Earlier this week, we had a group of produce and floral coordinators from one of our clients visit us. As I looked around the room, I noticed that two of the 15 people were wearing purple.
That happens quite a bit. Not always on purpose, but frequently when someone comes to visit us (or we go to visit them), they wear purple.
Which made me think…it seems like purple is everywhere this year! Fashion magazines, carpeting in buildings, company marketing materials…
And as we began marketing our newest produce item, the Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes, I noticed we are selling more purple produce. For examples:
Purple Sangria Artichokes…
Baby Purple Fiesole Artichokes…
Purple Wax Beans…
Purple Bell Peppers…
…and Purple Baby Brussels Sprouts.
The great thing about purple fruits and vegetables is they are high in antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins.
Plus, as you are trying to get your family to eat more of a variety of fruits and vegetables, adding an interesting color to the plate, like purple, might get them to try something new.
So, it is no surprise that we at Frieda’s decided to declare 2013 The Year of Purple!
So start looking around – purple is everywhere! What great timing for my company, as it has been our signature color for all our packaging and labels for 50 years!
In November, my sister Jackie and I received an email letting us know that our mother, Frieda, had been unanimously selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from our industry trade group, the United Fresh Produce Association, at the Produce Legends Dinner. It was only the third time this award had ever been given and mom was the first woman to receive it.
In the weeks leading up to the event on January 28, mom received hundreds of congratulatory phone calls, emails, letters and gifts. It was quite overwhelming, for mom and our family, to experience the outpouring of love and admiration from so many people in our industry.
The event took place in Tucson, Arizona at Loews Ventana Canyon. As a surprise, Jackie and I reached out to many of moms’ friends outside of the produce industry to put together a tribute video to show at the event.
At mom’s request, my eldest daughter, Alex, introduced her to the audience of 200 guests. At age 23, her comments were polished, yet sincere, touching and funny. There was not a dry eye in the room when she finished.
But what took my breath away that evening were all the people who flew in just for the night to honor my mother: The son of one of our employees from over 25 years ago; almost a dozen former employees who got their start at Frieda’s; customers and suppliers from all over the country…and they all came dressed in purple–our company color!
There were also strangers; men and women who said how mom’s bravery in starting a company 50 years ago inspired them to start their own business.
So, when she accepted the award, she thanked her industry friends and the complete strangers who, over the years, provided encouragement, information, and referrals, which helped grow our business.
All of this made me think…each of us can be a source of inspiration for others without even knowing it. With a smile, good deed, random act of kindness or a referral, you could help or inspire someone to be their own personal best.
That has probably been the biggest life lesson I have learned from my 89 year old mother: Be kind to everyone and treat them like they are the most important person in the world to you.
The advantage of being married to a non-Angelo (not native to Los Angeles) is that we are constantly looking for things to explore in Southern California.
Last year, I wrote about my Melting Pot Tour of The Original Farmers’ Market, which we very much enjoyed. So, when we received an email telling us a new Melting Pot Tour was launching in “Thai Town,” we immediately signed up. We made our way up to Hollywood Boulevard Sunday morning to a place that I did not even know existed.
Less than a half-mile east of the Pantages Theater and the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater, we walked inside Ruen Pair, an authentic Thai Restaurant, and were greeted by Iron Chef America challenger, Jet Tila, and his radio producer, Andy Harris.
For the next three hours, we sampled pork jerky (tender and delicious, not dried out version) and, what Jet called, “the BEST Thai Green Papaya Salad we would ever experience in our lives!” I have to admit that the papaya salad at Ruen Pair was refreshing and absolutely delicious.
That’s when Jet said he hoped we were only 20% full, as we had four more stops!
Our next stop was Sapp Coffee Shop, which, believe it or not, is a noodle shop, even though it clearly says “Coffee Shop”!
We tried two types of Thai noodles: one dry and one “wet” (meaning with broth). Jet explained the four flavor profiles one should expect in all authentic Thai dishes: hot, sour, sweet and salty.
As you can see below, the Jade Noodle Soup is a green spinach noodle dish with all four of the flavors represented: heat in the chile peppers, sweet in the sweet and sour pork, salty in the peanuts and the sour in the fresh lime juice. Delicious!
Next, we visited a local Thai Market called Bangluck Market, and Jet gave us a short culinary tour of the produce department. There I learned that Thai people have their own unique version of “mirepoix,” the classic combination of celery, carrots and onions, which is the base of many sauces, soups and stocks.
According to Jet, the Thai “trinity” of flavors in the mirepoix includes lemongrass, Thai lime leaves and galanga.
As you can see, the Thai lime (also known as Kaffir lime) leaf is unusual because two leaves appear to be connected to each other.
We ended our tour at an amazing and authentic bakery, Bhan Kanom Thai, and received a “sampler” of seven different desserts in this adorable box. Of course, I was too stuffed to eat anything at that moment, so waited and enjoyed a few tastes when I got home.
If you are coming to Los Angeles and are planning to visit the Hollywood sign or see your favorite movie star’s name on Hollywood Boulevard, be sure to check out the culinary gems in the City of Angels.
By the way, I learned the short version of the full name of the city Bangkok, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, translates to “City of Angels,” which must be why Los Angeles has the largest population of Thai people, outside the country of Thailand!
As you know, I decided to go vegan on August 1, 2012. I experienced many health benefits, including my cholesterol dropping from 221 to 196, my aches and pains (symptoms of being over 50) disappearing and continuing to have tons of energy.