Monday, December 26, 2011

The Coop in 2012

A new year is traditionally a time to take stock of how things are going and to think about new ideas for the coming year. The Oklahoma Food Coop is not immune to the lure of rethinking the way we do business.  You may have landed here because you completed one of the surveys we launched to gauge the level of support for going to two delivery days/month.  Thanks for your participation, and if you didn't land here after participating in one or more of those surveys, here are the links, please click on them and fill them out.  Complete each survey that pertains to you, as a customer, producer, and/or volunteer for the Coop.

We are considering some other possibilities.
  • We may field a food truck, featuring an all-Oklahoma (or mostly-Oklahoma) menu with products bought from our producers.
  • We have found a manufacturer of paper products here in Oklahoma, but they are too big to be interested in joining the coop (their minimum delivery to one address is one semi-truck full). But if we pick up they will sell in smaller lots to us at a wholesale price. We could then offer made-in-Oklahoma toilet paper to our members, with the profits supporting our core local food and non-food product activities.
  • We are considering kiosks and shelf space in stores offering our artisan body care products.
And of course, we continue to focus on our core competency of local food delivery. We are looking forward to the arrival of our new website sometime in the new year, which we think will be a great improvement over the present online shopping experience of the Oklahoma Food Coop.  In addition --
  • We need additional pickup sites. In Oklahoma City, in particular we need a Village/Nichols Hills area pickup site, and a Luther/Jones/Arcadia pickup site. But we need pickup sites elsewhere in the state too.
  • We want to improve the pickup site experience and we need input as to how that can work better. We wonder how big a deal it is that people have to "hunt and peck" for their individual items, and how much of an improvement it would be if frozen and refrigerated items arrived sorted to their individual orders the way that dry goods are.
  • What else is on people's minds in this regard?
One thing that's important to remember -- all of us in the Coop are owners.  That suggests both rights and responsibilities.  Whatever resolutions we may make for the New Year, let's include one about becoming more active in the Oklahoma Food Cooperative!  2012 is the Year of the Cooperative, so let's make it a good one!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ye Olde Bon Appetitin' Oklavore Gift Guide Part the Third -- the IN BETWEENS

It's been an exciting two days at the Ye Olde Bon Appetitin' Oklavore Holiday Shopping Shop.  We toured the Stocking Stufferings Department (the $5 and unders), and visited the Extravagants (the $50 and ups), now we turn our attention to the IN-BETWEENS -- gifts between $5.01 and $49.99.  This is the largest section, and as I stand here at the front door, I am wondering how I can ever adequately describe the rich diversity of items available this month.  Well, when in doubt, just dive in I say and start writing.  You can always revise it later.

How about a live plant?  That's a gift that keeps giving.
  • Crestview has certified organic rosemary plants in 6 inch pots for $10.50.  Keep it in a sunny window this winter, plant it out in the spring or keep it as a house plant. They also have hanging baskets at $10 - $15.
  • Skyridge has really clever ivy topiaries at $15.  A topiary is a plant trained/trimmed to a particular shape.
  • Renricks has pansies by the flat for $17. There are 18 in a flat and you can mix and match. Brighten up your yard during the winter and don't forget that pansy flowers are edible. So you can decorate your winter casseroles and root salads with pansy flowers. Taste and beauty!
The Men's Apparel Department is nicely stocked.
  • A Little Hippy Shop has Grill Daddy aprons, hemp wrist bands, a patriotic peace T-shirt, "Real Men Recycle" t-shirts made from recycled cotton in various designs,
  • Quentin at Crosstimbers is making paracord wrist bands in several colors for $7 (and the profits go towards his "Buy a Horse" fund).
  • Fluffy's Compleat Boutique has men's socks, in size 11-13, in your choice of colors, a tie-dyed long-sleeve t-shirt, a variety of short-sleeved tie-dyed t-shirts,
You can spend quite a bit of time shopping the Women's Apparel.
  • A Little Hippy Shop has hippy headbands for $8, bottle cap necklace and ear ring sets at $12.00, peace tees with rhinestones at $22, recycled cotton t-shirts at $18 (various designs),
  • Fluffy's Compleat Boutique has women's socks for $8, a tie-dyed Fairy Dress at $30, batik scarves at $18 -  $21, a variety of styles and shapes of tie-dyed women's shirts from $15 to $25, tie-dyed t-shirts at $15,
  • The Chartreuse Lily has some really charming make-up bags at $8, zippered pouches (almost 9 inches long) at $9.95, wristlet clutches with beaded zippered pull that matches the fabric at $14.50, tissue pack covers at $5.50,
  • Quentin of Crosstimbers paracord wrist bands are for women too!  In several colors at $7.
  • The Rowdy Stickhorse has cleverly designed crochet hooded scarves at $25. These will keep your head, neck, and ears warm and cozy without messing with the hair.
  • 708 Cupcake Lane has totes made from upcycled t-shirts, at $7. 
  • Honeysuckle Hollow has Toasty Toes Innersoles made from wool felt. They fit into your shoes under your socks and help keep your feet warm on these cold days.
The Art Department is another are with enormous variety --
  • Guided by the Light has matted prints starting at $25. 
  • Happy Rabbit Acres/Main Street Photo-Video has matted prints at $20, and a dairy goat magnet set at $9.99. 
  • Renricks has matted prints at $20. They can also turn any of their greeting cards into matted prints upon request.
  • Winning Photography Solutions has unique dried flower art, framed. Each item is original and unique and they dry the flowers themselves, the old fashioned way, between the pages of books. They also have prints at $10, with and without matts.
  • Joe de Dee is offering water-color portraits hand-drawn by her daughter Jessica. The portraits are drawn from photographs that you submit.
  • A Little Hippy Shop has photo prints in black plastic frames with glass for $30, and matted prints at $15. 
Is there someone with a baby on your gift-giving list?  We can help with that decision in the Baby Department!
  • Shady Oaks Family Farm has girls' car seat covers, at $25 and diaper cakes (decorated displays of diapers)
  • Rowdy Stickhorse has Little Britches herbal baths at $10.99,
  • Soy Candle Cottage has natural baby lotion at $10, and a Baby Shower Basket for $20 that contains a variety of products for baby.
  • A Little Hippy Shop has cute infant t-shirts for $12.
  • Fluffy's Compleat Boutique has very nice tie-dyed infant t-shirts at $13.
  • 708 Cupcake Lane has elegant decorated diaper cakes at $45, whose decorations can be customized to your desires.
Bath and Beauty? We got what you want and need. Our artisanal body care and bath products are among our greatest values.
  • Clear Creek Lavender has lavender bath salts at $6, tins of lavender shea butter at $10,
  • Laughing Rabbit is offering their sea salt blend bath salts at $7, emu hand and body balm at $10.50 - 20, 
  • Medicine Women Soap is offering several blends of bath salts made with Dead Sea salt from the Holy Lands blended with various essential oils, at $15.49.
  • Rowdy Stickhorse has herbal body polish at $12.99, bath salts and scrubs between $5.99 and $10.99, herbal deodorants at $5.99, lavender and rose waters at $5.99 - $10.99, foot butters and shoe treatments for $5.99 - $9.99, shampoo bars at $5.99, bath teas at $5.99, Buckaroo Balm at $5.99 - $10.99, Paulette's FAMOUS Cowgirls and Roses creme for $5.99 - $10.99, after shave lotion at $10, shaving soap bar $5.99, sunscreen at $7.99, face masks at $10.99, a variety of soaps at $5.99,
  • Soy Candle Cottage has a "Bag for Dads" for $19, which contains a nice selection of items for men, bottles of Fisherman's Soy Lotion for $10 and Golfers Soy Lotion at $8, soy hand lotion for men for $5.50 - $10, foot creams at $10 - $15, cuticle candles at $6, additional soy lotions at $10, face cremes at $15,
  • Earth Elements has Mint Toothpowder for $5.50,
  • Crosstimbers has various foot lotions for $5 - $10, body lotions at $10, goat's milk lotions at $10,
  • Honeysuckle Hollow has their hand-made "Foot Fishies", exfoliating stoneware.
  • Joi de Dee has cosmetics, yes, Oklahoma-made mineral make-up at $5 to $25.
  • Laughing Rabbit has a grab bag of miscellaneous soap items for $12.50.
  • Medicine Women Soaps has a variety of their soaps priced starting at $10.99.
  • Heaven Sent Food and Fiber has Felted Goats Milk Soap Bars at $8.  These are bars of soap enclosed in alpaca wool felt, for an elegant bathing experience.
The Book Department is stocked with useful reading for your Oklavore Experience.
  • Aunt Purple's Cooking has five cookbooks featuring easy and tasty recipes for your family. 
  • Lost Creek Mushroom Farms has a Shitaake Sampler Cookbook.
  • High Tides and Green Fields is offering their book Cattle Panel Hoop House Construction, includes source lists for materials, construction detail drawings and photos, suggested reading and website sources, suggested crops for winter production. The materials look at natural insulation, double covers, ventilation, watering, and the challenges of Oklahoma weather.
  • Prairie Rose Permaculture (that's me, folks) is offering copies of the permaculture design for my home, Gatewood Urban Homestead, which is a guide to home adaptation that meets the looming realities of peak oil, economic irrationality, and climate instability. Smart adaptations now will save you much money and inconvenience later.  Offered as a CD or as a PDF by email.
The Children's Department is stocked with items for kids of all ages.
  • A Little Hippie Shop has children's and youth t-shirts, at $15, 
  • Fluffy's Compleat Boutique has a variety of children's and teen tie dyed shirts, at $15/
  • The Chartreuse Lily has a variety of headbands at $8,
  • You can display your kid's art work on your refrigerator with Happy Rabbit Acres magnet sets from $9.99 to $25.
In our Department of Classes. . . 
  • Shepherd's Cross is offering a variety of fabric arts classes for $15 - $30 each. 
  • Once Upon a Silver Moon has an incense-making class at $25. 
Fabric Arts:
  • Honeysuckle Hollow has a great gift for those who sew -- hand-felted pincushion orbs at $10.
  • Shepherd's Cross is offering drop spindles at $10 for spinning yarn, rovings and carded batts for $7 to $12 (alpaca/llama), skeins of yarn at $16.
  • Heaven Sent Food and Fiber has two sizes of drop spindles, from $15 to $19.50, hand-painted roving balls for $12.50, skeins of yarn for $15 to $30, featuring a variety of fibers,

