Archives for June 2013

  • That Which We Call Rosé | 06.26.2013

    Rosé – fresh, juicy and an incredible partner for food.   So why the stigma that all pink wine is sweet?

    History
    History tells us that producing wine of a pale pink hue dates back to times of antiquity.  With many of the breakthroughs in modern winemaking still unknown, it was very challenging to produce a full-on red wine that wasn’t overly tannic and bitter.

    Considering wine was consumed in place of water, you can see why choosing a lighter, fresher variety was desirable. A taste for pink prevailed through the centuries and continues to be produced all over the world-even entire appellations of France are devoted to producing only rosé.

    With all of this history, it wasn’t until Portugal’s sticky-sweet pink bubblers, like Mateus, hit the market that Americans began tipping their own rosé filled glass. In 1975, Sutter Home’s winemaking revelation, a stuck zinfandel fermentation*, resulted in a sweet pink wine. Their happy accident was dubbed “White Zinfandel” and went on to sell 1.5 million cases in 1986. This marketing wonder forever changed public view of pink wine.

    Aside from color, today’s dry rosés share very little with these mass marketed blush wines. They come from regions all over the globe and can be made from many grape varieties, offering a wide variety of flavors and styles.  This delightful spectrum of color not only makes them fun to drink, it is a great clue to what is in the bottle.

    How It’s Made
    Wine gains its color via the time it spends with the skins of the grapes (maceration), so the darker the pink, the more time with the skins. In the case of most rosés, they are made with red grapes and get their pale pink color from spending a minimal amount of time mingling with the grape skin.  Rosés can, of course, be made from mixing red and white grapes together or by variations of the saignee** method.

    Aside from the fresh fruit flavors and typically herbaceous notes, you can expect a sweetness that is very comparable to a fresh strawberry – ripe, but crisp and laced with a mouthwatering acidity.

    From champagne’s prestigious brut rosés to the humble country wines filling glasses all along the Mediterranean coast – rosé is refreshing and versatile. Stop into the Co-op and see our new selection dry rosés!

    Rose Wines

     “Rosé has no season and any day is a good day to have a glass.”-Kermit Lynch

    *”Stuck fermentation” is a problem in which the yeast dies off before all the sugar is turned to alcohol.

    **Saignee: French word meaning to bleed. In winemaking it is the process of “bleeding” off some of the juice from the must to create a more concentrated red wine. 

    Written by Lena Olson of Winegardner’s Wines.  Learn more at www.winegardnerswines.com.

    Find it at the Co-op

    Riebeek Cellars 2012 Cape RoseRiebeek Cellars 2012 Cape Rose
    $11.99
    100% Pinotage grapes
    Abundant and distinctive flavors of fresh strawberries and ripe cherries with a crisp dryness on the palate will be charming at many occasion. Excellent on its own or paired with seafood and light meals with smoky flavors.  Nestled in the picturesque Riebeek Valley, the medium-sized winery lies on the western coast of the Cape Province of South Africa.

     


  • The Mediterranean Diet | 06.20.2013

    Wine & OlivesEvery nutrition expert wants to tell us the next new diet for healthy living based on current research. Amusingly, it is usually some variation of how people of the Mediterranean have been eating for centuries.

    Special dietary needs aside; the Mediterranean diet has been shown over and over again, in the research, to account for longevity and happy hearts across international borders. So, what’s so special about it? How does this help us in the nether regions where temperatures get well below zero?

    Part of the magic that is the Mediterranean diet is that it can be adapted to anywhere you live! After all, the Mediterranean itself consists of more than a dozen countries with disparate traditional cuisines, yet the health outcomes are similar.

    This way of eating is more a set of principles than telling us exactly which foods to eat. It helps us because right here in Montana we have a wealth of farms that cultivate and raise the type of food we can adapt for the heart healthy benefits this diet offers. It helps to remind us of our connection to where food comes from and its importance on our health. It helps us be mindful of what we are putting in our bodies.

    The foundation of the Mediterranean diet includes the following: every meal should be made up primarily of whole grains, vegetables and fruits, legumes and nuts; an increased amount of unsaturated fats (olive oil and canola oil) when cooking, marinating or making sauces; a limited amount of red meat, sweets and processed foods; and exercise!

    A glass of red wine is an optional component to dinners; and fruit is suggested for desserts. Each meal, or as often as possible, should be savored with friends and family. This is an omega-3, antioxidant, fiber and mineral rich diet. That’s it! There are hundreds of books and plenty of online resources to learn more about how this style of eating is sustaining and healthful.

    Danielle and Federico Ferrero, Italian doctorJoin Danielle Phillips-Dorsett on Wednesday, June 26, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, to learn more about the Mediterranean diet and how locally-grown Montana foods seamlessly adapts to the diet.  The $15 fee includes the demonstration and a family-style dinner, along with recipes and handouts.   Danielle is a former employee of ours, and is now studying naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

     

     

     

     


  • Jersey Cows & Mozzarella | 06.18.2013

    Doug rescues Jersey cows and trains them for placement with families.

    Hi, my name is Doug and I live with my sister and her husband  on a small ranch, Greasy Grass Ranch, nine miles north of Lodge Grass, Montana.  Two years ago, a relative phoned and said that he had bought us two jersey cows to add to our homestead. 

