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Winter Wisdom from the Fabulous GEM Team | 11.29.2015
I asked all of my fellow co-workers this question:
What is your favorite winter activity, pastime, or hobby?
Mike: A couple of years ago, I built a giant snow fort for the kids using ALL of the snow from our huge driveway. I love snow! And sledding with my kids, my family.
Tracy: Jigsaw puzzles! Big ones! 5000 pieces!
Carina: Playing in the snow with my Maddie, my daughter, and being with her while she bakes cookies.
Ben: Nasty Eskimo Extravaganza.
Tim: Sledding with all of my kids. And sitting around the fireplace with family and telling stories.
Mark: Mountain biking in perfect powder snow, at 5 degrees below 0—I enjoy the quiet and solitude, getting back to nature. It’s cold, I dress warm, and exercise keeps me really warm!
Dawn: Sitting by the fire, with family and friends.
April: Building snow forts with my children. Listening to music on vinyl, with my children.
Matt S: Sledding (Matt, I think it’s a Flexible Flyer!) with my wife and friends, and playing Scrabble.
Connie: Chopping wood and starting a fire (in my woodstove).
Pam: Ice skating- being outside in the cold, crisp air. It’s invigorating!
Joe: I am excited to take Ben (son) sledding for his first time at Pioneer Park. He loves slides, so will love sledding! I always loved night sledding in the park with friends.
Perry: Hunting mule deer and elk. Getting into the outdoors during the nicest time of year, and fellowship with kids and grand kids.
Memo: Enjoying local microbrews.
Dillon: Climbing! Even in the snow– I am “out of climate”; this is only my 3rd real winter! I also like to sip coffee or tea and read.
Ashley: Right at the beginning of December, my sister and I, and one of our good friends from church, along with her son, get together and spend a whole Saturday baking holiday cookies and decorating them.
Chelsea: Skiing! I love being outdoors in the cold and snow, spending time with family, friends, and my boyfriend.
Matt H: Watch TV! I hate snow.
Chris W: Cross-country skiing in Jellystone.
Dustin: Watching Christmas movies. My favorite is Frosty the Snowman.
Chris A: Build snowmen! (this is Chris’s first winter “up north”!)
Steve: I like to stay warm! And drink beer.
I was going to leave myself out of this, but one of these people turned my question back on me! Nothing like being put on the spot! I like sparkling white snow, topped by a brilliant blue sky. Lights, all kinds, but especially twinkly lights on houses, buildings, mailboxes, snowplows, anything! It makes up for the days being so dang short!
I challenge you to the same question: What’s your favorite? And if you’re feeling it, share yours on the Our Co-op is Extraordinary Board!
collected and written by Dolly Fansler, Wellness & Front End Manager
Stella’s Favorite Stuffing Recipe | 11.17.2015
An iconic restaurant and bakery, Stella’s Kitchen & Bakery has been providing our community with delicious breads and pastries for many years. Look for Stella’s Stuffing Bread in the weeks before Thanksgiving and try her easy, delicious recipe for homemade stuffing! (Recipe is also printed on each bag of Stella’s Stuffing Bread.)
Stella’s Favorite Stuffing
½ c. butter
1 c. chopped onion
2 c. chopped celery
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 8oz. can mushrooms
1 pkg. Stella’s Stuffing Bread
2 Tblsp. Chopped parsley
Melt butter in skillet. Add onion, celery and seasonings. Cook until onion and celery are tender. Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid and heat to boiling. Add vegetable mixture to mushrooms, bread crumbs and parsley. Add mushroom liquid and toss lightly until well mixed. Use to stuff a 16-18 lb. turkey.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Stella’s Kitchen & Bakery.
Do you want to be involved with helping to highlight all of the great local food and the producers that make it for the Good Earth Market? If yes, consider becoming a part of the Local Producer Committee! Here are the details:
Purpose: The Committee serves to increase awareness and consumption of local foods and products, and Good Earth Market’s unique role as a source of high quality local foods and goods.
As a member of the Local Producer Committee you will: Educate the community about Good Earth Market and the importance of local, sustainably produced foods and goods, and provide information about where these items are produced and sold. You will also provide support for opportunities and venues that allow local growers and producers to provide products directly to consumers while supporting Good Earth Market.