Health Department
  • Rowdy Stickhorse has Melancholy Magic, an aromatherapy product to lift your spirits, at $5.99 - $10.99, tooth powder at $5.99, herbal dream pillows at $10.99, herbal heat pillow at $20.99,  Mexican Mustang Liniment at $10.99, insect repellant at $5.99 - $10.99, and for $7 - $13,
  • Soy Candle Cottage has Gardener's Lotion at $10,

In the Holiday Gift Department --
  • Rowdy Stickhorse can put one of their appropriately priced items on crinkle paper in a cellophane bag with a bow and tag, priced from $7 to $13.
  • Guided by the Light has sets of Christmas cards from $10,
  • Happy  Rabbit Acres has sets of Christmas cards from $12.50
  • Winning Photography Solutions has sets of Christmas cards from $10.
  • Country to Town Market has a holiday gift basket of their Homestyle Jam, at $18.
  • The Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House has CD's of piano improvisations on the music of Advent, Nativity and Epiphany, performed by Bob Waldrop, and recorded live on the Yamaha conservatory grand piano at Epiphany Church. Proceeds benefit our ministry of delivering food to low income people who don't have transportation. $15 each or $50 for 5 or $35 for 3.
  • Snider Farms has festive gift packs and tins of peanuts from $6.50 on up.
  • Rachel's Homestead Creations has home-made Candy wreaths, priced $20-25. 
  • Bohemia has gift packs of their signature Miss Terri's Almond Dark Chocolate confection at $32.
  • A Little Hippy Shop has crocheted stockings for $16. 
Home Care
  • Crosstimber Farms has Ethans Should-Be-Famous brooms, made by Ethan Lusby.  These are hand-made functional brooms in traditional styles, use them as a broom -- or -- use them as a elegant colonial accent decoration. Priced from $14 to $20, made with broomcorn (Oklahoma was once a leading state for broomcorn production).
  • Rowdy Stickhorse has an anti-bacterial spray at $8, Country Clean concentrate at $20, 
  • Shepherd's Cross has wool dusters at $12 - $17. 
  • The Chartreuse Lily is making refills for the Swiffer duster products at $8, a variety of stoneware clay spoon rests for $8,
  • Honeysuckle Hollow is offering their handmade stoneware bread warmer stone for $6, a set of 3 reusable wool dryer balls for $15 -- these are an alternative to commercial dryer sheets,
  • Once Upon a Silver Moon has a set of 3 moth repelling sachets for $12,
I guess we'll have a part 4 on Thursday morning since I am out of time for today.  Tomorrow we'll start with Jewelry and move on through Scented Home and Food Items.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ye Olde Bon Appetitin' Oklavore Gift Guide -- Part 2 -- the EXTRAVAGANTS

In Part 1 of Ye Olde Bon Appetitin Oklavore Gift Guide. . . we looked at the value priced Stocking Stufferings.  In Part 2, we are going to look at the Extravagants, the gifts that are on the higher end of prices at the Coop ($50 and up).

Let's stop at the Pet Department first, where we find that Barker and Friends have large hand-made pet pillows, the tops are quilted using a durable fabric and are priced at $60 each. The exteriors are removable and washable.

In the Kitchen Department, a new producer -- Rambling Road Designs -- is offering hand crafted wooden cutting boards.  They are 1-1/2 inches thick and both sides are usable. This particular design is made from Hard Maple, Purple Heart, Walnut, and Honduran Mahogany woods. All of the woods this producer uses are certified for sustainable harvest. This is a lifetime heirloom purchase that your great grandchildren will enjoy.  Priced at $125.

These aren't quite $50 but they certainly qualify as extravagant.  In the Jewelry Department, Beautiful Jewelry Items has turqoise and tiger eye necklaces and a coral, crystal, and cinnabar necklace, each at  at $45. Buglight Faeries has a very handsome 20" Agate Slab Necklace, the chain is handmade with copper wire and glass beads, priced at $40, and Swirly Pendant necklace, made with copper wire and glass beads, at $45. All of these are one-of-a-kind works of art.

