Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oil & Vinegar $30 Surprise Bags!

My family recently came to South Carolina for a visit, and stayed in downtown Greenville! One of the highlights of our many excursions shopping the shops of Main Street, was our visit to Oil & Vinegar on North Main. The store carried fabulous specialty products from Europe, Africa, and elsewhere. My Mom told us right away she wanted us to pick some things out so she could get them for us. She knows that my sis-in-law and I both love to cook! "Hmm, what to get . . ." I thought. Everything looked so good. 

As I perused the rest of the shop, there was one display I could not get out of my mind, the surprise bag table, which was strategically placed right at the front of the store as we walked in! The table was full of bags priced from $15- $50. There was a sign on the table that said that each bag contained twice the monetary value of the price tag on the bag! Sounded exciting to me. I picked out a $15 bag, my Mom saw me do so, and said I should pick out a $30 bag instead! "No problem," I thought. By that time, my sis-in-law had also decided to go for a surprise bag as her souvenir from my Mom, from our family time!

Although I've never been on a game show, opening the bags kind of felt like what I would imagine winning a surprise prize on a game show would feel like! We had so much fun discovering what we had "won" after my Mom purchased the bags for us! Jess and I each pulled out an item at a time. One of the kind, knowledgeable shop owners, and one of the nice, insightful shop keepers gave us recommendations as to what recipes to make with the products in the bags. My Mom also got an additional bag to take home to my sister in Pennsylvania. 

I quickly put my perfect chef's gift from my Mom to good use in my kitchen. This week already, I have been loving using the ingredients from my Oil & Vinegar surprise bag! I baked chicken one night with the chicken rub and lemon sage olive oil I received. Two nights ago, I made the best wrap sandwich ever, the secret ingredients being lemon sage olive oil and sherry vinegar from the gift bag! Other ingredients that were part of my special wrap included: 1 sun-dried tomato wrap, turkey, turkey bacon, shredded mozzarella, romaine lettuce, oregano, grated parmesan, salt & pepper, and ranch salad dressing. 

Jess and me opening our Oil & Vinegar surprise bags.

Holding up seasoning packets.

Jess and me with Veera Gaul, one of the owners.

Jess: Organic Pasta
Me: Olio di Oliva al limone e salvia

Me: Jerez Sherry Vinegar

Us, with another shopkeeper.

Me: Mustard Dill Dressing
(Great marinade for salmon and chicken)

Items in my bag:

Lemon Sage Olive Oil
Sherry Vinegar
Mustard Dill Dressing
Chicken Rub
Provencal Thyme & Bay Leaves
Dipping Bowl