Cider Syrup

CiderSyrup4

To call this a recipe is a bit of an overstatement. To call this amazing is a bit of an understatement. What’s a person to do? Once you try this boiled-down apple cider you’ll understand completely. Start with a gallon of your favorite apple cider. Our favorite is from Wilson Banner Ranch made on the farm in Clarkston, WA. Pour it in a large saucepot, bring it to a boil, reduce it to medium high heat and let the magic happen. In about 5-6 hours you’ll have a syrupy concentrate that can be used as a dip for fruit, spooned over ice cream or paired with sharp, salty or tangy cheese.

CiderSyrup3

CiderSyrup5

Potato Latkes

Latkes2

This recipe for latkes (potato pancakes) is gonna make you plotz. Latkes, traditionally made for the Jewish holiday Hanukkah, are made from six simple ingredients — potatoes, onions, eggs, flour (or matzo meal), salt and oil. Making them isn’t very complicated, but they do take a bit of time. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights (in honor of the miracle of oil burning for this long) and while, eating something fried for this many nights in a row, is usually a bad idea, we say, “Go for it!” Your bubby would want you to.

Latkes

One of the key ingredients to making potatoes crispy when you fry them is to eliminate as much of the starch and water as possible. The simplest way to do this is by soaking your shredded potatoes in cold water (Using water to remove water? That’s crazy!) for about half and hour. This allows the oil to cook the potato directly and not have to penetrate layers of moisture, resulting in soggy taters.

To make this recipe you will need:

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup onions or shallots, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of flour or matzo meal
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
vegetable oil for frying

First, grate your potatoes using the large side on a box grater. Place the potatoes in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes. Remove potatoes from water and squeeze out as much excess liquid in a towel as possible. Let the starch settle to the bottom of the bowl. Pour off the water and add just the starch to a large mixing bowl with your potatoes. This way you just get the starch, without all the liquid. Add the eggs, flour and salt to the bowl and toss to combine. In a large, shallow frying pan heat enough oil to fill the pan 1/4 inch high. Test the oil by dropping in a small amount of the mixture. If it immediately begins to bubble, your oil is ready for frying. To make latkes, drop about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into oil, being careful not to crowd your pan. Allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until they are golden brown. Remove from pan let drain on paper towels. If you’re making a big batch, you can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven. Serve with sour cream and applesauce.

Latkes3

Gift Guide: For the Beer Lover

HolidayGuideBeerLover

This holiday season put together the perfect gift for the beer lover in your life. With over a hundred varieties of beer on our shelves, you’re sure to find something.

We’re also proud to be carrying the new Idaho Beer guide written by Steven J. Koonce. His book looks at our great state’s barley and hops production and how that translates in to some amazing locally produced beer. He surveys the breweries up and down the state (tough job, Steven!) and not only reviews the beer the breweries produce, but talks about the history of brewing in Idaho. Wrap up this book with a couple bottles of suds and a pint glass and be prepared for lots and lots of hugs.

If you need recommendations on which beers to give this year, check out some our Beer reviews here, here and here. And you can always stop in and talk to Joe Norris, our Beer Buyer and resident beer expert.

Classic Apple Pie Recipe

ApplePie2

Warm apple pie, there’s nothing like it. With a flaky, buttery crust and tart apples it’s one of the most comforting things around. And since we’re in the midst of the holiday season, who couldn’t use an extra dose of warmth and comfort? There are dozens of apple pie recipes out there, but this classic is sure to please. We recommend tart apples, like Granny Smith, but any apples you have on hand (Fuji or Gala, perhaps?) will do.

To make the crust you will need:

2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup organic vegetable shortening
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ice water

Place the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the shortening and use your hands to break it up, coating it with the flour.Add the butter in and work quickly with your hands or a pastry cutter to work it into the flour mixture. It should end up resembling course meal.  Add the ice water in a couple tablespoons at a time, bring the mixture together to form one large dough ball. After it comes together, stop working with the dough. You want to make sure that pieces of butter and shortening are still visible. Separate the mixture into 2 disks and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour.

ApplePie4

For the filling:

8-10 apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. With floured rolling pin, roll one disk of pie dough into  a circle, about two inches larger than an upside-down 9-inch pie plate.Place dough into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. In a large bowl, mix sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle over filling. Roll the other disk of dough into a 10-inch circle. Place dough over filling and trim the overhanging edges 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal. Cut slits in the top for the steam to escape through. Cover the edge of the pie with a two inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning. If you’d like, brush the top with butter and sprinkle sugar over the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until crust is golden and the filling bubbles through the vents. Remove the foil during the last 15 minutes of baking. Let pie cool before slicing.