In the Home Decor department, we find a very extravagant gift offered by the Rambling Road Designs studio. Besides the wonderful wood work, Rambling Road Designs studio also does ceramic art. This month sculptor Jean Routman is offering original bas relief sculptures created uniquely for you. Her "Home Portraits" are an original bas-relief replica of your home or favorite place sculpted in terracotta clay, kiln fired and hand painted. Scale drawings are made from photographs of each subject. Clay is rolled into a slab and the scale drawing is transferred to the clay which is then carefully removed creating a three dimensional bas relief image. Details are added as the clay begins to dry. When dry, it is kiln fired and then hand painted. Each home comes in a personalized sculpted base ready for table display.Available in two sizes, priced between $225 and $275. Since each of this is an original work of art created to your order, they are ordered one month and then delivered the following delivery day. 

And now. . . for the Fleece Department.  No, I am not referring to the Tax Department, but to the Department of Gorgeous, Soft, and Useful Wool Fleeces.  Not many stores have such a department. It's one of our little unique notes.  But with all these lamb producers, there will be wool!  

Shepherd's Cross has several felted wool pelts available made from 100% natural, flame resistant wool. The wool is produced and processed at Shepherd's Cross and are processed without chemicals using only 100% natural soap is used to wash the wool. Each pelt is unique since every wool fleece is different. They are soft, natural, durable & luxurious, making a wonderful cushioned seat or a great floor covering. The more they are used the more durable they become. The felted pelts are washable. Priced at the top end at $64 and then go down from there.

Anichini Moore Ranch and Farm also has fleece's this year, listed in Fiber Arts. They come in a natural black color and a natural creme color. These fleeces are for spinning into yarn and are priced at $80/lb and will weigh between 1.5 and 2.8 pounds. 

Heaven Sent Food and Fiber has fleeces for spinning. They have one Merino fleece at $80, and one Sun Alpaca fleece at $60.00. 

 Shepherd's Cross has amazing sheepskins for sale, in white and dark brown colors, any of which would make a very luxurious seat cover. Priced between $85 and $225.

In the Fabric Arts Department, Kathy Tibbits at Fluffy's Compleat Boutique is extravagance personified this year, starting with a Steampunk quilt top, at $100.  She is offering a set of twin fat quarters, 16 funky hand-died cotton quarters, you can specify whether you want funky or consonant colors. $48.  She has a Cherokee syllabary quilt top or quilt.  It is $100 for the quilt top, or she can finish it as a quilt for you and the price is $450.00.  If you pay the full fare, you can pick the color (or pattern) on back, the thread colors, whether it is made puffy and deep like a comforter or stiff and strong like an old-fashioned quilt from days gone by. Also, you can decide if you like original artisan free hand machine quilting or patterned quilting such as a feather, shell or fan pattern like our grannies made. If you'd like to pay a little bit every month, email her before buying and she can list it for you that way. 

Altogether, Kathy has 11 quilts or quilt tops available this month.  This is one of the most amazing collections of quilts ever offered anywhere.  Her quilts hang as works of arts and these are heirloom purchases that will be handed down and used by your grandchildren.
FYI. . . Kathy is one of the Mothers of the Oklahoma Food Coop, serving on the first board of directors of the Committee to Organize an Oklahoma Food Cooperative. Besides the quilts, she also has men's Cherokee shirts, in two styles, priced at $75 to $100.

In the Classroom. . .Turtle Rock Farm has a number of classes and events available including beekeeping, sustainable cooking, gardening and composting, and prairie dinner and fiddling concert, priced between $40 and $95.

In the Art Department, Luis Saenz Fine Art Photography is offering four matted art prints, at $100/each. Framing is available for $150 extra.

When it comes to our Food Departments, our producers have several extravagant options.

Greenwoods has pastured turkeys.  They are huge -- 27 to 31 pounds! But they are seriously tasty.  A pastured turkey would be a truly extravagant gift.

Wichita Buffalo has whole prime ribs and tenderloins of buffalo. These will run you $50 to a bit more than $100 depending on the size of the meat package. They also have bundles of 20 one pound packages of their pastured beef for $95.

When it comes to hams, you have several extravagant choices.  Anichini Moore has "Large Black Pig" hams, which is an artisan breed.  She offers them uncured so you can cure it yourself or cook it like a large roast. 

Colpitts Pine Ridge Ranch has cured hams from their Berkshire pigs, cured, as large as ten pounds this year. He also has a special price on bundles of 10 one pound packages of his ground beef.

A particularly extravagant gift from American Heritage Family Farm would be their bundle of 100 one pound packages of ground beef, at $469, together with other small bundles in the $50 and up range of other cuts of meat

Cattle Tracks, our only organic beef producer, has an extravagant deal called the Half Herd, which is half a beef. It is priced based on the processed weight (that is, the actual weight of wrapped meat packages that go into your freezer). You get to tell the butcher how you want it cut and wrapped.  

Clear Creek Monastery offers a bundle of 10 pounds of their Pinzgauer beef cuts at $65.

Sugarloaf Farms offers both half and whole beefs. You can dialogue with the butcher about how you want it cut and wrap. The price includes the processing charges.

The Lamb Department has quite a few extravagant food options.

American Heritage Family Farm has legs of lamb and assorted bundles of lamb cuts. 

Last but not least of the $50 and up gifts. . . give a gift that keeps on giving in the form of the Gift Membership to the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. It's priced at $45.45 so that when the coop's 10% is added in, it rings up at $50. We can provide a suitable inscribed certified with the gift with a unique number that is entered when the giftee enters his or her name and address info in the online membership application.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Your Oklavore Holiday Gift-giving Guide - Part 1 -- the Stocking Stuffers

Here's Santa's best advice:

Make this holiday season a gift to yourself and also to justice, sustainability, and the common good, by purchasing gifts from Oklahoma producers for family and friends this year. The Oklahoma Food Cooperative can help you do good and give you great value as you shop. Anybody can go to a big box store and buy cheap schlock made by big corporations that practice injustice towards their employees and pollute the earth with their business activities. Why not give unique gifts that keep our money at home and thus help promote prosperity for all Oklahomans?

So let's take a brisk walk down the street and open the door into the Oklahoma Food Cooperative's Holiday Store. Wow! This looks like something our grandmother would love.  A display of dried flowers, boughs of fir and cedar, Indian corn, pumpkins, pine cones and a gorgeous tree trimmed with painted squash and gourds, draped with hand-made garlands, and home-crafted ornaments. The first place we're going to look at is a very festive holiday bargain boutique, where everything is priced at not more than $5.00.  There is a festive painted sign over its entrance -- Ye Old Holidaye Stocking Stufferings!

Buy Quentin a Horse.  First thing I noticed was a little sign, "Buy Quentin a Horse" on the Crosstimber's Farms table. I asked the jolly young elf whose name-tag read "Airman Eric" who was minding the store what that meant.  He said, "Quentin Lusby wants a horse, and his mother said that if he wanted a horse, he would have to buy it. So he has taken up knot tying and is making paracord lanyards and bracelets/wristlets." The lanyards are value priced at less than five bucks each, so let's buy Quentin a horse for Christmas by buying some of these lanyards as stocking stuffers.  I am using mine as a key chain and it is working great for that purpose and I'm getting  some more for friends. 

Moving along, we come to the Scented Home section and there is just an amazing complex scent about that corner of the store. Once Upon a Silver Moon has quite the selection of incense priced at $5. The scents are quite amazing. Skyridge Farms has some potpourri's priced just a bit above $5, and Soy Candle Cottage has linen sprays in the $5 range.