    Thus started my love affair with Jerseys. They were so gentle and had so much personality that I could not help but enjoy being around them.

    We are now in the business of rescuing Jerseys from large production dairies and training them to love people and enjoy interacting with them. I always say:  “Jerseys love beans — they love Human Beans.”  The typical Jersey cow would sooner take her own life than throw a kick at a human being.

    Jerseys also have a strong herd mindset. Many cows have been bought by families that have no other cattle. These lonely cows will adopt their new humans as their herd mates. There are many hilarious stories of Jerseys playing with their new herd mates by stealing tools, playing hide-and-seek or being jealous of dogs and cats that get too much attention. Jailbreak and tag are two of their favorite games.

    One lady told me the story of her cow named Mommacow who snuck up behind a carpenter who was doing some work on her barn. She looked out just in time to see the carpenter running across the lot chasing Mommacow. Mommacow had a bag of screws in her mouth that were flying in all directions as she ran. This would be an example of Cow Tag.

    Jackie, the grain-stealing Jersey

    Sometimes it gets so comical that I accuse my cowgirls of making me run a dairy daycare center.  One day, Jackie had been in the barn trying to steal some grain out of the grain bag when her nose got caught in the coffee can I use as a scoop to measure her grain.

    She came running up to me for help all wide-eyed. I asked her if she had been stealing grain and she, of course, denied it.  She had to wait for me to get the camera before I would take the can off her nose.

    Sometimes in the process of gentling and distributing Jerseys, we wind up with some newborn calves and I have to milk because Jerseys give more milk than one calf can possibly drink. Last year, I had 10 gallons of milk per day – more than we could use.

    That explains why I now know how to make cheese. Our freezer has much mozzarella cheese in it and our basement has about 30 – 8lb. wheels of cheddar and Parmesan.

    This learning curve taught me to hate authors who publish the “how to make cheese” books. What I hate most about these books is that the authors tell you how to do things, but never tell you why you have to do them that way. They don’t tell you things like the reason rennet works best at 101 degrees is because that is the temperature of milk from the cow and also the temperature of the calf’s stomach. So if a recipe calls for adding the rennet at 85 degrees, they should explain to the reader that this is to slow down the curdling process to give the cheese maker a larger window of opportunity to get the timing just right. This helps the cheese maker break the curd at its optimum state.

    To learn more about adopting cheese making and adopting a Jersey cow, Doug can be contacted at (406) 639-8919.

     


  • Negative Celiac test? You must read this! | 06.11.2013

    It’s impossible for us the Co-op to discount the growing number of our member/owners  who are gluten intolerant or have Celiac Disease.  They take on a wide range of characteristics:  those who NEVER eat gluten, those who try really hard not to eat gluten, those who just decrease the amount they eat…

    TracyK For those who suspect gluten intolerance, the road to diagnosis, or even learning the difference between Celiac’s and gluten-intolerance can be very tricky.  Because of its difficulty in detection, a negative test for Celiac’s may not even be a definitive conclusion.

    Tracy Konoske, MS, RD of Healthy Lifestyles, MT, recognizes that a gluten-free lifestyle and getting an accurate diagnosis can be overwhelming and challenging.  In her latest blog post, Tracy shares her road to a gluten-free lifestyle and breaks down the options for testing and what to do when the test is negative!

    At GEM, we’ve worked to make it easier, and while we don’t have a particular gluten-free department here at the Co-op, we do carry hundreds of certified gluten-free products, all labeled on the shelf with a bright pink shelf tag.


  • Eat Seasonally: Strawberries | 06.06.2013

    Sliced red strawberry fruitStrawberries are one of the most-anticipated fruits of the summer; they are sweet, fragrant, and juicy, with a flavor that is unmistakable.  These berries might be small but they are packed with vitamin C and five different antioxidant compounds, which means they are a natural choice for a healthy diet.  It’s easy to use such tasty fruit; simply wash, slice, and top with whipped cream or vanilla yogurt for a simple dessert, or make a divine topping for ice cream and pancakes by stewing fresh strawberries, your favorite sweetener, and diced rhubarb until tender and falling apart. Don’t forget drinks:  frozen strawberries compliment beverages from lemonade to champagne!

    Peppered Strawberries with Crème Fraiche

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
    • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper (coarse)
    • 1 pint strawberries

    Preparation:

    1. Begin making the crème fraîche about a day and a half before you plan to serve this dessert. Place whipping cream and buttermilk in a jar with a lid. Add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, cover securely and shake for 15 seconds. Set aside in a warm room temperature spot (70-75 degrees F.) for approximately 24 hours, stirring once or twice, until mixture is very thick. The warmer the temperature of the room, the faster the cream will thicken. It should be the consistency of yogurt.
    2. Stir thickened crème fraîche well and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. Covered tightly, crème fraîche will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
    3. Wash and dry strawberries, leaving any green leaves or stems attached. Gently dip and twist the bottom half of each strawberry into the crème fraîche, then sprinkle lightly with fresh cracked black pepper before serving.

    Serving Suggestion:

    Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the crème fraîche, and spoon it onto fresh blueberries, sliced peaches, pies or brownies. Plain (unsweetened) crème fraîche can also be used with chopped fresh herbs or threads of saffron as a sauce for fish or poultry.

    Reprinted by permission from StrongerTogether.coop.  Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes, and a whole lot more at www.strongertogether.coop.