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Christine grew up in Salcha and graduated from Eielson High School in 1990. She then attended UAF and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management in 1998. She is married and has three kids. She has recently worked in the travel industry with companies such as Bettles Air and Go North Travel.  She loves working with people and providing help and support whenever she can.

After being offered the position of bookkeeper at the Co-op Market, she began volunteering many hours assisting with setting up the store and learning about the benefits the market will provide to the Fairbanks community.

We look forward to working with Christine in our journey to excellence!

chris

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A Co-op Market Gift Membership is the gift that keeps on giving. Member-Owners co-own the co-op, share in the profits, take part in the mission, elect &/or become board members, ensure our success, & enjoy other great benefits. Sign up your loved one at www.CoopMarket.org or call 457-1023!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We’ll help make the gift extra special by adding a Bob’s Red Mill Goodie Bag!

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One of my best memories of this year’s Fun For Food Celebration was the fabulous dinner created by Chef Jameson Kapec and Michael McLean. As luck would have it we were given 300 lbs of giant squash by John Dart of Dart AM Farms.

John dropped the squash off at my house about 10 days before the event. We squeezed them into every available corner of the tiny garage. A few days later I loaded them in my truck for another journey. They filled the entire truck bed. Mike McLean met me to take the squash to his house and get started cooking and pureeing the squash.

To cook a giant squash they must first be cut open! A bandsaw was just the right thing for quickly cutting up 26 of them.

Cooking all that squash was a project that took several days. When the day arrived we were ready to create a special meal made from mostly local ingredients. The most talked about dish – Jameson’s Winter Squash Springbread.

winter squash

Ingredients:

4 C squash

1 C water, boil

1 C flour (any kind)

1 C chopped leeks

1/2# butter
6 eggs
1. T onion powder
1 T. Sea salt
1/4 c goat cheese
3/4 c cream cheese
3/4  c grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 c toasted, slivered almonds

1/2 c chopped parsley

 Sweat leeks in butter. Boil water and add flour to make a Choux paste. Whip goat cheese and cream cheese together. Purée squash, flour mixture, seasonings. Stir in leeks and eggs, mix thoroughly. Pour 3/4 squash mixture into greased pan, dollop teaspoons of cream cheese mixture on top. Cover with remaining squash mixture. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 350 until set, approx. 40-45 min. Sprinkle with Parmesan and almonds, bake 10 min. more. Top with parsley or herbs of choice.

I recently attended a wonderful luncheon hosted by Calypso Farm and Ecology Center. We enjoyed a tasty meal prepared by and from the farm and Tom Zimmer guided our group on a Farm Tour. Our enthusiasm grew as we wandered and looked at the beautiful crops, colorful flowers, seed saving projects, compost piles, and innovative ways recycled materials can be used.

Funny how a compost pile can make you want to go home and do better in your own garden! And hearing that this compost provides the major component in their soil amendments, I vowed to go home and see what I could do with my pile.

Late blooming flowers at Calypso Farm & Ecology Center

After lunch several people shared information about the programs at Calypso, and I was especially interested in the Farmer Training Program. One thing I have been hearing over and over in conferences, meetings and conversations in the past two years is the need for new farmers.

Currently, the average age of the American farmer is 60, and according to recent USDA data, the number of new farmers is low. Land for farming is expensive, it is hard for young people to get started, and  available funding is too soon used up,  are a few of the statements I heard from young people. Calypso’s Farmer Training Program is designed to provide high- quality training and mentoring for aspiring young farmers and farm based educators.

What does this have to do with Fun For Food? One of the visions of Co-Op Market’s Member-owners is to provide local farmers and producers with suppost to increase demand  for their products, and at some point in our growth, give back to our community to help build a sustainable food source for interior Alaska and beyond!

Relaxing in the sun sharing stories at Calypso Farm.

Co-op Market Grocery & Deli strives to make small steps each year toward our larger goal of growing the local food economy. This year we are excited to make that step by offering 15% of funds raised at the 5th annual Fun for Food Celebration to the Farmer Training Program at Calypso Farm & Ecology Center. Make that small step with us at our celebration on Saturday, November 17 at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge.

For more information about Fun For Food 2012  go to http://tinyurl.com/FunForFoodTickets.

Ahh the pleasure of a farm fresh salad.

We are excited to welcome the newest Board Members, Brian Grinston and Teresa Jacobson.

The next Board Meeting is Monday, October 15 at 5:30 pm. A potluck meal is followed by meeting start at 6:15 pm. Anyone is welcome. Please rsvp to  co-opmarket@ak.net since we have limited space.

Brian Grinston – Brian moved to Fairbanks after vacationing here in August 2007. It was love at first sight… the mountains, the peacefulness, and the lack of rush hour traffic. After flying back to the Chicago/Milwaukee suburbs, he immediately gave his two-week notice and donated nearly all of his possessions to charity. On 09/07/07 he loaded up the car and headed north, to the Alaska Highway. Brian says that when he sees something that he truly wants, he goes after it. His motto is  “Life is short. Get off your butt and live it, before it’s gone.”