The Pet Department is very well stocked with value priced items. For those of you who like to feed birds, Rowdy Stickhorse Wild Acres has suet cups and Lasley Farm has bags of peanuts for bird feeders under $5. Cat's love wheatgrass, and High Tides and Green Fields has clamshells of it for less than $5. Honeysuckle Hollow has cute little kitty toys made from handspun yard. Proceeds help Leava feed her little colony of feral cats that she watches over. Atoka Lamb has lamb bone dog treats at less than $5 your dogs should adore. Barker and Friends is offering a great deal on its sampler of doggie treats for less than $5. Certified organic? Cattle Tracks has doggie bones and chews for less than $5. The busy crew of the Lusby family at Crosstimbers have several less-than-$5 gifts for your animals including shampoo bars and Hannah's dog treats. High Tides is offering their famous hand-made catnip mice for your favorite furry feline friends.

Coming now to  the Paper Arts Department, well, the mind almost boggles at the selections, as in "there are hundreds of things to look at here".  All of the following are $5 or less --
  • Guided by the light handcrafted cards,
  • Happy Rabbit Acres/Main Street Photo handcrafted cards
  • Renricks handcrafted cards
  • Skyridge Farms, handcrafted cards with handcrafted paper, some of which have wildflower seeds implanted.
  • A Little Hippy Shop has a cute collection of window stickers.
 Escaping the Paper Arts Department  with some checks left and positive balances on the credit cards  . . . we run into the Kitchen Department. Every kitchen needs cute stuff, and there is a lot of it in the value aisle. We all know we need to ditch our paper towel habits, and Fluffy's Compleat Boutique has gorgeous tie-dyed kitchen towels in the $5 or less range. If you have a refrigerator, you have a need for kitchen magnets, and Main Street Photo/Happy Rabbit Acres has refrigerator magnets galore!

Next we check out the Jewelry Shop where we see that A Little Hippie Shop has great hemp bracelets and peace sign bottle cap necklaces. Once Upon a Silver Moon has fairy dust necklaces.

It's hard to leave the jewelry section, there is so much to look at. But we must move on and so we enter the Home Decor Department. They are doing it right.  There's an elf in the corner picking Christmas carols on a guitar. He must be the famous Rednecked Elf that we've all heard so much about. His Santa hat has a bill that reads "Billy Ray's Used Sleighs".

First thing we see are some gorgeous beeswax candles from George's Apiary. Then we see Once Upon a Silver Moon as Arkansas quartz crystals by the ounce from Mt. Ida, as well as a selection of herbal pillows. Beautiful Jewelry Items has Good Deed Beads which are 10 beads attached to a wooden cross.

In the Fabric Arts department, we find some fine phat quarters I mean fat quarters for the quilters in your family. Seems to me like you could just put a hem around those and they would make great napkins so you could ditch your unsustainable paper napkin habit.

The Children's Department features two great bargains in the $5/or less Holidaye Stuffings area. G-J All Natural Beef has its Redneck Genius Game, and the Little Hippie Shop has a cute hippie flower hair clip.

The largest department in the Ye Old Holidaye Stocking Stufferings area is the Bath and Body Care Department. There is an almost dizzying array of artisanal products at value prices for your gift-giving pleasures. And don't forget the guys.  Guys need great body care products. You'd be surprised at the number of  manly men about this coop who have a stash of artisanal soaps for their regular enjoyment.
  • Joi de Dee -- bath salts, lip balms (big selection of flavors), foaming sugar scrubs, soaps, foaming liquid soaps,
  • Rowdy Stickhorse -- soaps "almost too numerous to list", mustache and eyebrow wax, natural cotton wash cloths, soaps,
  • Crosstimbers Farm, hand lotions, deodorant body powders, foot butters, shampoo bars, lip balms, face cream, hand and body lotions, crochet wash cloth, soaps, drawstring bags for soaps,
  • Clear Creek Lavender lip balm, soap sachets, soaps,
  • Soy Candle Cottage lip balm, Mom's candle, facial scrubs,
  • Laughing Rabbit Soap -- soap bars, 
  • Medicine Woman Soap -- natural hand sanitizer,
  • Honeysuckle Hollow, shea butter soaps,
  • Once Upon a Silver Moon, soaps,
  • Heaven Sent Food and Fiber, soaps
Accessories?  We got them, for men and for women.
  • Chartreuse Lily -- mirrors (various designs), coin pouches, key fobs, travel tissue packs, 
  • Fluffy's Compleat Boutique -- scarves, dyed long shoe laces
That's quite a list, don't you think?  BUT WE AREN'T DONE YET!  You can give FOOD as a gift, in fact, people are known to ADORE gifts of Oklahoma foods. And there are LOTS of $5 or less food items that would make great gifts.  So let's wander over to the HOLIDAY TREATS section of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative.  Oh good, there's samples.
  • Earth Elements Market Bakery -- cookies by the dozen,breads, brownies, cookie doughs, muffins, jams
  • Snider Farms -- peanut butter cheese ball, peanut nugget candy, peanuts - various packages and flavors
  • Bohemia -- Chocolate/honey caramel love bars, Crownies, bars
  • Concina San Pasqual -- brownies, fudge, green chili salsa,
  • Renricks -- cheese spreads, dip mixes, glazes,
  • Peach Crest -- jams
  • Wildhorse Canyon Farms -- jams/jellies, 
  • George's Apiary -- flavored honeys, spun honey, 
  • Honey Hill Farm -- honey, 
  • Lasley Family Farms -- peanuts, roasted and flavored
I hope this gives you some great ideas for what you can buy for five dollars or less through the Oklahoma Food Cooperative.  Tomorrow, I will give a tour of the extravagant gifts -- those starting at $100 and going up from there!

I hope everyone is having fun eating their way through this bon appetitin' feastin' season!  We certainly are at our house.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Green Bean Casserole -- with a Home-made Shiitake Mushroom Sauce and Sean's Should Be Famous Onion Rings

  • Green beans, fresh or frozen, best if from your garden or a local organic producer
  • Fresh shiitake mushrooms (lots -- at least a half pound)
  • Fried onions rings (made with Sean's Should Be Famous Onion Ring Method, recipe below)
  • Cream (1 cup)
  • Beef stock (2 cups)
  • Flour (6 tablespoons)
If fresh, string and cut up the green beans however you like them and blanche in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain.

Place green beans in a casserole dish. Mix a handful (or two!) of the fried onion rings with the green beans.

Slice the shiitake into small pieces, saute in butter until cooked. Add the flour and make a "mushroom roux" (cook until the flour is light brown).

Add the stock, stir quickly, add the cream, stir quickly. After the cream is thoroughly mixed with the beef stock and roux, pour it into the casserole dish and gently stir so that everything is submerged in the sauce. Place a handful (or two!) of the fried onion rings on top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until it is "bubbly".

Yes, you can use canned green beans and canned mushrooms, and it will be a LOT better than the standard canned Cream of Mushroom soup variety. Maybe not quite as good as the home-grown green beans and shiitake mushroom version, but plenty better than the standard.

