Co-op Blog

In a half hour lentils are cooked without presoaking and ready to do your bidding in soups, salads, curries, pates, on and on.  Start with about 2 ½ cups of water to one cup dried lentils. Bring water and lentils to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Add a little more water if needed  Drain off any excess cooking liquid and create something delicious. Most folks... Read More
Even though leeks are a well known member of the allium family, they offer a slightly different flavor than onions.  Mild and sweet, they take the edge off their pungent cousin in soups and other savory dishes.  The question is how much to use?  All of the white bulb is tender and sweet, and much of the pale green top is as well.  Dark green leaves can be removed, but save... Read More
One of the easiest food processing techniques is also one of the most nutritionally beneficial.  It’s like a magic trick to chop up a big globe of cabbage, put it in a bowl and massage it with sea salt. You will feel the moisture sweat out of the wilting pieces.   Next place the cabbage and the juice in a 2 quart jar.  Tamp it down, fill a ziplock bag with water and put it in... Read More
Gianaclis Caldwell, one of our region’s finest artisan cheesemakers, had a crazy good idea.  She created just the right texture, added seasonings and ended up with a cheese sausage.  Her original inspiration flavor, Fiesta is like fresh Mexican chorizo sausage.  The spice blend includes smoked paprika, oregano and dried ancho and poblano peppers.  Fiesta is delicious in any... Read More
If you love carrots you have something to look forward to in the cold of winter!  Several local growers have bountiful carrot crops that are harvested starting in late August, and continue on through late March.  The August through September harvest is primarily from Hi Hoe Produce at Blue Bird Farm.  Barking Moon Farm and Blue Fox Farm continue on to February or March.  Last... Read More
That expression about making lemonade out of lemons applies in a different sort of way to the Farm to School Apple Program. Apples are not all created equal, some are big some are small.  What goes to market needs to be a consistent size.  Washington state fuji apple growers inevitably have a range of apple sizes to contend with.  In 2011 Tom and David Lively from Organically... Read More
Here’s a New Year’s resolution that will change your life! Use more herbs and spices in your everyday meal preparations. The first step might be out with the old and in with the new. So go through your spice drawer or cupboard and get rid of the old, dusty spices that have been around longer than a year. Likely these have lost their bright color and aroma. Save the jars and... Read More
Everyone knows about the traditional New Year’s Day dish called Hoppin’ John, but the origins of the name are more mysterious. A common belief is that the dish originated in Louisiana where it was called by the French Creole name for pigeon peas, a dried pea similar to the black-eyed pea. The French Creole term is “pois a pigeon” which is pronounced pwah peeJon. Say it fast... Read More
A really great way to use a spice blend is to rub it on your favorite meat, poultry, tofu or winter squash before cooking. Besides herbs and spices, a rub will include salt and often sugar. This creates a flavorful crust and draws out a little moisture which helps with browning. There are many spice blends available, but making one’s own signature blends will take your food... Read More
If you’ve ever had the urge to lick the last bits of a chutney right off your plate, you get the Hindi origin of the word which means to lick. A really good chutney offers pungent spices perfectly blended with the fruit or veggies that are the main ingredients. There might be just a couple or there might be as many as 15. Regardless there is a balance of sweet and sour and... Read More