjoy all the vegetables and fruit of the season. With that, I will end in appreciation to all of you that work magic with food so naturally. It is a gift and I look forward to continuing to learn from you.