by Laura E. Alvarez
Left to right starting at the top left: a) Kale and steamed egg over sushi rice with savory on top, b) mâche and homemade beans on homemade tostada shell with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, c) pasta with Parmigiano-Reggiano and lemon (that’s right… lemon! It’s a fruit!) water, d) savory on steamed egg on multigrain British muffin with stove top Gavina espresso.
Every Tuesday we get a present. Well, technically we give the present to ourselves. It’s called Abundant Harvest Organics, and it’s a farm-share delivery service that supplies us with a box of gorgeous organic fruits and vegetables. For a little more than twenty dollars we get a cornucopia of food that was just picked the day before from local farms. It’s always a surprise what we will be cooking with every week. Not only that, but it forces us to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables every day, and I mean every meal. I have to admit that it really challenges me, this working in the fresh food at every meal, but our taste buds benefit from it, and our whole bodies benefit from it. Breakfast is probably the most challenging, but look! Above, you see two breakfasts with farm box ingredients thrown in.
Hey, did you think this post was about organic fresh fruits and vegetables? No, it’s not… because obviously, that is a donut. Yes, a donut. But look at how it’s presented. This donut sits on a warm, country-carved block of Mexican loveliness with an adorable espresso at its side. Because the donut is not from far-away Cafe Dulce, then I cannot say I escaped without a stomach ache. Was it worth it? Aaaaal-most. Oh, Cafe Dulce, what is a food post without thinking of you?
Right, then. This post is about Giving Yourself a Present. And sometimes the present is in the presentation.
I didn’t make this, but I did photograph it! Yes, colorful and dynamic presentations such as this one at Ruen Pair, Thai Cuisine inspire me at home. You can do this too! Everyone can. The secret is out. Here are some tips that I recently discovered…
1) Choose a bowl or plate that compliments what you are serving to yourself. Use something out of the ordinary like a little chopping block.
2) Layering food items is nice for some reason… and affects the taste. Wow.
3) Pay attention to color. The plate is your canvas!
4) Chop up little things and sprinkle them on top. This creates texture.
5) It’s a wonder what a tray can do.
And lastly, to show you that presentation can actually help heal you… I texted the above photo to Byron when she was sending me messages the other week like, “Hellooo! Are you still alive, Laura?! I’m worried about you, Amiga!” I was SO sick in bed. Highly unusual. My photo to her expressed that I must be okay if I have such an attractive tray on my bed. I mean, look at it. Yes, there are two trays involved, flowers in a jam jar, homemade tea, and that tangerine looks like a flower the way it has been peeled. And even… yes, some not-very tasty elderberry syrup is sweetened by the whole presentation. Now, I must confess that this last present is not a present to myself, but a present from my Love. Presents are really nice when they come from others, too. ;)