Okay, well, no heat was involved during the 2-hour, hands-on food prep class I led this past Saturday morning at the beautiful, recently restored Mt. Pleasant public library, but those salads were smokin'. Tasty, that is. While the crowd wasn't huge, my aspiring sous chefs were certainly enthusiastic at this flavorful event, sponsored by the Mt. Pleasant farmers' market.
Families and kids (and kids-at-heart) joined up to make surprisingly sweet beet and apple salad, savory carrot salad, and the now locally famous massaged kale salad. They did love my 1960s food processor, and luckily none of the librarians complained about the high-pitched grinding sound or giggling during its use.
By noon, we had four sizable bowls of healthy, seasonal fare to share. Lots of folks sampled our brightly colored salads, including library staff and patrons strolling past on their way to the circulation desk. Many stopped back in to pick up the recipes. Some took ziploc baggies of salad home to friends and family, exclaiming things like "I've never tried raw beets, but this is delicious!" or "I'm so glad I learned about this kale salad -- it's so tasty and I can't believe how easy it was to make!" Me, I was glad to be about 25 pounds lighter, no longer laden with ingredients like the 5-lb bags of carrots and apples, for the bike ride home. (I did have to get a bunch of cooking equipment + the 20-lb food processor back to the homestead, so I still managed to warm up on the return trip.) We left the remaining recipe copies and samples for the good folks at Occupy DC, who were shuffling into the space for a meeting as we wiped down the tables. I think they enjoyed 'em.