New Feature: The Bounty of Bulk

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A world of wonderful bulk items!

Oh, the Co-op’s Bulk Department. A mysterious, magical place of over 650 items, many of them organic, including flours, grains, dried cereals, pasta, teas, herbs, and coffee. Because the Bulk Department can be a confusing place — even for those of us who work here — we’ve decided to start a new web & e-newsletter feature to get you (and us) better acquainted with all that Bulk has to offer. Each post (save this one), we’ll focus on a particular section of the Bulk Department (i.e. liquids, or herbs), and give you a few insider pairing recommendations from staff and customers.

Bulk Teaser: Get a bit of our grind-your-own almond butter (bulk #0350), and a few (ahem, many) dried unsulphered Black Mission figs (bulk #7763). Dip figs in the almond butter. Devour. Bliss!

Shopping in bulk is a great way to save money, reduce packaging waste (by bringing your own container), and buying exactly what you need. We’ve got the best selection of bulk foods around — from whole foods, staple ingredients, snacks, and more for your pantry.

Stop by and meet our bulk specialist Ian or another grocery representative. We are happy to help you find what you need and address any questions  comments or concerns.

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Use the handy scale to weigh up reusable containers.

Buying in bulk is an interactive experience. Here’s how it works: Select the item you want, take what you need and write down the bulk bin number on your container. If you bring your own container from home (we encourage it!), please include its tare weight by using our handy scale, located underneath the almond and peanut butter grinders. Use the designated oil pen and mark your tare weight on the container — it’s that simple! Or you can use the plastic bags or containers that we have on hand throughout the department.

Our Bulk Department is extensive and offers many certified organic and gluten-free options. We offer bulk baking flours and sweeteners, dried fruits, beans, rice, soup mixes, salt, chocolate, grains, cereal, and granola. That’s not all — we also have nuts, seeds, and naturally sweetened snacks and candies. View our entire list of our Bulk Grocery List here. Read more New Feature: The Bounty of Bulk …

In the Kitchen with Jill

20120613-DSC02484The task at hand for me this New Year is to stretch the ole mighty dollar. Oh I could tell you that this is because I want to save money and pay off credit cards, but the truth is I want to take a vacation. A real vacation where I have to buy a bathing suit and new flip flops.  I want to sip on a tropical drink and read a book, while my feet nestle in the warm sand.  Looking at my biggest expenses, I realized that there were two that I could reduce without feeling a great deal of sadness or loss.  One is my food budget and the other is my unbudgeted earring spending. No, I am not giving up delicious food, or beautiful mercantile adornments to wear, I am just re-evaluating what I spend, and how I use it. Read more In the Kitchen with Jill …

In the Kitchen with Jill…

bepeasWhen I was five, I attended an amazing school in Santa Monica, California. It was the quintessential “hippie” school house on the block, and it was spectacular.  Math was taught in the kitchen cooking, using real measurements that meant something. Books were read aloud with inflection and a cadence that honed my storytelling skills. There were chickens and gardens and walking field trips to learn who our neighbors were.

One of the school’s neighbors was a store called the Co-opportunity Natural Foods Store, and this was my first introduction to a food co-op.  It was 1976 and to say it looked anything like a “store” would be a stretch.  There were barrels of beans and grains and not much more.  The woman who gave us the tour was probably the age I am now and I was enthralled with her.  She was so excited to talk to us about what a co-op is, the benefits to the community, and her passion for food. Looking back now, I realize how much our own co-op family have the same passion for food, our local community, and the benefits of food co-ops. I haven’t been back in some thirty plus years, but I know that store has grown, much like ours here. So as I reminisce about the past, I wish you a Happy New Years and bring you a barrel full of black eyed peas for luck.

Black Eyed Pea and Kale Salad
Ingredients

  • 1 cup black eyed peas
  • 1 cup kale, finely chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 3/4 cup yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Combine kale, spinach, black eyed peas, peppers, and green onions in a bowl.
  2. In a small skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil and saute the shallot until caramelized. Add the red chile flakes and continue to cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and add the remaining oil, cider vinegar, and dijon mustard and whisk or stir to combine.
  3. Toss the salad with dressing, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

 

In the Kitchen with Jill…

haridraThe bitter cold days of last week are hopefully behind us, far, far behind us. My body did not enjoy that cold blast at all. In fact, it rebelled. Not caring how many layers I put on, it mocked me with a hardy, ” that’s all you got?” Speaking of hardy, this is always the season for robust and full-flavored foods; warming our tummies and settling into our winter waistlines.

Working as a cashier, my secret pleasure is looking at your groceries and making a meal out of what you have purchased. Creepy? Nah, fun!  Eggs, Texas toast and milk… French toast. Lemons, cayenne and maple syrup… New Years master cleanse resolution (a little early, dude. Enjoy the fruit cake while you can). You see the game?

Of late, we have had an abundance of fresh turmeric come across our conveyor belts and this one stymies me. Yes I know the medicinal attributes are amazing ( digestion, circulation, inflammation) but my question is, what are they doing with it? What’s a girl in the kitchen to do? Experiment! Here is a drink that I made with turmeric that was delish and amazingly good for you. So if those frigid days come a callin’, I’ll be ready…sort of.

Turmeric Tea

1 cup Coconut milk (or almond)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh grated turmeric (be warned, it stains! wear gloves)

1/8 tsp nutmeg

A dash of cayenne

Honey to taste

Put coconut milk, spices and honey in a sauce pan and heat up slowly on low heat.  If you put it on high heat the coconut milk will get too thick. Pour and drink!

In the Kitchen with Jill…

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My Dad makes cookies in the shape of trains! So cute!

Once my grandmother made a cake in the shape of a lamb for Easter. It had coconut flakes for its coat and jelly bean eyes; I remember thinking this was the greatest things ever cooked in oven. The taste was what dreams are made of.  She also could make a German chocolate cake that was so spectacular it could bring you to tears. On the flip side, she would cook our thanksgiving turkey for 15 hours, rendering it shoe leather.

My mother can take 5 ingredients and whip up a Michelin star-worthy meal. She can bedazzle any ingredients and create magic. On her flip side, she can make biscuits that send you to the dentist for a new crown.

My dad makes a Black Forest Cherry cake that he puts so much effort into that for the curled chocolate, he whips out his favorite tool, the puddy knife, and carves perfect spirals for the outside of the cake.

My point here is that passion and great results go hand-in-hand when cooking and baking. My mother could care less about the perfect cookie, but her table is set to brilliance and her food is spectacular. My grandmother didn’t eat sugar. She put all her love for it into her baked goods for her family; her idea of a good dinner involved reservations. My dad is an engineer, so he is precise and accurate in his baking, which makes for a great baker.

This weeks In the Kitchen is all about what I love… cookbooks! They inspire, they teach, and, most of all, they make things attainable. When you are new to cooking, attainable and taste worthy are certainly the first step to passion.

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Cheryl in our Mercantile department has made over 100 recipes using Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. She has passion for this book; you can see it when she brings something in that she has made. She would love to share it with you, so seek her out if you have any questions.

The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals are sister cookbooks. Written by Alissa Segersten, a Washington local,  is brilliant, with amazing gluten free recipes. Each of these books can be found upstairs in your mercantile department.  They make great gifts too.

I hope you find your passion and play with your food!