Brian is a Marine who served during the first Gulf War. He ran a supply warehouse and maintained accounting records for the military. Some of his other jobs have been Assistant Manager for Walgreens, Accounts Receivable Supervisor for Solo Cup Company, Billing Supervisor for Stericycle, and Payroll Manager for Nenana Lumber Company. Currently, Brian is an Aviation Records Auditor for Everts Air.

Brian’s desire to help Co-op Market stems from his support of Alaskan-owned companies, his personal mission to help improve the quality of life for his fellow Alaskans, and his strong commitment to volunteering. Many folks know Brian through his volunteer efforts at the Electronics Recycling Center, Fairbanks Rescue Mission, Veterans Stand Down… and also the many weekends that he’s already volunteered for demolition work parties at our store site. He hopes that his business knowledge and organizational skills will help make Co-op Market a huge success for Fairbanks.

Brian Grinston – Board Member

Teresa Jacobson, CMT, CHHC – As a lifelong Fairbanksan and small-business owner, Teresa Jacobson is deeply invested in the local community. She began working as a Certified Massage Therapist in 2000, and since has worked with thousands of clients in the Fairbanks North Star Borough. As her aspiration to better serve the wellbeing of her clients, family, and friends continued to increase, Teresa pursued studies with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (State University of New York Purchase College) and she now also works as a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Her passionate belief in the necessity of real, whole foods and the power of food as medicine, has naturally led to an interest in the successful development and launching of Co-op Market.

Concerned about the food desert in South Fairbanks, she feels strongly that the trend of urban shift is leaving the city hollow. The location of Co-op Market will help enliven the downtown area and afford quality food options to residents. By investing in the urban areas and locating such valuable assets as Co-op Market in the downtown areas, the city begins to feed itself, both literally and in terms of a more filial reaching-out to one another.

Teresa believes that Fairbanks must eventually become self-sufficient, and that the success of Co-op Market will make great strides in that direction.

Teresa enjoys gardening, coffeeing with friends, watching NOVA, and making awesome stuff. She lives in North Fairbanks with family.

Teresa Jacobson – Board Member

 

Our budget is TIGHT! Even at the $1.5 million planned to develop and build our    Co-op. It takes a community to make something we will treasure for many years to come a reality.

SAVING CASH! You can help save cash to pay a crew by lending a hand. This Saturday, October 6 from 9 am to 4 pm, we need a crew to move some of our belongings away from the construction area.

Please come help, even if you can spare only an hour; no special skills required, just moving stuff and final clean-up so construction can start.”

SKILLED VOLUNTEERS WANTED!

Our contractor, Tracy Bearden and Robert Leach, (Board Chair) have arrived at a way to involve volunteers in the construction process. If you have good safe carpentry skills and would like to volunteer some time with a crew call us at 457-1023 to learn more.

WOODWORKERS – Help create our dry grocery bins and check out counters. Call 457-1023 if you can participate.

Dedicated volunteers clear out the future stock room.

Last week’s annual meeting was made all the more special by Shaun Lott’s efforts to offer refreshments mostly made from local food. The menu included spicy cole slaw, Winter Squash cookies, and Peppy Squash Dip. Several people asked for the recipes and here they are:

Winter Squash Cookies

  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c winter squash (hubbard, butternut, kabocha), cooked & pureed
  • 2 1/4 c flour (I use 1 1/2 c Alaska barley flour & 3/4 c all purpose)
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t ginger
  • 1/4 t allspice
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1 c raisins
  • 1 1/2 c nuts, chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 3750

Mix butter and sugars.  Beat until smooth.  Add eggs and squash. Mix well.

Combine flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Stir dry ingredients into squash mixture.  Add raisins and nuts.  Stir to combine.  The dough will be somewhat wet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Makes about 48 cookies.

Note:  Depending on how wet the squash is you may have to add additional flour or reduce the amount of squash to 1 cup.

Peppy Winter Squash Dip

  • 1 (2lb) winter squash (hubbard, butternut, kabocha)
  • 1 small onion, halved & unpeeled
  • 1 ½ tsp olive oil
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 T sour cream1 fresh chili or 1/8 t of cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 to 10 peppercorns or ¼ tsp ground pepper **
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled

Preparation

Preheat oven to 3500

Cut squash in half or into large pieces; remove seeds.  Brush cut sides of squash, cut sides of onions, and garlic cloves with oil.  Arrange squash and onion, cut sides down on pan.  Place garlic on pan.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.  The garlic may need to be removed from the oven a little earlier – check periodically and remove when soft.  Cool slightly.  Peel squash and onion.  Squeeze pulp from garlic cloves.

Place squash, onion, garlic, and spices in food processor; process until smooth.  Add the sour cream and process to combine.  Serve warm.

**Note:  I use a Vitamix, which thoroughly grinds the peppercorns.  If you are using a regular food processor, you should grind the peppercorns before adding them.

Variation:  This dip can be thinned with broth or milk and served as a soup.