Saturday, October 11, 2014

No. 35 – February 28, 2013 - A Moment of Enlightenment with Candied Ginger

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Better -N-Bulk, Foods & Deli, has been in business since 2009 on Route 45, Austinburg, Ohio. Walking in, you find shelves of products which includes candied ginger, the reason I sought them out. While having a meal with friends before Christmas I noticed a container, now nearly emptied, of the crystallized confection. The price was nothing short of amazing.

I love candied ginger. I discovered its piquant potential to delight while staying at a Bed and Breakfast in Los Angeles, sadly, no longer in operation, called La Maida.

The breakfast which awakened my taste buds included perfectly ripe cantaloup sliced so thin you could see light through the fruit. The crystallized ginger was sprinkled over the offering like tiny stars.

It hit my unsuspecting tongue like a moment of enlightenment. Entirely losing track of what my breakfast companion was saying, I looked down at the plate. I took another bite. No mistake. It was wonderful. After a few moments I was able to again listen to what was being said, though now with the same attention.

After then, a cache of the confection was always on hand at home and I found many other ways to enjoy it.

But never have I found someplace where it is less expensive than Better -N-Bulk.

My first sortie into the modest emporium found me going over the shelves with barely contained enthusiasm for the variety and prices of what was offered.. Their list of items available included organic chicken and grass-fed beef. So nice to have a local supplier in a world where all too often you don't know what is in the food you are consuming.

Reflecting later, I realized I had driven past Better – N – Bulk many times, never noticing it.

So often we strain our eyes to find what we want when, all the time, it was right there in plain sight, if we had only been a touch more discerning or willing to see what is before our eyes.

When taking my walk around the Ashtabula Mall in the quiet of morning I think about that, looking at stores, now emptied. I think about it when I walk down Main Street, too.

Do we know what we want? Would we recognize it if we saw it – or do we hurry by, missing the small and large astonishments which open up our world in so many ways.

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