ApplePie3

DIY Idea: Brown Paper Packages…

Make more of a visual impact with less environmental impact this holiday season by wrapping your gifts in brown paper Co-op bags. We’re sure you have a few of those grocery bags laying around your house, so why not give them a new use? We removed the handles, cut the bottoms out of a few bags and wrapped our gifts with a variety of adornments. Here’s five ideas to help you step up your gift-giving game:

… tied up with string.
You can use cotton twine, sometimes referred to as baker’s twine, to tie up your pretty packages

EcoWrapTwine

… with foraged adornments.
Snip a few leaves, twigs and berries to give your gifts a naturally festive feeling

EcoWrapForage

… scented with herbs.
Place a few sprigs of fresh herbs on top of your packages to add greenery and savory scent.
EcoWrapHerbs
… with stamped polka dots.
Jazz up your holiday gifts by taking the eraser on a new pencil, pressing it into an ink pad and stamping your paper. Tip: Stamp paper before your wrap your gift for ease.
EcoWrapPolkaDots
… wrapped up with raffia.
Take a few strands of raffia and tie a big bow around your box. Separate the strands with your fingers to make your bows fuller.
EcoWrapRaffia

 

Beet Read: Defending Beef

DefendingBeef

Written by Rachel Clark

There is a key and emerging debate in global food systems thinking about meat production. One side of the argument goes something like this: Raising meat for human food is inhumane, is a key cause of climate change, drives pollution and ecosystem destruction, is unhealthy for the human diet, and is totally unsustainable as it is currently practiced by industrial agriculture standards (see for instance, the new documentary “Cowspiracy”, which is available to stream online).
Meanwhile, the other side of the argument sounds more like this: Raising meat for human food can be done in a highly sustainable, humane way that is regenerative and restorative for ecosystems and biodiversity, can help to curb and solve the climate crisis, is healthy for the human diet, and brings people much closer to the land, animals, and nature because it is an intrinsic part of who we are and what makes us human.
Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production by Nicolette Hahn Niman (former vegetarian and environmental lawyer), shines the spotlight on the crucial discussion about sustainability. The two sides of this argument sound so wildly different that it is hard to imagine they are discussing the same suite of meat production practices. In truth, they aren’t. Many current industrial agriculture practices are incompatible with sustainable meat production, and are examples of the first argument. In the meantime, quietly, on local small farms around the world, the second way — or rather, the old way, combined with new, emergent permaculture practices that help livestock and the ecosystems that support them to thrive (and thus, really, a third way) — is arising.
Come find out why important voices in the food systems literature are calling Niman’s new book “critical thinking at its finest,” a book “that every chef in America should read” and a “brave, clear-headed and necessary addition to the discussion about sustainable food systems.”
Please join us to discuss Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production by Nicolette Hahn Niman (Chelsea Green Publishing) on Sunday, December 28, from 6-7:30 pm. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Defending Beef is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used bookstores or visit BookPeople of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, including a follow-up of last month’s Food and the City, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at moscowfood.coop.

DIY Gift Idea: Peppermint Bark

HolidayGuidePeppermintBark

Since you now have to dedicate a good chunk of your time to scraping the ice of your vehicle, shoveling your walk and building fires in your fireplace, why not make your holiday gifting and entertaining easier? Not only is this recipe for Peppermint Bark simple to make, but it’s a real crowd pleaser. It’s a nostalgic treat for some and a holiday staple for others, but anyone who loves peppermint, will definitely appreciate it.

To make this recipe you will need:

2 pounds white chocolate, chopped
12 candy canes, crushed with a rolling pin
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
Line an 11 x 17 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Place one inch of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl over the pan, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Place white chocolate in the bowl and melt, stirring constantly. Add extract and crushed candy canes to the white chocolate and stir until well combined. Pour onto lined baking sheet and spread in a thin layer with a rubber spatula. Melt dark chocolate in a separate bowl. With a spoon drizzle dark chocolate over white chocolate mixture. Using a skewer or tip of a knife, swirl dark chocolate into white chocolate. Let harden on the counter for 3-4 hours and break into pieces. Package in cellophane bags or metal tins and tie with twine.

Let’s Toast: Stout Gelato Float

StoutGelatoFloat

Nothing is hollier or jollier than a stout float with eggnog gelato. Nothing. Not reindeer prancing through a snowy field. Not listening to Blue Christmas for the fortieth time. Nothing. And not only is this float holly and jolly, it’s boozy too. It uses the Sacred Cow Coffee Milk Stout from Paradise Creek Brewing Company and Talenti Eggnog Gelato, so it’s truly holiday treat. The stout is dark and robust, a perfect pairing for the rich, creamy and slightly spiced gelato. And for a limited time when you purchase the stout and the gelato, you’ll receive 10% off both items.

To make this float, place 2-3 scoops of gelato in a chilled glass. Top with stout. Drink. Repeat.

StoutFloat2

StoutFloat3

DIY Gift Idea: Lemon Thyme Salt Scrub

LemonThymeSaltScrub

If you’re looking for some really simple (like pour and stir, simple) ideas for holiday gifts this year, look no further! You can purchase everything you need for this Lemon Thyme Salt Scrub right here in the store, even the beautiful jar. For the month of December the Veriditas Botanicals essential oils are on sale for 20% off. These are the purest oils out there and we’ve got ‘em! To learn more about Veriditas Botanicals check out a blog post we wrote on them awhile back.

Lemon and thyme are natural complements to each other. Lemon is detoxifying, brightening and energizing and is perfect to combat the winter doldrums. Thyme is also detoxifying and is a natural antidepressant, which is great for these really short days with very little sun.

To make this scrub you will need:

1 cup fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
5-7 drops thyme essential oil
In a sterile jar combine salt and oils and stir to combine. To use, dampen skin and exfoliate gently. Either wipe clean with a washcloth or rinse off in the shower.
LemonThymeSaltScrub2