Sean's Should Be Famous Onion Ring Method
  • 1 can beer 
  • Large onions
  • 3 eggs
  • flour (3 cups, makes a lot of onion rings)
  • Habanero Salsa
  • baking powder (1.5 tsp per cup of flour)
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Spices and Herbs to taste (salt, garlic powder, cayenne, whatever you like, experiment! or add nothing for the traditional simple onion ring taste)
  • oil for frying
Cut the onions into rings. Get the biggest onions you can find. Mix the dry ingredients to make the breading mixture. Beat the eggs with the beer and the habanero salsa but don’t mix with the dry ingredients. These rings are breaded, not battered. Dip the rings into the beer/egg mixture, then into the breading mixture so they are thoroughly covered with flour. Dip again in beer/egg and again in dry mixture. These rings are double dipped.

If you don’t have habanero salsa, use cayenne pepper in the dry ingredients. Or if you don't like spicy hot foods, just leave this out entirely. Fry in hot oil until done. If you are using some of these for green bean casserole, fry the onion rings for that dish a little more crispy than the others for just snackin’.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fried Radishes and Eggs

I started cleaning out the chest refrigerator this morning to make room for our 19+ lb pastured turkey to thaw and down in the bottom of the produce box was a bag of radishes from the October coop order.  The radishes were just fine, the greens a bit. . . past due.  So I dumped them in the sink, washed them, cut off the greens and roots, sliced them, into the pan with some local butter, onions I got in September from the coop, and some serrano peppers from this month's coop order.  Garlic, salt and pepper, cooked well done (not burnt, but the onions should be well caramelized and in fact the radishes caramelize a bit too).  This made a great low carb side dish to my scrambled pastured eggs and sausage from a free range pig, all of course bought through the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. Taste, food safety, nutrition.  All there in about 15 minutes of work and some good bon appetitin' eatin.
I know that "fried radishes" sounds weird, since most of us only eat radishes raw, but try 'em, you'll like 'em. They sweeten up very nicely.

Friday, November 18, 2011

BEWARE of your Butter!

As it turns out, conventional butter is loaded with 11 different pesticides, including --

3 known or probably carcinogens
8 suspected hormone disruptors
1 neurotoxin
2 developmental or reproductive toxins

More at Pesticide Action Network North America.

Organic butter is more expensive, but how expensive are the consequences of pesticide residues, such as cancer?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ideas for a Local and Low Impact Holiday!

★    Give food!  Preferably local food, food that you've grown yourself, or something that you've made yourself or bought from a local producer – jams and jellies, pecans from your tree, pickles, breads, pies, cakes.

★    Give locally! Besides food, look for locally-made artisanal body care products like soaps and bath salts, clothing, arts and crafts.

★    Make gifts!  Besides food, think of your own craft and artistic abilities.

★    Give with justice!  If you do buy gifts, vote with your dollars. Avoid big box stores and shop at locally owned stores. Explore the after market for treasures that will make wonderful gifts such as antiques and vintage items. Buy imported gifts from fair trade groups that support global economic justice. Buy products made from recycled materials for gifts.

★    Re-gift! This is the giving away of something that was given to you.  The hobbits started this in the Shire, so it must be a fine and sensible thing to do.

★    Give sustainability! The list here is very long.  Miniature herb gardens. A solar small battery charger and  rechargeable batteries.  Potted plants either for growing inside or for transplanting outside later. Baskets of cloth napkins and kitchen towels to replace paper towels and napkins. Seeds for a spring garden together with a “Coupon Good For Four Hours Help Creating a Garden in the Spring.”  Non-BPA lined reusable water bottle. Tuition for classes that teach a useful skill or art. Bundle clothes line and clothes pins in a fabric bag with a long handle (when hanging clothes on the line, put the pins in the bag, hang it around the neck, so they are conveniently available). And by all means, give the kids bicycles and tricycles – and give only “naturally-powered” gifts to children (or anyone else, for that matter.)

★    Give Global (or local) Justice! Make financial donations to groups working for local or global justice and sustainability in honor of friends and family for the holidays.  This could be groups like World Neighbors, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Heifer International, a local food bank, or a group associated with your faith tradition.

★    Give the arts!  Tickets to local art galleries, concerts, museums, and don’t forget the zoo. 

★    Give favors! Make booklets with your own hand drawn coupons that can be exchanged for events like – “Date Night with the Wife”, “Dinner with my Eldest Daughter”, “This Coupon good for One Major Honey-Do for My Loving Spouse”.  “This coupon good for skipping one vegetable and getting extra dessert.” (Only include one of those.) “Stay Up Late.”

★    Make decorations!   Use natural materials as much as possible. Save them from year to year as family heirlooms. Pass them between generations.  Think fabric, wood, metal, yarn, string, rope, dried plants, flowers, leaves, and paint. Memorabilia – a child's first shoe, a grandmother's handkerchief – can make beautiful ornaments. You could also use consumables – popcorn is a traditional item to string on thread and hang on a tree. After the holiday, the birds will enjoy it! A tree can also be decorated with baked “cookie ornaments”. Be sure to poke a hole in the dough before baking so you can string it on the tree.

★    Recycle wrappings!  Boxes of  ribbons, bows, wrapping paper, and gift decorations carefully saved from previous years, belong in all houses. One way to honor the giver for the gift of a beautifully wrapped package is to save the wrapping and use it again..  Alternatively, wrap packages in cloth, such as towels or napkins. Even more alternatively, don't wrap the packages, instead, present them with some kind of joyous ceremony. Or hide them, and make a game out of the finding. Or do creative things like re-purpose useful items (socks, stocking caps, helmets, kitchen ware) as “wrapping” for gifts.  A little ribbon and a bow, which is easily saved for use in another year, can make any item that can contain something else into a “gift package”. 

★    Make a reusable fabric gift bag. Cut 2 pieces of exterior fabric and 2 pieces of lining fabric, all the same size. Put each liner piece on top of its exterior fabric, bend over and sew along the top, thus hemming the opening edge. Stack both pieces of fabric with the liner fabric on the outside. Sew the 3 sides that aren't hemmed ¼ inch from the edge.  Turn inside out.  Attach a nice ribbon long enough to tie the top when the bag has been filled with a gift, to one side of the bag with a few stitches at its center.  Use any kind of fabrics, old sheets are great material for the lining, which can be plain. Use something more decorative for the outer fabrics.

★    Get energy-frugal LED lights! LED lights use 95% less energy than traditional lights and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. They use .04 kw per bulb – that's 100 times less than traditional bulbs and 10 times less than mini-bulbs.

★    Don't buy a fake tree made from plastic and polyvinyl chloride. Consider a living tree, in a pot. It could be a bonsai evergreen that would always live in its pot or a larger plant that you would plant in your yard or at a park or church or school.   Or. . . Buy a Christmas tree from a local grower farmer. All Christmas trees sold in the US are farmed. A single farmed Christmas tree absorbs more than 1 ton of carbon in its lifetime. For each tree cut for sale, one to three trees are planted. Recycle your Christmas tree as compost or through a community program (93% of farmed Christmas trees in the US are recycled.) Never cut a wild tree in a forest for a Christmas tree.  Or. . .  make yourself a Christmas tree as a craft. It can be something new each year, or if you make one that is particularly great, you can save it from year to year and maybe add to it a bit each year.  Or. . . make a Christmas tree wall hanging from felt, decorate it, and place your presents in front of it.  Or. . . decorate some other kind of large houseplant that you already have.

