Like a comedian playing dive bars to test his act, I accept interesting speaking opportunities to practice my timing and presence in front of an audience. I later condense and refine my material based on their reaction. What were the audience’s facial expressions? Did they laugh at the right times? Is my story drawing them in or are they ready to make a graceful exit out the back door?
Analyses aside, I always end up with a few stories worthy enough to arouse even the dullest of happy hour companions. Guest judging a pie-baking contest at a public library still tops of my list of unusual gigs, and most humorous story.
My friend Johanna is a manager at Marty’s Market – a (now closed) local grocery store, café, coffee shop and community gathering space – all housed in one expansive space. An island flanked with counters on three sides sits proudly in the middle of the room. One side is a café counter for ordering handcrafted meals made with ingredients sourced from happy farmers. The other two sides serve as café seating and cooking demo space.
Johanna invited me to host a cooking demo at the store to kick-off the holiday season. I began the demo by whisking together my favorite balsamic vinaigrette. Followed by lightly pouring it over fresh spinach and tossing to coat. A sprinkling of a dried fruit mix sold at the market decorated this simple salad. The audience ate every last bit of it up.
In the next posts, I will share two additional recipes I featured during the cooking demo. Stay tuned!
- 1 (approximately 9 oz.) bag of fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup Eden Organic Wild Berry Mix (or your favorite combination of dried fruit and candied nuts)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbl. fresh garlic, minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, mustard & garlic. Continue whisking while slowly pouring the olive oil. Vinaigrette will become a lightly thick consistency.
- Season the mixture with salt & pepper. Toss with the spinach and berry mix until well coated.