Thursday, March 1, 2012

Moving to

I have decided to try consolidating a bit, and so I am moving my food commentary and etc to my flagship website, .  This site will stay up, but posting here will be infrequent.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Breakfast Turnips

I have been having fun lately with breakfast turnips.  Hash brown potatoes were always one of my favorite breakfast foods, but with my blood sugar problems these days, that kind of high carb food is not on my regular menu.

Turnips are a great lower carb alternative to potatoes. I have used both white and purple top turnips. Both were very tasty.  The purple tops may have been just a bit sweeter. Here's how I've been cooking them:

Shredded Turnip Scramble
Peel the turnip, shred, saute with breakfast meat, cook until turnips caramelize, add eggs and scramble! Very tasty, very filling, keeps you full all morning.

Diced Breakfast Turnips
Peel the turnip, chop into small dices (about the size of those cubed frozen hash brown potatoes). Saute in olive oil with a bit of chopped onion and garlic, and be generous with the crushed red pepper and back pepper. Cook until well caramelized.

Turnip Pancakes
This is from my archive, as this would have too many grams of carbohydrates for me these days. But if those aren't an issue for you, these are waaaay tasty.  I will have to try this with pecan or almond meal instead of whole wheat flour and see how it goes.
  • 1 cup mashed turnips (serve mashed turnips for dinner the night before you plan to make this breakfast, be sure to make enough so that you have left-overs for breakfast).
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt ( or buttermilk, or milk with a teaspoon of vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
Mix the ingredients, fry in oil in medium hot skillet. This makes a fairly thick pancake, if you like a thinner pancake, add a bit more liquid. I did not add any oil to the recipe, only to the pan for frying, because I had mashed the turnips with butter. Serve with just a bit of jam on top. I used raspberry, made by a local farmer, that I got through the Oklahoma Food Coop. This makes about 12 dollar size pancakes. It would make more if you make a less thick batter.

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’.