★    Buy Christmas cards from local artisans.  Or. . . make your own paper for your cards. Or. . . buy paper from local artisans to make cards.  Make cards that fold to become their own envelope. Send e-cards via the internet. Buy recycled cards. Send all the cards you receive (including birthday and other holiday cards) to St. Jude's Ranch for Children in Nevada, where they will be re-crafted into new cards and sold to support the organizations efforts to help children. Read more about this at .

★    If you ship gifts, use crumpled newspaper, or popcorn, to cushion the gift in transit. If you pack in popcorn, include a note inviting the recipient to feed the popcorn to birds.

★    Make a commitment to distributive justice that lasts all year.  By all means, be generous with a charity that provides food and other necessities to low income households at the seasonal holidays of the “feasting season”. But people are hungry and in need all year long. During the holiday season, give your entire family the gift of service, by joining together in a family (or household) commitment to participate in distributive justice every month of the year.

★    Teach your children why you are doing a low impact and local holiday. Involve them with the planning. Help them to ignore advertising.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mushroom Gravy, Creme of Mushroom Soup, and Saurkraut

Gravy, Creme of Mushroom Soup, Saurkraut.

Today we are all about recipes and let's talk about gravy.

First, always make extra gravy.  You can use it as a sauce for a casserole the next day, or as part of your left-overs-from-dinner-lunch the next day.

Next, for a nice mushroom gravy, start with about 1/8 pound of fresh mushrooms.  I personally am partial to shitake, but ordinary button mushrooms will do fine. If the Coop producers are out of stock, and you need mushrooms, and are in the OKC area, check Matt Burch and April Harrington's store Earth to Urban at 1235 SW 2nd (across from the Old Farmers Market building). I got some there today which I used for my mushroom gravy tonight.

Slice the mushrooms, and saute them in some nice butter that you bought directly from the dairy which has a pastured herd. You can add a little chopped onion and hot peppers, if you like a more savory gravy. Once the mushrooms are done, add some flour.  How much, you ask? Well, that depends on how much gravy you want.  The basic rule of thumb is two tablespoons flour and two tablespoons oil per cup of gravy. So if you want two cups of gravy, add 4 tablespoons of oil to the pan to saute the mushrooms, and then add four tablespoons of flour.  Stir the flour until it browns a bit.  Don't walk away and think you can do something else while the flour browns. That's a good way to burn the flour and waste the mushrooms.  When it is nicely browned, add some stock -- beef, chicken, pork, whatever you have on hand. Plan ahead and cook a chicken in the oven a day or two previously, and you will have some nice stock leftover from that. The secret to a good gravy like this is an excellent stock and it is worth your time and effort to make your own.  How to do that? Well I will review that tomorrow.

Add the stock all at once and stir vigorously until the gravy thickens.  Voila, mushroom gravy.  If you made two cups, you can use that for your own home-made Green Bean Casserole, about which I will write tomorrow.

Now let's talk about Creme of Mushroom Soup.  You can also use this as the sauce for Green Bean Casserole (or any other casserole) or you can just eat it as a soup.  I think the kids would say, "it's the bomb!" 

This recipe makes 6 quarts, and can be frozen, thawed and reheated. You can make less, but I have never made this outside of a crockpot, so I don't know how it would go for example if you tried to make only 1 or 2 quarts in a sauce pan on top of the stove. If you try it, let me know how it works and I can incorporate that info the next time I write about this recipe. If you plan on using this in casseroles, in place of canned crème of mushroom soup, package it in two cup containers.

4 cups cream
4 cups chicken stock (beef stock would be fine)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
6 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped, cooked bacon
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp thyme
1 onion, chopped in small bits
2 Tbsp bacon fat (butter would work, but bacon fat is better)
4 cloves garlic

Cook the garlic and onion in the bacon fat or the butter for about a minute. Remove from the heat. Add the butter/onion/garlic and all of the other ingredients to a large crock pot. Cook on low for four to six hours, until the soup is thick and a bit frothy. It will continue to get thicker as it cools. Don't cook too fast or too long 

There is Napa Cabbage available this month on the coop, and Napa cabbage makes great saurkraut.  Here is a recipe for naturally fermenting saurkraut that was given to me by a master fermenter, Lynnet Bannion, with whom I studied permaculture.  Note that as with all such preservation methods, scrupulous cleanliness of everything is mandatory. Sterilize the jar with boiling water, make sure the knives, cutting boards, mandolins, stampers/thumpers that you are using -- and also your HANDS -- are clean.

Ursula’s Sauerkraut
For a half-gallon jar, you need 3.5 pounds cabbage, 1 teaspoon caraway seed, 1 tablespoon sea salt. You can add optional ingredients from the following list: peeled sliced garlic; washed, cored and sliced apples; peeled onions cut into eighths; dill seed; juniper berries; or other spices.
Wash cabbage and cut into thin shreds, with a kraut cutter, mandoline, food processor, or by hand with a knife. Mix cabbage shreds with the salt in a large bowl or small plastic bucket, and let stand for 15 minutes. Then press the cabbage with your fist or a wooden stamper until the juice is flowing well. It is important to crush the vegetables enough to create the juice. 

Pack the juicy shreds into your jar in layers, interspersing the caraway and any other ingredients you are using. Pack tightly enough that all the air is pressed out. If you don’t have enough juice to come to the neck of the jar, you can add a little brine: 2 tsp salt to one quart water. Cover loosely, put the jar on a plate or pie tin, and keep in a dark corner of your kitchen for one week. Then cap and
keep in a cold place for another four weeks to mellow. Sauerkraut keeps many months under proper storage conditions (provided you keep out of it that long).

Bob's note: It's important that all of the cabbage be submerged in the brine. If it keeps coming up above the brine/cabbage juices, then put a cup of water in a ziplock back and put that in the neck of the jar to keep the shreds under the surface of the water. The fermentation process is carried on by lactobacillus bacteria. Use organic or all natural cabbage, trim off any spots or blemishes. If you mix up some brine to add, do not use chlorinated water. Don't use iodized salt, use pickling salt or sea salt without any additives. Don't reduce the amount of salt. This is a preservation process, the salt is necessary to the process. Check it often during the fermentation week, if some scum develops, carefully spoon it off. The volume of the cabbage will reduce, as the process develops, so you may need to add brine.

Tomorrow: Green Bean Casserole, Sean's Should Be Famous Fried Onion Ring Method, Stock Part the First

Monday, November 7, 2011


This order is our eighth year birthday.  I dredged up some spreadsheets and it looks to me like we are approaching $4 million in total sales over that 8 years. . . $3,796,154 to be exact, so depending how this month and December finish out, we will likely cross the four million dollar sales threshold in January 2012.

What a lot of good-tasting and nutritious food and quality non-food items that dollar figure represents.  BUT. . . more interesting than these figures from our past is what's happening RIGHT NOW.

Over the years I have received a lot of emails from people elsewhere who envy the  local food selection we have available here in Oklahoma through the Oklahoma Food Cooperative.  Some businesses may brag about having products from a half dozen local producers.  This month, you can order from 98 different Oklahoma producers, and pick and choose among 4,789 products!  That kind of access doesn't exist in very many areas of this country, so let's  take advantage of what we've got, and -- as I've often said over the years -- follow the Oklavore principle and "eat what is available!

Speaking of gifts. . . which I wasn't. . . but I will segue that way anyway. . . This month the coop has a new product -- a gift membership -- that delivers an attractive certificate to you on delivery day stamped with a unique number that the recipient of your gift enters when he or she inputs their info on the coop's membership form and voila, they are members!