Time Commitment: Currently we meet monthly on the Third Tuesday of the month from 5-6, but are flexible given the needs of committee member schedules. There are some weekend events, such as the Local Producer Fair, that we help out with as well.
If you are interested in learning more, email Maia Dickerson, the Local Producer Committee Chair.
New Wines & Ciders for Your Holiday Table | 11.11.2015
As I write this in October, my thoughts are about beers and ciders, as well as feature wines for the fast approaching holiday season. We’re bringing in several new feature wines for your Thanksgiving table, as well as wines that will be as festive as your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
Have you tried any of our delicious ciders? My favorites are from the local, award winning Montana Ciderworks in Darby, MT. These are English-style ciders crafted from Bitterroot Valley Apples and they are delicious!
North Fork Traditional is gently bubbly, with a true cider flavor. Expressive bittersweet apple character with wood, grass and smoke notes; this semi-dry cider balances the faintest sweetness against sharpness, astringency, and tart fruit. This cider received a Gold Medal at the 2013 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. The blend includes hard-to-find traditional cider apples and crab apples alongside Bitterroot Valley apples. North Fork offers a clean, aromatic finish that enhances the flavor of savory foods.
The Darby Pub Cider, a semi-dry, New World style cider is another award winner from Montana Ciderworks – an approachable, effervescent cider made for sharing with friends. Appley with wood and spice notes, this medium, semi-dry cider was awarded Silver Medals at the 2014 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition and at the Northwest Cider Awards.
If there’s a holiday that begs for wine, it’s Thanksgiving. More than any other beverage, wine is tied to the harvest, to bounty, to the very core of what we are thankful for. A tip for choosing your Thanksgiving wine…with so many flavor variables going on, everything from cranberry sauce laced with orange peel, to Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, to sausage and wild rice stuffing, don’t get too hung up on a quest for the perfect match. Besides, it’s really the feeling around the table, the combined effect of the food, the wine, the people and the ambience that counts most.
We’ll have several feature wines that we’ve chosen specifically for Thanksgiving in addition to the highly anticipated arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. According to Wine Country Travel, “at one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of each November, from little villages and towns, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Beaujolais Nouveau is as about as close to white wine as a red wine can get. Due to the way it’s made – the must is pressed early after only three days — the phenolic compounds, in particular the astringent tannins normally found in red wines, aren’t there, leaving an easy to drink, fruity wine. This, coupled with the fact that it tastes best when chilled, makes for a festive wine to be gulped rather than sipped, enjoyed in high spirits rather than critiqued. As a side note, it makes a great transitional wine for anyone wanting to move from white to red wines.”
written by Pam Kemmick, our former Grocery Manager & Beer & Wine Buyer, Pam has moved to produce as our new Produce Manager! Stop by and say hi.
A Letter from our Board President, Carol Beam | 11.06.2015
THANK YOU!!!!! It’s been a week since we gathered for our annual meeting and the activity in the store is proving that we’re all serious about our commitment to “add one more item to our basket” every time we shop. Monday’s basket was $3.43 more than last year and Wednesday’s was $3.76 more. If you read the article in the Billings Gazette, you would have seen my quote of $2.39 more per basket – glad we are all over achievers!!!!!!!
Let’s keep this momentum going. Working together for the good of our co-op is the right thing to do. As Ed Gulick told us at the annual meeting, shopping locally leads to real prosperity, not false prosperity.
And, if you love winter squash, now is the time to stock up. One of our local farmer friends (outside of Laurel) saw the article in the paper and called to donate winter squash to the market – as he said “this is my way to help a great co-op.” We’ve got a heck of a deal on all varieties – 19¢ per pound. Bring your friends and stock up.
At times like this, I always reflect back on one of my favorite quotes by Margaret Mead –
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Thank you for being thoughtful, committed co-op members.
In the article, which was announced October 24, our GM, Mike Howard mentions one of the many things that sets our store apart from the others – the awesome staff! “We have people who live what they sell,” he says.
We’re so proud to share with our community why we love our Co-op!
Read the full article here, on pages 25 and 26.