Meet the Makers: Mountain Blue Eye Jewelry

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About ten years ago, Stacy Boe-Miller began channeling the creative energy that’s always been inside her. She had been making jewelry as an outlet, but when people other than her family members started commenting about how much they liked her work, she thought she might be on to something. While on a hike with her husband, Brant and their oldest son, Noah, now 13, she was inspired by the mountain blue-eye grass in the wild, and with a bright set of blue eyes of her own, the name of her business was born.

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With three children, Noah, Juan and Ruby, making jewelry has allowed for both the creativity she craves and the flexibility she needs. And after moving to Moscow in 2011, Stacy has realized this is a great place for local artists. “Moscow is an amazing place to be an artist– it’s such a supportive community.” With the support of her family, especially her sister Daleen who is a woodworker, and her friends in the community, Stacy has been able to watch her line of jewelry grow and learn new skills along the way.

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In a day and a half Stacy and her sister learned soldering skills from Frank Finley at the Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, MT. She had purchased books and watched videos before, but it was the hands-on learning that really made a difference. Stacy says, “Learning to solder and take a plain sheet of metal and turn it into jewelry that someone will wear is so satisfying. It gives me the confidence to call myself a jewelry artist.” While it can be difficult to purchase supplies locally, Stacy gets beads from Lapwai when possible and also supports other small businesses on Etsy- an online marketplace for handmade goods. Since she has an Etsy shop of her own, she knows that you’re more likely to get better customer service and find what you’re really looking for with smaller shops.

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Besides the Co-op, you can find Mountain Blue  Eye Jewelry at Blackbird at the Depot in Potlatch, BookPeople and the Prichard Art Gallery in Moscow and a couple shops in South Dakota and Wyoming. And you can look for Stacy next summer at the Moscow Farmers Market where she hopes to share a booth with her sister. Stacy says that seeing strangers wear her jewelry is so satisfying and that if you love what you do and you happen to make money while doing it, then you’re really lucky. Her husband always asks, “Is this your bliss?”, and for Stacy, she says it truly is.

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Keep your eyes peeled for new pieces from Mountain Blue Eye in the Co-op and if you’re interested in custom jewelry, Stacy can be reached at mountainblueeye@gmail.com.

Preserve the Season: Ginger Pear Preserves

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We have boxes of beautiful local pears in store right now, and if the thought of eating 14 pounds of pears seems a little daunting, here’s an idea to preserve the harvest. These Ginger Pear preserves are sweet and spicy and would make a beautiful gift for someone. The pears develop a delicious caramelized flavor that pear pair nicely with a sharp and salty blue cheese- lovely for fall.

To make the preserves you will need:

3 pounds pears, peeled, cored and sliced
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 candied ginger, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

In a large pot place the pears, sugar, lemon juice and fresh ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the candied ginger to the pot and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick coats the back of a spoon, about 45 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath. Without being processed in a hot water bath the preserves will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

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Let’s Toast: Peach Mojitos

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The long, warm days of summer are fading fast, but before it’s too late try making these peach mojitos, or faux-jitos if that’s more your style. Since we have delicious, juicy peaches right now, making them with fresh peach puree is the way to go. But if it ends up being the middle of winter before you get around to making these, well, shame on you… just joking– you can make these with bottled peach nectar too! We got a little fancy and finely chopped some mint and mixed it with sugar to coat the rims of our jars. And while this step isn’t necessary, it ups the wow factor.

To make these mojitos you will need:

3 cups of peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 cup lime juice
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups white rum
4 cups club soda, chilled
1/2 cup packed mint leaves
lime wedges for garnish

Place peaches in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Press peach puree through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard solids. In a large pitcher, combine zest, lime juice, sugar, and mint. Muddle the  juice mixture with the back of a long wooden spoon. Add the peach puree and rum to the pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves. Mix in club soda. Serve over crushed ice. And garnish with lime wedges.

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Food For Thought Film Series: FED UP!

For our September screening of the Food for Thought Film Series, we will be showing the popular new film, Fed Up!

Fed Up, an official selection for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, is an eye-opening documentary that serves up some hard-to-swallow news: “In 2010, two out of every three Americans were either overweight or obese,” and it is believed that “generations of kids will now live shorter lives than their parents.”

 Filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and TV journalist Katie Couric lead us through an examination of obesity in America. They discuss how processed food remains cheap and accessible; school nutrition budgets have been slashed while fast food is served in many U.S. schools, and the remarkable amount of sugar being added to most products including those labeled “low fat” or “fat free”. The film also personalizes the problem by introducing us to real people and the frustration and failure many of them are experiencing. University of Idaho dietician, Marissa Rudley, will be in attendance on behalf of Vandal Nutrition with some great information regarding community resources and an interactive sugar display.

