Sunday, May 1, 2016

Slow Ride

When I was in high school, I loved listening to Sublime. Something in their laid-back vibe mixed with hard lyrics spoke to me. And while Rhode Island's a long way from the LBC, hearing their music today brings me back to those "top-down" days of summer.

Slow ride.

Indeed, now that I'm older, their hard songs don't appeal to me as much as their really slow-paced or acoustic songs, one of them being Slow Ride. While the song talks about a woman taking a guy for "a ride" or stinging him along (laugh if you want) the song always makes me think of washing my vegetables once I bring them home from the market.

I remember reading on Feed Me Dearly, that author Jessica Fiorillo makes it a habit to wash and prep her vegetables upon returning from the market. While this is not indicative of my own habits, I do make plenty of time to thoroughly wash my fruits and/or vegetables before working with them in a recipe. For myself, it's more or less a ceremonial act within the cooking process. For several minutes, I let my head clear, enjoy the quiet and allow my veggies to soak in water (and vinegar) for several minutes. 

However, like any spiritual practice, there resides a practical component to the madness. In Food Is Family, I talked about my love for members of the Brassica family. Broccoli, cauliflower and kale make me hungry just writing about them. But each of the above ingredients needs to be washed thoroughly, particularly due to their "structure". While the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "recommends thoroughly washing all fruits and vegetables with clean water before being consumed to reduce the risk of infection from pathogenic microorganisms," (according to, the site goes on to state that, "[v]egetables such as broccoli and cauliflower have lots of crevices and may require a bit more time to soak [in water]." And as organic vegetables (or those from the farmer's market) can be expensive, it's important to give your food a good wash if bought straight from the store (where it is often hauled to by truck). 

Washing away.

But how do we wash our vegetables in a manner which delivers proper cleanliness and mentally prepares us for the cooking process? In researching this topic, I learned that vinegar can be of service. According to, soaking fruits and vegetables in, "one part vinegar to three parts water" can help to rid goodies of junk that tends to accumulate during the growing and/or transport process. And since soaking your vegetables has been shown to rid your food of more bacteria as opposed to a quick rinse, the process lends itself to better health for both our bodies and minds. When you return home form the store, I suggest soaking your vegetables (and fruits) as a method of both cleansing your food and mind... knowing you are honoring the food you're about to eat by cleaning it well and allowing your mind to soak in its daydreams for a bit. And, if you have the time, put on some Sublime and let your mind wander to those lazy, hazy days of summer. Enjoy!

How to Properly Clean Your (Leafy) Vegetables (Adapted from

  • Fill a bowl with three parts water and one part (white) vinegar
  • If using green, leafy vegetables, separate the leaves and dip them in the solution (if washing broccoli or cauliflower, allow the vegetables to soak in the solution for 2 minutes)
  • Rinse under cold water
  • Pat dry

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