Kids Craft: Felting

Felting1
This morning our Co-op Kids group had a great time making their own felt. We are blessed in Moscow to have a great yarn/thread/wool store called Yarn Underground that we purchased dyed wool roving from. This is a great activity for little ones, as it teaches them the process of turning soft wool into a small piece of fabric. It’s a colorful, tactile activity that will hold their attention!
To make felt you will need:
wool roving
liquid dish soap
water
plastic sandwich bags (if containing the mess is a concern)
Felting3 Felting2
First, fill a bowl with very warm water and a squirt of liquid dish soap. To get started, pull small off pieces of roving and separate the fibers into a thin layer. Take another piece, separate it and place it over your first piece, layering the fibers in opposite directions. Make 4-5 layers. Place layers of roving into a sandwich and pour a small amount of soapy water into the bag. (If you are working outside or getting a little wet and soapy doesn’t sound so bad, omit the sandwich bag, dunk roving into soapy water and start agitating it.)
Felting6
Make sure all of the air is pressed out of the bag before you seal it up and begin agitating the bag with your hands, pushing the fibers into each other. Once the fibers are integrated and the felt has formed into a stiffer piece of fabric, rinse it with cold, clean water and let dry. You can then cut the piece into any shape you want. This method is also great for making felt beads that kids can turn into earrings and necklaces.
FeltingCollage

Beet Read: Cows Save The Planet

CowsSaveThePlanet

Can Cows Save the Planet?
By Rachel Caudill, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

 Join us in reading the April Co-op Good Food Book Club book, Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith D. Schwartz. The Book Club will meet Sunday, April 27, from6:00-7:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss Cows Save the Planet. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

 “You might ask what dirt has to do with global warming. In reading this astounding book we will learn how to unmake deserts, rethink the causes of climate change, bring back biodiversity, and restore nutrients to our food. In other words, how to staunch and heal the great wound we have inflicted on our planet.”  So says renowned ecologist and writer Gretel Ehrlich in the Foreword to this month’s remarkable book, chosen in honor of Earth Day and this month’s theme.

 As we’ve seen with many of the books in our Good Food Book Club, our food choices are now profoundly intertwined with global planetary health. From industrial farming, to GMOs, to soil erosion, to colossal food waste and landfill excesses, to mass extinction and wholesale destruction of fisheries and ocean health, to climate chaos itself, our global human population and the way we eat has impacted every facet of the Earth’s resilience. What if there was a silver bullet… What if there already exists an overall approach with a suite of strategies that could quickly, cheaply, and massively restore Earth’s food systems (and climate!) to a thriving, healthy stable state?  Would you believe such a thing possible? Even better, could it be as simple as grazing happy cows?

 Come find out as we read this month’s ground-breaking book and learn for ourselves the pivotal role that soil health has in supporting not only healthy food for our global population, but also to curbing—and even solving—the climate crisis.  You can get a taste of the astonishing paradigm reported in this book by watching Alan Savory’s pivotal TED talk, “How to Fight Desertification and Reverse Global Warming.” Savory, of course, is featured in Schwartz’s book.

 As Ehrlich writes, “Widen your mind with a holistic approach to the extinction cliff… Judith Schwartz’s book gives us not just hope but also a sense that we humans—serial destroyers that we are—can actually turn the climate crisis around. This amazing book, wide-reaching in its research, offers nothing less than solutions for healing the planet.”

 Please join us to discuss Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith D. Schwartz Sunday, April 27 from 6:00-7:30 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. Cows Save the Planet by Judith D. Schwartz 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, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.

How To: Throw a Co-op Birthday Party!

Our Co-op Kids program turned 8 years old last week (that’s eight years of positive programming for the kiddos in our Co-op community), so of course we had to celebrate! Here are some photos from the birthday party, along with some tips for throwing your own little ones a birthday party- Co-op style.
CoopKidsBirthday3Rowan

We know that there are a variety of dietary issues facing our little ones nowadays, so we offered a vegan chocolate cake and gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. It’s always good to check with other parents to find out if their kids have any allergies or food sensitivities. It’s really nice for children with dietary restrictions to feel like they can participate in the fun at a birthday party. Look for the recipes we used at the bottom of this post!

CoopKidsBirthday2

While it’s easy to spend a ton on birthday parties, we like to recycle items we already have, like newspaper to make birthday hats and colorful paper to make decorations. For these goody bags, we used sample sizes of kid-friendly snacks, little puzzles, some temporary tattoos and plantable seed paper.

CoopKidsBirthday1

We also made sure we had a special drink station for the grown-ups with coffee, tea and hot chocolate. We used a chalk runner to write a message, but you could also run this down the middle of the kids’ table and let them draw as part of the festivities.

CoopKidsBirthday8

CoopKidsBirthday6 CoopKidsBirthday4

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, until well combined. Add the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar, and mix again so that it’s really well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary. Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper and pour batter into pan. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely. To make a layer cake, double the recipe and bake in two separate cake pans.

Gluten-free Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, like Bob’s Red Mill
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup almond, soy or cow’s milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Combine the flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk. In another mixing bowl whisk together the sugars with the egg, milk, vanilla and oil. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth and it starts to thicken slightly. Be careful not to over mix the batter or cupcakes will become dense. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until they are golden brown and the tops spring back slightly. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Tasteful Thursdays Are Back

TastefulThursdaysCollage1

The fall season is in full effect, with gem-toned leaves embellishing our sidewalks, brisk evening weather drawing us indoors, heartier soups gracing our salad bar and daringly dark ales ever-present on our beer cooler’s shelves. With this magical time of year comes an even more magical event at the Co-op—Tasteful Thursdays!

Tasteful Thursdays is an annual event series that showcases the sights, the sounds, and most importantly, the tastes of the season. From November 7 through December 21 (except for November 28 when the Co-op will be closed for Thanksgiving), each Thursday from 5-7 p.m. the Co-op’s aisles will transform into a festive affair full of samples, gift ideas, holiday staff picks, and more. You’ll get to sample our Co-op Kitchen’s delicious Thanksgiving sides and desserts, available for special order to simplify your Turkey Day. You’ll get to meet some of our favorite local and regional brewmasters and winemakers, and sample their seasonal libations. You’ll get to hear some wonderful tunes from local musicians, including two of our talented staff members! And, of course, you’ll get to relieve some of your holiday stress with complimentary neck and back massages from Sonya of Balance… A Wellness Spa.

StickyFingersIceCreamSandwiches1

One of our featured vendors this week is Sticky Fingers Farm from Troy, ID.  This family farm makes delicious small-batch ice cream with local and organic ingredients and they’ve recently added hummus to their lineup (lucky us!). The above photo features ice cream sandwiches made with the Co-op Bakery’s Molasses Crinkle cookies and Sticky Fingers’ Salted Caramel Ice Cream.  We know, we know… it’s insane!

For the full list of Tasteful Thursday musicians and vendors check out the co-op website.

Wellness Wednesday Tomorrow!

WellnessWednesdayCollage

The Moscow Food Co-op Wellness Department is proud to present Wellness Wednesdays, a celebration of healthy people, healthy lives and a healthy planet!

On the first Wednesday of each month, Co-op owners receive a 10% discount on Wellness Department items, including supplements, body care items and mercantile like housewares, baby items, garden supplies and greeting cards. Owners will also receive a 10% discount on salad bar purchases with the purchase of discount-eligible item from the Wellness Department.

While the Wellness Wednesday discount is available for Co-op owners only, any shopper who signs up for a membership or renews their expired membership will be eligible for the discount.