Beet Read: Food and the City

FoodAndTheCity

Written By Rachel Caudill, Co-op Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

 Join us in reading the October Co-op Good Food Book Club book, Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution by Jennifer Cockrall-King. The Book Club will meet Sunday, October 26, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at a member’s private residence to discuss Food and the City. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

With this month’s newsletter theme being “The Cooperative Issue” what book could be better than one spotlighting urban centers around the world working cooperatively to create thriving and secure local food systems? That’s just what Cockrall-King does with her book Food and the City by taking us from the dismal industrial grocery store situation—and all of its problems—to the local farmers and cooperatives working together to create something truly vibrant, healthy, and secure.

Bill McKibben says, “All over the world I’ve watched urban dwellers begin to figure out that they can start growing food, too. It’s one of the loveliest trends on earth, and Jennifer Cockrall-King does a fine job of capturing its tremendous growth.”

As a food writer and avid gardener, Cockrall-King was poised to notice—then document—a massive revolution in our food system that is now well underway. She began seeing more and more food-centric gardens in her neighborhood and community, and then she saw the same thing happening in towns and cities much further afield. It was not an isolated phenomenon.


From the book’s introduction: “Clearly the urban-agriculture movement wasn’t happening in a vacuum. The more I learned about the desperate situation we were in as industrial consumers, the more I grew to appreciate how revolutionary, subversive, and necessary the open-source, chaotic, decentralized nature of the urban-agriculture revolution seemed. If the pundits’ predictions of a catastrophic failure of a century-long experiment in an industrialized, and more recently, globalized food system ever came to pass, community gardens, urban chickens, public orchards, urban beekeeping, commercial urban farms, open sharing of knowledge, and even the science fiction-like promise of vertical farms were poised to coalesce into a new urban food revolution. A shorter food chain…was the future.”

Cooperation, and in this case food cooperatives, are and will be instrumental in this thrilling and epic shift. As Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland, writes, “Cockrall-King makes a compelling and inspiring case that small-scale, urban farming may be the key to fixing our broken industrialized food system.” Come find out how!

Please join us to discuss Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution (Prometheus Books, 2012) by Jennifer Cockrall-King on Sunday, October 26, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Food and the City by Jennifer Cockrall-King 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, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.

Pumpkin Decorating

PumpkinDecorating1

Instead of carving your pumpkins the traditional way this year, try your hand at drilling holes to make your design. If you fill your pumpkins with battery-operated white string lights you can poke some of the lights through the holes- adding some extra twinkle. To decorate your pumpkins you will need:

-several pumpkins or squash in varying shapes and sizes
-a knife
-a metal spoon
-a drill and drill bits in varying sizes

Cut a hole in the top or bottom of the pumpkin and scoop out the flesh and seeds, reserving seeds for roasting if you like. With a pencil draw your design directly on your pumpkin. Use drill to make holes in the shape of your design. Place string lights inside.

Cold Relief Tea

ColdAndFluTea

The leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter and the sniffles are imminent. This steamy drink is full of goodies that’ll help knock those cold symptoms out- pow! It’s made with fresh ginger, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper and honey. Ginger is antiviral, anti-inflammatory and aids in digestion. Lemon is a great source of vitamin C, is antiseptic and is a great source of calcium. Honey is antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral. And cayenne pepper is anti-inflammatory and aids in nutrient absorption.

To make this tea, boil 1 cup of water, 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, 1 tablespoon honey, the juice from a half a lemon and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a small pot over high heat. Bring to boil and heat for five minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve and drink while piping hot. Put on your comfiest socks and jammies and get to healing!

ColdAndFluTea2

Product Spotlight: Veriditas Essential Oils

We’re so proud to now carry Veriditas Botanicals essential oils- a company dedicated to organics and small farming. Their line of oils is pure and unadulterated and is revolutionizing the distilling of organic plants for their essential oils. They’re a natural fit for our co-op because of the pride they take in organic land management, their involvement in and understanding of cooperatives and the standards they uphold in the oils they produce. This is the only pharmaceutical-grade line of essential oils in the store, making some of them ideal for internal consumption, as well as external (They are not all edible, so be sure to ask our Wellness Department which ones are safe).  Did you know that it takes 500 pounds of lavender to make just 32 ounces of lavender essential oil? That’s a lot of land mass, so by supporting Veriditas you are, in turn, supporting organic farming methods on a large scale.