Since most of us will be dong a lot of shopping this holiday season, don't forget the little detail that you can shop for holiday gifts from the comfort and convenience of your own home, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Food makes a great gift. As do our body care products and other non-food items. 

Regarding the Feastin' Foods of November. . . I just scrolled through the produce list and was really impressed at the amount of produce that has been listed since the day the order opened.  If you typically only shop the coop on the first day of the order, you are missing out on good deals. Many times our vegetable (and egg) producers add a considerable amount of inventory as the order progress and the get a better handle on what they will have available for delivery day.

The fall produce looks glorious.  First on the list is GREENS Greens are a luxury food and are also affordable.  Buy a LOT more than you are going to eat and freeze them in meal size portions for eating later. These crisp fall days are excellent for long slow cooking of big pots of food, so cook all your greens at once and freeze for eating later. Cooked greens are great in the freezer, just don't you forget to label and date them so you know what they are.  I always think I will remember but then I don't and so I have learned the hard way to label and date. That way if you defrost something that you think is frozen apple slices, in anticipation of apple pie, and you get something else, you aren't disappointed.

I have written a lot about greens over the past eight years of the coop. One cup cooked greens typically contains: 20 calories, 1.2 g protein, 4.4 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g dietary fiber, 93% water, plus Vitamins A and C, folate, potassium, and calcium.  "All this -- and TASTE TOO!"  Anyway, here's something I wrote in November 2007-- "The feastin season is upon us."   You really should try the Cream of Greens soup on that page, it is one  of the best recipes I've ever posted. Even people who hate greens like this soup when made with Coop ingredients.  BUT, don't freeze greens with cream sauces, freeze the plain cooked greens, THEN add cream sauces when you thaw them for eating later.  Cream and cheese and eggs are GREAT with greens. If Wagon Creek has some cream left, by all means substitute that for some of the milk.

Unfortunately the links in that post to "What to do with 20 pounds of ground beef" and the similar one for ground pork are no longer active but the recipe ideas are listed in my post, so that gives you some ideas. As to what to do with 20 pounds of ground beef, that is.

The turkeys are going pretty fast, but as of this writing there remain a few. Greenwood is a new producer and they do on farm processing, so you have to pick up those turkeys directly from them in the parking lot of the operations center. If you've already opened a basket for another pickup site, and want to get one of their turkeys, don't forget to change your pickup site to OKC Central. You do that by opening your shopping cart, and you will see the place for your pickup site on the left side of the page.

There are lots of eggs right now, more than 100 dozen available. As I noted last week, and as one of the producers wrote in their producer notes Tuesday, it's easy to freeze eggs, and you can even dehydrate them yourself.  Later this winter, when egg production falls off, you'll wish you had some frozen dozens of eggs stashed in your freezer, so order now and freeze for eating later.

Of course, our meat producers continue to be strong suppliers of the local market. Our local meats offer a great return for the money -- not only do they taste great, buying local meats from our producers' free ranging flocks and herds provides direct support for animal husbandry methods and practices that heal the earth and do not destroy the biosphere. Every dollar spent for supermarket meats is a dollar invested in the environmental ruin of this region. So let's spend our money wisely and buy local meats from free ranging flocks and herds.

I almost forgot --  we have a plethora of pumpkins available this month at great prices. Actually, we have a plethora of plethoras of pumpkins available. So you can make your pumpkin pies this year directly from a pumpkin.  Here's all the info you need from the site that taught me -- Pick Your Own!

We have lots of roots this month -- besides turnips, the sweet potatoes are here! And the radishes.  Now's the time to stock up on both these excellent storage crops for winter. Sweet potatoes and turnips offer great nutrition and even better taste. Throw them in with a roast to slow cook on one of the upcoming cool days.  For a change of pace with your radishes, slice them thinly, fry them, scramble some eggs with them. Voila, very tasty breakfast AND added vegetable nutrition in a meal that is usually light on veggies.

Don't forget to buy some soap. You can never really have too much artisanal soaps made by Oklahoma producers. All of our body care products make great gifts (and this is the HOLIDAY season, hint hint).

As does our many jams and jellies and if you think your life might get a bit busy this holiday season, don't forget a few prepared meals for the freezer.

Do you have flour for the rolls, breads, cakes, and pie crusts?  Corn meal for the stuffing and breading?  Onions and mushrooms and green beans for the traditional green bean casserole?

So it goes down at your corner Oklahoma Food Cooperative. This is the beginning of our "feastin' season".  In the Northern Hemisphere, it is the time when the harvest has been gathered. In days of yore, our celebrations originated in the deep gratitude for the fact that there was a harvest, and the community would have food to eat during the looming winter. In the modern era, many of us have lost that intimate connection with our food, but here in the Coop, we have been working for eight years to resurrect and restore our intimate connections with the food.  It has been a long trip, sometimes change, always fruitful and full of great tasting food adventures.  We remain a ways from Europe in terms of developing our own unique regional tastes, but we are certainly on our way to that day right here in Oklahoma.

When we started the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, we said. . . "local food is the next big thing." And as it turns out, that came true.  As a result, we are surrounded by a "faux locavorism" that uses glib words and fancy signs and artfully designed stores to substitute for reality.  We certainly do not have the panache of some of the stores of the area, but we have the food that they don't. So come on down the cyberstreet to your Oklahoma Food Cooperative and let's start the feastin' of the season!

"This just in". . . the inbox carries news that up to 3/4 of the honey sold in major stores can no longer be considered honey due to the extreme processing it experiences.

If you are not a member, you can sign up at .

Friday, November 4, 2011

Carols for the Feastin' Season!

Here are three Coop Carols to sing this Feastin' Season! --Tis the Season for the Feastin', the Autumn Carol, and the Get Ready for Winter Song.

Sing to the tune Deck the Halls

(1) Tis the season for the feastin',
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!
Taste nutrition can't be beaten,
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!
Nurturing the land and people,
Farm and city joining hands.
Tis the season for the feastin',
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!

(2) Care for people and creation,
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!
Hope throughout the bio-region,
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!
From our farms onto our tables,
we will bless the way we eat!
Care for people and creation,
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!

(3) Healing nature with earth's beauty,
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!
Wisdom, joy fulfilling duty,
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!
Eating with the changing seasons,
Chasing the CAFOs from our land!
Healing nature with earth's beauty,
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!

(4) Social justice, sustainability,
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!
Economic viability,
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!
These our values, govern always,
They will take us forward far!
Three in number the core values,
Oklahoma Foods are good to eat!

The Autumn Carol
Tune: O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree)

(1) O Autumn season, golden bright!
We hail the harvest welcome sight!
The air is crisp, the moon shines long,
It's time to raise our voice in song

The squash and pumpkins, taters sweet,
Peppers, greens, and nuts we greet.

O autumn season, golden bright!
We hail the harvest welcome sight!

(2) The heat of summer is now past,
We wait the time of winter's blast.
The children are in school today,
The farmers work to reap the hay.

Peach preserves and apple butter,
Set our hearts to be aflutter.

O autumn season, golden bright!
We hail the harvest welcome sight!

(3) There is no kinder time of year,
Than Autumn bright without a fear,
The peaceful times upon the land,
Bring hope and health, a time so grand.

So raise a glass of Autumn cheer,
A cider strong, a mug of beer.

