On today’s episode of “Spice of Life with Bal Arneson,” this episode is titled “Veggie Garden.” Bal Arneson is a chef, cookbook author, teacher and a mother, who knows how well spice adds to her cooking, but she also makes sure to add some spice to her life as well.
As the episode begins, Bal is making breakfast for her daughter Anook and son Aaron. She gives Aaron some fresh herbs to pluck as she prepares a veggie omelet for them. Bal believes that by starting with a good breakfast, a family will have a better day. The basil looks nearly dead, but Bal has a secret to bring it back to life, by flash-frying it in olive oil until the leaves turn bright green and crispy. To bring limp lettuce back to life; just add it to a bowl of ice water for a few minutes.
To make the omelet, Anook helps crack the eggs, and Bal adds some fenugreek leaves to the eggs for extra flavor. As the eggs were cooking, she lifted the half done omelet with the spatula and held it over the frying pan letting the uncooked part drip down and cook, adding the fresh vegetables, like asparagus, mushrooms and tomatoes. She then added the cooked egg as a top like a yummy sandwich. As Anook tasted this awesome creation, she told her mother how she needed her own garden, so she could pick her herbs right from there and not have them wilt. Anook was correct, by having her own garden, Bal will never have to pep up lifeless veggies again.
As they go out to the backyard, they choose where the garden will go. Fortunately, they have enough room for all the things Bal wants to plant. She wants spinach, rhubarb, and more delightful veggies. Bal knows how much work it can be, but she has two helpers right there. But they both make an excuse and disappeared. However, she has other plans.
Bal called her friend, a gardener, and bribed him with lunch. He came over to peruse the backyard and decided that Aaron’s playhouse had to go. She needed the sun to shine on her veggies and it was in the way. For his bribe, she made him lamb chops marinated in coconut milk and spices with mango salsa. As he waited for the lunch to be done, he made a list of the things she wanted in the garden. Her lunch bribe did the trick, now they will do the garden in one day.
Bal rented a small excavator for a day, and when it was delivered, she got right on it to start working. She knew how to operate it from helping her uncle in India. As she dug up her yard, Aaron joined her on the machine, and she gingerly asked him if they could take it down. He agreed, provided, they could knock it down with the excavator, which they did together.
Then local landscapers came in to help construct the beds and Bal helped plant her favorites. After a few months, the garden was filled with delicious and colorful veggies and herbs. So Bal decided to host a garden party, and serve up the fruits of her labor. She prepared ribs with her own sauce, salad and fresh delicious food with aromatic spices that everyone enjoyed, including Anook’s friends. For the recipes on this episode click here and add some spice to your life!
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