Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


So-ba it!

Sticking with the pasta theme, I want to write about the Japanese noodles called soba. My dear, old friends Ricky and Cathy Tokubo first introduced me to them. They served the buckwheat noodles cold in small bowls with assorted Japanese condiments on the side, including grated ginger and a light sesame oil dressing. I found them supple, succulent, absolutely seductive. And I immediately went shopping at my local Asian grocery store to try out all the various sizes and types of soba available. Ever since, I have adored soba noodles in the Japanese style. This can mean cold noodles with dipping sauce, as I first had them, or in soup or tossed with sauteed veggies and tofu, as shown here -- in this case seasoned with grated ginger and fermented black beans.

This is also a post about asparagus, that brief and beautiful vegetable. Plump, vibrant, locally-grown spears have finally showed up at my market, and I know they won't be there for long, not in this perfect state. So I intend to glory in asparagus and in April, even though the sun continues to elude us. I've decided that Spring is not just a time of year, but also a state of mind.

Blessings and bon appetit!



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