|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
Autobio: Chapter 12
A is for apple. My favorite is the NY State winesap, picked right from the tree. (I set my alarm for 5:30 AM each day, but usually wake up on my own before 5.) B is for banana. The riper, the better. (It's just a six minute drive to my health club.) C is for carrot, with greens. Fresh. Sweet. Crunchy. (I arrive just as the gym opens at 6 AM.) D is for date. I buy four varieties direct from the organic California grower. (I first do two minutes of stretching exercises.) E is for eggplant. Breaded, fried, sauteed in lemon sauce. (I then pedal twenty minutes on the stationary bike, maintaining a good pace, never going under 75 RPMs. The sweat begins at the 8 minute mark.) F is for figs. Fresh figs in the spring. I remember watching Howler monkeys feasting on ripe figs. (I then go to the indoor running track for my daily jog.) G is for grapes. I love the variety with seeds. They taste much sweeter and juicier than the seedless ones. (After running, I spend 15-20 minutes alone on the racquetball court, regaining the finesse that I had when I was an A-player 20 years ago.) H is for honeydew melon. The ripest and sweetest ones are a miracle of nature. (After racquetball, I swim in the pool. There are 72 laps to the mile, and my daily workout includes 18 laps. Underwater it is so peaceful. I count the laps by fantasizing about food. A is for apple, B is for banana, C is for carrot, and D is for date. I fantasize the essence of each food, and enjoy this part of my daily workout the most.) I is for Italian roast peppers. There is no better way to prepare them than to first crush fresh garlic against coarse Kosher salt in a circular motion along the interior walls of a large wooden bowl. Then add olive oil, coating the peppers. Roasted in the oven, red, yellow, green, and orange peppers form the centerpiece for an evening's antipasto. (After the swim, it's to the showers. It takes a lot of scrubbing to get out the chlorine smell, and I am afraid that chemicals are becoming a part of me.) J is for Jerusalem artichokes, dug from the ground and braised with black "caviar" lentils. (After the shower, I spend 5-10 minutes in the steam room. I have the place to myself so early in the morning. I visited the Roman spa at Bath in England, and imagine the natural steam healing wearied warriors after battle.) K is for kale. Simply steamed with a touch of Celtic salt. (I then set the whirlpool timer for five minutes, temperature controlled at a perfect 103 degrees Fahrenheit.) L is for lettuce. Romaine is my favorite. I cannot wait until my summer garden produces six fresh varieties. (After the whirlpool, it's to the shower again to rid myself of Jacuzzi residues.) M is for mushrooms. Cepes. Chanterelles. Portabello. Shitake. All sauteed together in soy-based oyster sauce and served on brown rice. (I then dry off in the sauna.) N is for nectarines. Shipped direct from Florida. The small bell-shaped ones with a ten day season make me a believer. (I get dressed and go home, arriving before 8 AM.) O is for onions, caramelized and baked atop homemade focaccia bread, brushed with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with fresh homegrown herbs. (I am alone in the house. Before turning on the computer, I brew a fresh pot of soymilk.) P is for potato. I break open the baked potato in my mind's eye, and smell the essence of all things wholesome about the earth in the tuber's steam. (I open up my email, and surf my favorite sites for the latest dairy news.) Q is for quince. When poached, these hard fruits reveal their sweet bouquets and flavors like nothing else you've ever tasted. (I drink my first mug of steaming hot soymilk, usually flavored with a teaspoon of maple syrup. I sip and type today's column.) R is for raspberries which grow wild in a nearby field. Those not immediately eaten are brought home to be served with dollops of thick soy-cream. (A-R, eighteen letters of the alphabet. Eighteen laps in the pool. I sprint the last lap and finish, short of breath.) That is my morning routine.
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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