Cooking Ain't Easy ... When I spoke with Cooking For You's Linda Grinder earlier this week, she was recovering from a bloody fingertip-meets-mandolin accident and was nursing a sore back from lifting the heavy coolers of the freshly made sides she prepares for Saturday's Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market.
Grinder sells what she calls "good" soul food — as in good tasting and good for you: turnip greens, black-eyed peas, soups, hummus, breads. There are no meat products in her food, and she watches salt amounts and nixes the gluten when possible.
Grinder says she got into cooking the sides because she was "filling a niche." About a year ago, after she was laid off from her job as an esthetician at a spa, she began selling home-made gourmet sandwiches, soups, and sides to salons.
Her food was an immediate hit, and her customers soon were making specific requests — no meat, no gluten, etc. In addition, Grinder began providing five-gallon pots of turnip greens and black-eyed peas to local restaurants. Her greens were so good that she became known as the "Turnip Greens Lady."
When I met Grinder at the market a few weeks ago, she was selling roasted red pepper hummus, roasted tomato soup, and the turnip greens and black-eyed peas cooked in low-sodium vegetable stock ($5 for 16 oz.). Supplies were running low at that point, shortly before noon, and Grinder says she often sells out.
She says her breads — cornbread, jalapeno cornbread, pumpkin bread with cranberry ($5-$10) — are also big sellers.
The offerings will change by season, and she can make larger batches by request and many of the items can be frozen.
Grinder is considering going to an every-other-week schedule at the Cooper Young Market, so email her for her schedule and to get a list of what she'll be selling: email@example.com.