TRADER JOE’S GIVES BACK TO THE COMMUNITY – not just a good source for organic food – they donate to the less fortunate

POST #1010
I first heard about Trader Joe’s on a raw food mailing list. At that time, we didn’t have Trader Joe’s in NYC. When the first one opened up here, I flew there to see it and buy stuff.  Since then, Trader Joe’s stores have popped up all over the city. I would like to work there, if truth be told.

Meanwhile, I have just learned that Trader Joe’s donates food to organizations which provide food to the less fortunate.  How do I know? Yorkville Common Pantry’s “brown bag” contained a fresh packaged Trader Joe’s Kale slaw salad, of those they sell for people who do not want to make their own lunch or dinner. Way to go, Trader Joe’s! We thank you!

HOW TO KEEP OKRA FROM GOING SLIMY ON YOU

Good Southern girl that I am, I do love my okra.  Only thing is it does have that tendency to get slimy – I’ve always thought that’s why we so often prepare  it together with tomatoes (to hide the slime).  I was just visiting FreshBitesDaily.com and noticed their suggestion:

Dry your okra after you wash it, and before you cut it.

So simple.

FERMENTED SALSA AT 6 DAYS: WOW! Second Grand Opening

On Monday, I opened one jar of my fermented salsa. It was delish, which  good, because I was going to go to the “fermented sauces” meetup in a few hours.  Long story short: I took the salsa to the meetup, people tasted it, said it was good, but no one asked me about it.

Tonight (8 days after I put it to ferment, I opened the second jar. Whoops! It jumped out at me!  That’s my sign for a good ferment. I skimmed off the stuff that was poking out of the jar (next time, I’ll remember to open it over a bowl, to save the juice.

Right now, I am thinking about getting some cauliflower, to make a “tabouli” with it.  That’s tomorrow’s project.

Meanwhile, I am sort of thinking of saving back a bit to use as the starter for a cashew cheeze.  It could be yummy!

SPRING VEGETABLES! What can I ferment? Meet-up quandary: will probably ferment green beans

There’s a big Fermentation  Party in Brooklyn at the end of the month. I want to go, so I’ll have to ferment something (maybe a cheeze? I want something spectactular, or at least remarkable)

Meanwhile, the next NYC Ferments is for Spring Ferments . What?

Here’s my list of spring vegetables:
Artichokes
Asparagus
Belgian Endive
Broccoli
Butter Lettuce
Cactus
Chayote Squash
 Chives
Corn
Fava Beans
Fennel
Fiddlehead Ferns
Green Beans
Manoa Lettuce
Morel Mushrooms
Mustard Greens
Pea Pods
Peas
Purple Asparagus
Radicchio
Ramps
Red Leaf Lettuce
Rhubarb
Snow Peas
Sorrel
Spinach
Spring Baby Lettuce
Swiss Chard
Vidalia Onions
Watercress

Aha! I can ferment green beans. Actually, I make some mean jalapeno dill fermented green beans! Aha!

GRAND OPENING: THE FERMENTED SALSA! and the meetup I took it to

I came home this afternoon to open the salsa, to make sure it was good to go, and, also, to taste it, so I could tell people how garlicky and spicy it was.   Woo hoo!  Yum!  (I’ve left the quart jar to ferment for a few more days, meanwhile).  So I wrapped up the jar, bagged it, and headed out in my purple Converse high-tops into the RAIN. Cold rain. Wet rain. Windy rain.

Still, I was determined to take my delicious salsa to the NYC Ferments monthly meetup.   (I love this group because I get to show off what I’ve made and, also, because, when I make something delicious or interesting, people want to talk to me about it, and so I get to practice talking to people – I’m shy, so that is an important thing – I can talk about what I’ve made because I know all about it.  If I eat something delicious made by another person, I can ask them about it, because my curiosity is greater than my reticence to talk to people I don’t know)  I really want to know how to make that fermented garlic chili paste! Couldn’t quite get the info out of the maker, who was the organizer.  Got it sort of, though.

So, people liked my salsa. They said so. One of the liking points was that I make my ferments without whey.  I know about that (actually, tonight, I think I accidentally got something made with whey, and that just is not pleasant, even though everything I ate tasted great!)

NEW SPICY TOMATO SALSA FERMENT GOING

I’ve just put a quart and a half of tomato salsa to ferment.  

What did I put it in?  About 6 large Roma tomatoes, chopped; a large onion, chopped fine, a medium-sized yellow bell pepper, chopped fine;  one very ripe jalapeno (it was orange), chopped fine;  a large handful of cilantro, chopped fine; 3 large garlic cloves, minced; 2 t sea salt; and 2 capsules of New Chapter All-Flora probiotics.  

There’s a fermenting meet-up on Monday evening, and I am fully expecting this mix to be ready and garlicky-spicy-licious by then. 

GNOWFGLINS – interesting resource for food prep lessons

GNOWFGLINS is a homesteading blog/website/newsletter with mountains of information. Wardee Harmon sends out newsletters with all sorts of useful free  information, and, too, she offers on-line e-classes, each of which contains numerous useful items.  What’s interesting about her courses is that they are offered on a “membership” basis, i.e., you pay by the month (so, if you are like me, you could probably inhale at least 5 courses in the space of a month).  These courses are not exclusively even vegetarian, but quite a few offer useful items for raw vegans (I have my eye on the first course, Fundamentals, which talks about sprouting beans, making water kefir, sprouting whole grains, and making natural pickled foods, among other items which are not of interest to me). Fundamentals II covers equipment for a traditional foods kitchen, natural sweeteners, superfoods, homemade salad dressings and sauces, and kid-friendly snacks, among other things I probably won’t be interested in). LactoFermentation covers all aspects of fermentation (I’ve read Wardee’s book on fermentation, but I still think this might reveal some things to me. I know she uses a whey-based fermenting culture, but I know I can get around that with lactobacillus caps. This lesson promises how to ferment fruit, fermented condiments, kefir, kombucha, and kvass, fermented honey, and more)  The dehydrating course is of interest to me because I am self-taught, and I think I might be able to learn some extra things

That’s 4 courses that I think I can learn something from, which, if I can focus and finish those courses in a month’s time, will make the month’s $17.95 membership very cost-effective. 

You might consider checking out Wardee’s site, and these course offerings – I haven’t seen such a good over-all pricing for the information I am after, and, anyway, I’d like to see how she does this, so I can tell you more at another time.