Here's a brief glimpse of what I've been through: To vend food in NYC, you will need to apply for License A - please apply online. Halfway through that process: In order to qualify for License A, you need to have Permit B. Please register for the course online. Study prep is available online as well. Ok, I study for the test, pass and wait two weeks for the Permit B. Back at the original website: A DCA license will not allow you to vend food from a mobile cart/truck. Please visit the Department of Health website for more information. At DOH website: In order to apply for a Temporary Food Service Establishment license, you need to have a Certificate of Authority to collect Sales Tax. Please visit the NY Department of Taxation & Finance to obtain a number. (Serious eye-rolling ensues) Ok, now I have my tax stuff done and I'm back at the DOH website: No online applications are available for the license you have requested. Please bring License A and all necessary paperwork and allow six weeks for ............. AAAAAARRRRGRGGGGHHHHHHH!
Deep breaths, Auria. Deep breaths.
Quick! Time to do something that actually brings me joy - COOK! A couple of weeks ago, two different people asked me for my grilled zucchini recipe. I wrote it up and sent it off to both of them, and made some yesterday at a BBQ with a few friends. It's a fun, delicious way to do grilled zucchini and uses what I've come to call the "anti-inflammatory trio" of spices - fenugreek, turmeric and brown mustard seeds. On their own, each of these spices boasts their own incredible lists of health benefits. Combined, they become a powerhouse of phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Ok.... I just copied that from some other website. Phyto-what?!! What do I know about such things. I'm not a nutritionist, I'm a cook and I love to eat! I just know they're good for you, and they make everything taste great. These are very subtle spices, so don't worry that your zucchini is going to be over-spiced and impossible to eat. You can add these three spices to practically any vegetable dish. Try them with this recipe, and then use them with broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, collards, kale, cabbage, cucumber, pumpkin, tomatoes. Shall I go on? :) The only thing to remember is to use the turmeric sparingly - it has a very strong flavor and can easily ruin a dish if one is too heavy-handed with it. Start with a quarter teaspoon of it - you can always add more.
I realize it's good for me to be in the kitchen, doing what I love most - it reminds me why I'm going through the enormous hassle and aggravation of getting these licenses and permits. It helps me keep my eye on the prize and push on through the madness - I can't wait til I can cook for everybody! Happy cooking everyone!!
Grilled Summer Squash (serves 6 - 8)
6 medium zucchini and/or summer squash
4 cloves garlic - minced to a paste
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon powdered turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Keeping the stems on the squash, cut each one in half lengthwise. Lay the cut side down and cut thin strips lengthwise, leaving the tops attached.
2. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl. Place the prepped squash in a ziploc bag (use two if you need to). Pour the marinade over the zucchini, seal the bag and let it sit in your refrigerator for at least four hours rotating the bag every now and then to ensure even coverage.
3. On a medium high grill, cook the squash for five minutes on one side then turn over and cook for five minutes on the other side. The inside will be slightly softened but still crunchy and the outside will be perfectly browned and charred.