Do you believe in magic?
That’s what some of my favorite kids and I asking were asking each other the first time we blended our own spices.
When we sprinkled our spices on hot, buttery baked sweet potatoes, the only way we could describe what happened inside our mouths was MAGIC!
But I’m kind of getting ahead of my own stripes by starting in ZeMiddle of my story.
It all began when I asked my friends Ronit and Shuli Madmone: “What are spices? And why do humans like them so much?”
I thought, considering that they’re experts who own a really cool company called Whole Spice and I’m a just a simple zebra who’s only beginning to explore the world of food, they would have given me a super-simple answer.
But they looked at each other and laughed, “If you really want to understand spices, ZeBot, come to our house.”
It turned out that my questions were the first steps on a journey that would take me into deliciously exciting new worlds.
For a taste of our adventure, please check out the video (below) — then read on!
Summer is ZePerfect time for celebrations – and all the fresh colors and flavors at ZeFarmer’s Markets make it more fun than ever!
So you can imagine how excited I was to be invited to help host a Farmer’s Market Supper Party with some of the Bay Area’s coolest food bloggers and cookbook authors (links to all ZeRecipes are at the end of this post).
Our mission: to showcase the season’s bounty with a creative vegetarian supper. Everyone was very understanding about my being a novice cook/baker who’s all hooves (and no opposable thumbs) and told me it would be fine if I made up a zebra-friendly dessert.
I figured I’d do what ZeGrandma and ZeMom always taught me: don’t go to a farmer’s market with your stripes totally set on making something in particular.
Instead, have fun wandering around and discovering the day’s freshly harvested treasures, then create a recipe based on what you find.
Hey, who wants to go for a wok with me?
When I asked my Chinese-born American buddy Julianne that question, her reply (like yours might be) was: “Um, what’s a wok?”
Well, I knew that a wok is a kind of cooking pan — and being a zebra who loves to roam (and is very fond of puns), I’ve always like saying stuff like “let’s go for a wok.” But Julianne and I wanted to explore all the sizzling secrets to wonderful wok cooking.
Since we think the best way to start on any new path of culinary discovery is to do some ZeSearch, we decided to begin in my ZeNormous cookbook library.
The next thing we did was call my friend Grace Young, who has written lots of award-winning cookbooks all about the wok and the amazing things it can do.
It turns out that the voyage into the world of woks is deliciously vast and exciting.
At Ramini Mozzarella, every day is Mother’s Day.
“This is a very female-oriented society here on the farm,” Craig Ramini tells me. “Everything comes down to the mothers and their babies.”
What do kids, zebras and George Washington have in common?
Lots of things!
Vision. Imagination. Ingenuity.
The joyful desire to explore new ideas and discover innovative ways to do things. The belief that anything is possible—and that you can have fun making it happen.
If you’re an American kid, you already know that George Washington was the very first president of the United States.
But did you know he was also called America’s “foremost farmer”?
It makes sense, because both being president and a farmer have a lot to do with planting, growing and harvesting—whether you’re talking about seeds or ideas.
George Washington was as innovative and visionary at farming and horticulture as he was at helping to create a country. When he wasn’t busy being president, his primary occupation was being a farmer.
Like a lot of humans, zebras begin to discover the pleasures of reading and cooking when we’re very young.
And even before we have close encounters with books and words and kitchens and ingredients, we’ve explored deep within that special place where both reading and cooking come from.
It’s a magical world called Imagination.
One human who knew everything there is to know about magic and imagination was the legendary Dr. Seuss.
Reading any book is pure magic – and reading a Dr. Seuss book is marvelous, miraculous Mega-Magic.
Just think of this: Dr. Seuss used his imagination to write stories, creating wondrous, whimsical worlds where absolutely anything can happen – and actually does.
When you read a Dr. Seuss book, your eyes look at letters on a page and your brain changes all those squiggly lines into words and sentences and ideas.
If there’s one thing zebras love, it’s a celebration!
And when it’s Mardi Gras, which is all about local traditions, food, family and friends–well, that makes us so happy that our stripes start to turn colors.
Purple, green and gold, to be exact.