The Moscow Food Co-op will also be partnering with Backyard Harvest to host a Fresh Food Drive before and after the film. Backyard Harvest is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to increase low-income families’ and seniors’ access to fresh, healthy foods and the Fresh Food Drive is just one of many ways they are doing this. Movie-goers are encouraged to bring fresh food items to donate in exchange for free entry into the movie. Join us for a night of fun Wednesday September 17th with doors opening at 6:30 PM – hope to see you there!

Preserve the Season: YES, YOU CAN.

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We were going to tell you to “Can It” or “Put A Lid On It”, but we’re a bit more positive than that- Yes, You CAN. We believe in you. We have all the necessary goodies to can, preserve and savor the flavors of summer and fall before they’re gone. We’re carrying a beautiful line of Le Parfait canning jars, made in France with their signature orange, BPA-free rubber gaskets, guaranteed to seal your jams and jellies. They come in a variety of sizes and make beautiful gifts. Here they are in action! We also sell their screw-top gold lid jars, which come with sealing lids, as well. See them here!

 Not only do we have your jar-game covered, but we’ve also got all the tools necessary to make your canning successful. Think funnels, tongs, pots and more! To learn more about Le Parfait, click here.

Beet Read: The Soil Will Save Us

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By Rachel Caudill, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

“Even the broken letters of the heart spell earth.” ~ Daniel Thompson

 Join us in reading the September Co-op Good Food Book Club book, The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet (2014) by Kristin Ohlson. The Book Club will meetSunday, September 28, from 7:00-8:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss The Soil Will Save Us. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

 What is the most singular and unique thing about the Palouse Region? One could rightfully argue….it is our soil. The Palouse fields and hills hide a remarkable substratum; Palouse soils are deeper than Olympic diving pools. And they’re among the richest, most generative soils in the world. Our deep dirt derives from a violent history of massive ice dam breaches, repeated over thousands of years during the last ice age. Known as The Missoula Floods, these herculean deluges dumped immense masses of soil right here beneath us as the waters from behind the colossal ice age dams crashed out across the landscape in unimaginably huge torrents.

 These soils quite literally make the Palouse the Palouse. They make our region unique and special from its very core. There could be no better choice, then, for this month’s “Unique to the Palouse” theme, than the brand-new book The Soil Will Save Us. Here best-selling author and award-winning science writer Kristin Ohslon threads together the best of what our book club has pondered so far this year. Linking ideas from books like Cows Save the PlanetWhole, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, her thesis is at once familiar but also breakthrough: She takes us to the heart of the matter. Next to the sun, soil is the core, the root, the generative well-spring of all life on Earth. It has the capacity to heal what ails our planet. And for thousands of years, humans knew it. Today, Ohlson reminds us, it’s time to remember.

 From Rodale: “Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices—and, especially, modern industrial agriculture—have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world’s soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for ‘our great green hope’—a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon—and potentially reverse global warming.”

 Her book “…will inspire everyone to rethink the potential of the ground beneath their feet, as well as the landscapes around them, and to figure out how they can make a difference.”

 Please join us to discuss The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet (Rodale 2014) by Kristin Ohlson on Sunday, September 28 from 7:00-8:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club click here.

Carrot Applesauce Muffins with Walnuts + Currants

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Apples are starting to make their way into the store (yea fall!) and we’ll be bringing you a ton of recipes and visual guides. These are a healthier-than-usual muffin that use applesauce (we’ll be teaching you how to make your own soon) and shredded carrots, which we have from local farmers. These freeze nicely, so they can be defrosted in the morning quickly for a nice bite in the morning. We added walnuts and currants to ours, but feel free to add in other nuts or fruits or omit entirely.

To make these muffins you will need:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 egg at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup finely shredded carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried currants

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add the butter, honey, egg, vanilla, and applesauce.
Stir ingredients together until just combined, then add in nuts and currants. Fold in the shredded carrots until combined just combined.  Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin liners (we recommend an ice cream scoop). Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Appy Hour: Fresh Fig Bruschetta

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It’s that special time of year. You’re getting ready to pull out your sweaters and boots and say “sayonara” to tank tops and flip flops. The evenings have a slight chill and pumpkin flavored things are beginning to make an appearance. We love to celebrate the changing seasons at the Co-op with recipes that highlight unique ingredients.

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If the only way you know figs is through Newtons, prepare to be amazed. They offer sweetness, smoothness and crunch all wrapped up into one tiny fruit- which (FUN FACT!) grow on ficus trees. They’re flavor isn’t overpowering, which allows them to pair nicely with a mild cheese and toasted bread.

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Figs will automatically up your host(ess) game, so be prepared for the oohs and aahs at your next shindig.

To make this bruschetta you will need:
1 baguette or loaf of crusty white bread cut into slices and toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces of goat cheese, softened
1 pint of fresh figs, sliced thinly
fresh thyme
honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush bread slices with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Let bread cool slightly and spread goat cheese on each piece. Top with slices of fresh figs and a sprinkle of thyme leaves. Drizzle honey over the top and serve.

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