O autumn season, golden bright!
We hail the harvest welcome sight!

The Get Ready for Winter Song
Tune: "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". . .

OH! We better not wait, it's time to make plans,
Compost, mulch, put away the fans,
Winter time is coming to town!

Squash and turnips and carrot plants,
Season extension for the cabbage transplants,
Winter time is coming to town!

Let's insulate the attic!
Insulate the floors!
Insulate the walls so deep,
and don't forget the doors!

So! Make your list, and check it twice,
Solarize, weatherize, don't roll the dice,
Winter time is coming to town!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Cooperative Difference -- 14 reasons to shop at the Oklahoma Food Cooperative

This month's recipes:  Ricotta Breakfast Pudding,  Bacon beef rolls, Stuffed zucchini bake, Zucchini and Italian sausage quiche, Baked meatballs, Alice Springs chicken, Moonchild's Bacon Cheeseburger quiche..

What's the Cooperative Difference when it comes to the Oklahoma Food Cooperative?

Convenience -- Community -- Selection -- Trust -- Health --  Justice -- Sustainability!

When you buy food from the Oklahoma Food Cooperative --

1.  You can shop any time during the day or night, from anywhere in the world with computer access, and get your food at 40+ pickup sites across the state -- Convenience!

2.  You can choose from thousands of products -- Selection!

3,  You get the best tasting food in the Oklahoma marketplace -- Selection!

4.  You get the healthiest food in the Oklahoma marketplace – free ranging flocks and herds, organically managed pastures and fields -- Health!

5.  You get the safest food in the Oklahoma marketplace – absolute knowledge as to where your food comes from, inspections by the USDA and ODA -- Trust!

6.  You get relationships with the men and women who produce your food -- Community!

7.  You become part of a the solution to our modern economic crisis, by helping to reweave the economic connections that once characterized rural and urban Oklahoma -- Community!

8.  You help make the state more resilient in the face of major disasters, war, terrorism, economic collapse, and other negative black swan events -- Sustainability!

9.  You have a say in how the cooperative is governed -- Community!

10. You meet interesting new people and participate in a new and more enjoyable and convenient way of shopping for groceries -- Community!

11. You stop supporting exploitation in agricultural labor markets --  Justice!

12. You stop taking food from the mouths of hungry children in third world countries -- Justice!

13. You stop degrading the earth and polluting the waters and air with your food purchases -- Sustainability!

14. You get full transparency regarding the production practices of your food -- Trust!

Join or shop now at .

Here's this month's recipes for some of our great Oklahoma foods.

Ricotta Breakfast Pudding
This is a very nutritious breakfast that cooks quick and has a high comfort food quotient.
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed or pecan meal or almond meal
  • dash cinnamon
  • droplet of vanilla extract
Mix the ricotta cheese, egg, and cream. Cook over medium heat until it thickens.  It will seem to not be doing anything, and then it will thicken very quickly, so don't turn the heat on, go away and do something else. Stir constantly while heating. Once it thickens add the flax seed meal or nut meal and let sit for a minute or so. Enjoy! You can add a dab of sweetener if you want, but it isn't really needed.

Nut meals, as well as flax seed meal, are somewhat expensive in stores and generally aren't available through the coop.  you can buy pecans, however, through the coop and turn them into meal with a coffee grinder. If there are a few bits that don't grind finely, that's fine, just through them in. Flax seed also grinds well in a coffee grinder. This is one serving. It is very filling.

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup low carb ketchup 
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped fine 
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 2 pounds ground beef 
  • 12 strips bacon
Combine everything except the bacon in a large bowl. Mix well then shape in two 6-inch long log shapes. On a large sheet of wax paper, lay 6 slices of the bacon side by side. Set one of the beef rolls crosswise at one end of the row of bacon strips; roll up, wrapping the meat with the bacon. Very carefully place the first roll in a 9x13" baking pan, lined with heavy foil, with the ends of the bacon under the meat roll. I recommend lifting it with a wide spatula so that it does't break. Repeat with the remaining bacon and meat roll. Bake at 375º 45-50 minutes or until the center of each roll reaches 160º. If the bacon doesn't look browned enough on top, put the beef rolls under the broiler for a minute or two. Makes 8 servings 

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 small onion, diced, 2 1/2 ounces or about 1/2 cup 
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, diced, 2 large or about 3 ounces 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 2 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp, leaving 1/4" of the flesh intact. Discard the pulp. You can use a teaspoon to dig out the pulp and seeds, then once most of the pulp has been removed, use the spoon to scrape out any remaining seeds. Place the zucchini shells on a greased, foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and pepper. Brown the meat, garlic, onion, and mushrooms, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper; drain the fat. Fill the zucchini shells with the meat mixture. Cover with foil and bake at 350º 45 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. Uncover, top with cheese and bake to melt the cheese, about 10 minutes. Makes 8 servings

1 medium or 2 cups shredded zucchini
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound Italian sausage, browned and drained
4 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
1 ounce parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup
5 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper

Sauté the zucchini in butter 5 minutes. Place in the bottom of a greased 10-inch pie plate and pat dry with paper towel. Top with the sausage and Swiss cheese. Beat the eggs, cream, parmesan and seasonings; pour over the sausage. Bake at 450º 15 minutes. Turn down the heat to 350º and bake 15-20 minutes longer or until browned and a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Check after 15 minutes because it will get quite brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 6 servings. Can be frozen (freeze it in slices and then reheat them for breakfast).
1 pound ground beef
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
2 teaspoons dry minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 2 ounces (I used the kind in a can)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl using your fingers. Mix until the meat no long feels slimy from the eggs. Shape in golf ball size meatballs and place on a large baking sheet with sides. Bake at 375º for 15-20 minutes until the meatballs are done all the way through. Rinse in a colander to remove any egg and cheese that has leaked out.
Makes about 20-30 meatballs. Can be frozen.

4 boneless chicken breasts
8 pieces bacon, coarsely chopped
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded 

Season the chicken with the seasonings of your choice; grill until just done. Keep the chicken warm. Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels. In the same skillet, sauté the mushrooms and garlic in butter, seasoning with salt to taste. Cook until the juices have evaporated. Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet. Top each piece of chicken with 1/4 of the mushrooms and bacon, then with the shredded cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Makes 4 servings. 

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped, 2 1/2 ounces
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cheddar or Swiss cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown the hamburger with the onion and bacon; drain the fat. Season to taste. Spread in a greased pie plate. Whisk all of the remaining ingredients except the cheese. Mix about 1/3 of the cheese into the hamburger mixture and arrange the rest over the meat. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese. Bake at 350º for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.  Makes 6-8 servings. Can be frozen

Recipes this month courtesy of Linda's Low Carb recipes, one of the great resources on the web of healthy comfort foods.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

First worker coop meeting tonight!

Tonight (Thursday, September 29) is the first meeting of the A Better Way to Go to Work fall tour.  This is our Midwest City Presentation
 We start at 7 PM, at the Midwest City Library 8143 E Reno. I am tonight's presenter.
Come and learn how worker owned cooperatives can --
  • help you create good jobs for yourself, your family, and your friends,
    -- gain job security for the future,
    -- Drive economic development for your community, 
    -- Protect your family from economic insecurity and calamities, 
    -- Increase your household financial resilience and sustainability, 
    -- Discover more fun, enjoyable, and profitable ways to work.
    See for more information.