We’ll be bringing you a DIY guide to make your own oil blends that are good for healing a whole host of ailments, but for now, here’s some ideas for how to use the Veriditas Essential Oils for cooking and baking.

  VeriditasPeppermintHotChocolate

Add a drop of peppermint oil to your mocha or hot chocolate for a nice winter treat.

VeriditasLavenderHoney

Add 10 drops of lavender oil to a jar of honey and make your own “miel de lavande”. It’s especially delicious in tea or drizzled over goat cheese.

VeriditasCinnamonCookies

Add a drop of cinnamon bark oil to your cookies to had just a hint of spice.

It’s always best to start with a small amount of oil and add more to taste. Always add essential oil to the end of cooking to ensure that the molecular structure remains in tact and you’re receiving the best flavor possible.

To learn more about Veriditas Botanicals essential oils click here.

Cheese Boards 101: Regional Edition

We’re about to get into that time of year when entertaining guests becomes more regular and the weather demands heartier fare. Here are some tips for building a cheese board that is sure to wow! This version uses local and regional cheeses and be sure to check back for our Imported Edition.

RegionalCheeseBoard

When building a cheese board, there are several things to consider: of course the types of cheese you’ll serve, but also quantities and accompaniments become important. If you’re serving cheese as a precursor to a fabulous meal, plan on 1-2 ounces of cheese per person. If cheese is the main event, plan on 5-6 ounces per person.

One thing you’ll definitely want to consider when building a cheese board is having a variety of flavors and textures. Our regional board features a creamy herbed labneh or yogurt cheese, a pungent and more crumbly blue cheese, a sturdy Swiss, a tangy and spreadable goat cheese and a hearty cheddar. Think about how you can incorporate cheeses that use cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk so that you can taste the difference in flavor.

While chowing down on big servings of cheese is always fun and delicious, it’s also important to serve accompaniments that provide balance to the flavors of your cheeses. We like to serve some sort of candied nuts (pistachios in this case) for sweetness and crunch. It’s also a good idea to serve some sort of bread item, like crackers, bread sticks or sliced baguettes. For this board we used multigrain crackers. Some sort of sweet fruit or chutney also adds for a nice balance. We have lots of fresh figs in right now, but dried figs or dates would also be delicious. And because it’s both pretty and delicious we like to serve a piece of local honeycomb from Woodland Apiaries.

Here are few other helpful tips when building a cheese board:
-Don’t overcrowd your board. You want to make sure that there is enough room to serve a knife for each type of cheese.
-Remove cheese from the refrigerator about an hour before your guests arrive. Cold cheese won’t have as strong a flavor.
-Be sure to label your cheeses so that you don’t have to repeat yourself all evening.

Now come on and let Dalynne, our resident Cheese-monger, help you build that perfect cheese board!

RegionalCheeseBoard2

 

APPY HOUR: Burrata + Plum Salad with Arugula

BurratAndPlumSalad

Burrata- Italian for “you’ll never want to eat anything else again in your life.” Ok, not exactly. It actually means “buttery” and one taste of this souped up mozzarella cheese and you’ll be changed forever. Burrata, made from either buffalo or cow’s milk is an outer shell of fresh mozzarella cheese, filled with a mixture of cream and more mozzarella cheese. The result is a rich, creamy cheese that balances nicely with something sweet, like honey, or in this case plums and something peppery, like arugula.

BurrataAndPlumSalad3

Plums, often under-utilized in salads, make the perfect addition to this recipe. This time of year, they’re nice and sweet with great texture and juiciness. We’ve also added a salty prosciutto, which can be omitted if you’re wanting to create a vegetarian dish.

BurrataAndPlumSalad2

To assemble this salad place a bed of arugula down first. Remove pits from plums and slice, scattering plums on top of the greens. Tear proscuitto into small pieces and also place on greens. Place two balls of burrata on top, cutting open, so the creamy inside spills onto the rest of the salad. For extra sweetness, drizzle honey on top of the burrata.