Thursday, October 23, 2008

Co-op Fest, Owner Gathering, Green Corn Project, and lots of fall food!

Wow Co-op month always has so much cool stuff going on! Plus, fall brings lots of delectable food options that we can't help but get excited about. 

Scroll down for:
Co-op Fest
Owner Gathering
Green Corn Project
Election season
Best of Austin
Produce love
The deli rocks Halloween
Learning from the cheese and meat departments.

Our friends at UT Inter-Cooperative Council have organized a great event that we are also sponsoring this Friday evening from 6-10pm!
Here is your invitation:

Dear Wheatsville Food Co-op Member,
You are invited to the Austin Co-op Music Festival this Friday, October 24th from 6 - 10PM at the French Legation (802 San Marcos St). It's been months in the making and ICC Austin is proud to have an opportunity to bring the co-op community together for some music, mingling, and crazy fun! There will be 13 local co-op businesses from Wheatsville to REI to Black Star Co-op.
Come to the event and invite your friends to hear White Ghost Shivers, Pong, and Clyde and Clem's Whiskey Business. Real Ale beer brews will be sold in plastic cups that you can keep. Flavored popcorn and food will also be sold at the event. 
There will be a $5 cover. There will be some chairs, but feel free to bring a blanket and hangout on the beautiful greens. There will be a large tented area, so if it rains, it's okay! Hope to see you there!

In cooperation,
UT Inter-Cooperative Council
Affordable Housing Owned and Operated by Students

Mark your calendars for the Fall Owner Gathering!
This Sunday Oct. 26th from 1:30-3:30 at our new meeting room in the new office building behind the store (3105 Guadalupe)
You'll have a chance to:
Meet the board and board candidates
Tour the new office and get a project update from me
Discuss the proposed changes to the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation
Enjoy the company of other co-opers and have some light refreshments!
There is a short program starting at 2pm, but you may also drop in whenever you can come by between 1:30 and 3:30.
We hope to see you there!

Come celebrate Green Corn Project's 10th anniversary while enjoying a magical afternoon feast of local food treasures at Boggy Creek Farm!
Wheatsville is a major sponsor of this terrific event, so if for some crazy reason you aren't coming to the owner gathering, you should definitely consider going to this!
As usual, they've lined up over twenty top local restaurants who are creating signature dishes for you to savor. Watch chef demonstrations on the back porch of this 1840s historic farmhouse (food samples and recipes provided, of course!) and enjoy live music on the front porch provided by local artists. You will also have a chance to bid on silent auction goods and services from many of Austin's top businesses.

GCP depends on this Fall Festival to fund most of their programs. Help them to continue to feed Austin, one garden at a time!

Tickets: - $35 in advance, $40 at the door - children under 12 free
*Note: Cash/Check only at the gate. Online and mail-order tickets will be held for you at the gate. Non-refundable. Rain or shine.
Perhaps you've heard that there is an election going on? 
Yep, right here at your co-op! Vote for your board of directors, on our boycott of products tested on animals, our proposed bylaws, and for the community groups we will support this year!
 You can vote on-line! It's easy and fast! All the information is at your fingertips, too so you can make a good decision!

Best of Austin
I am pleased as punch to announce that we are winners of Best Neighborhood Grocery in the Austin Chronicle Best of Austin Reader's Poll again this year! Yay! Thanks for your support. It makes me so proud to work for such a great award-winning organization!

Words from Johnny Livesay, Produce Manager

Need a carving pumpkin?
We've got carving pumpkins for halloween. They are decently sized and cost $4.99 each. Look for them at the entrance of the store, and in the produce department near the rest of the sqaush.

Eat your Greens!
The greens are looking good right now. We currently have some local turnip greens from Morrison Organic Farms in Cleburne, Texas. Also, lacinato kale has made it back on our greens line. We hope to see more local greens over the next few months -- be advised!

What's Local?
Right now, we have a few new local vendors in our line up right now, Dr. Dirt Organics, and -- (bar) W farms in Mullin, TX. From -- (bar) W, we have green beans and french breakfast radishes. They are grown using sustainable farming methods, and are pesticide free. Dr. Dirt Organics products are USDA Organic certified, and grown here in town. We currently have some 2 oz bunches of lemongrass, and basil from them. Look for the helpful tips on using lemongrass near the signs for the product. Lemongrass is an essential ingredient in Thai cuisine, and makes an excellent tea. We are going to be ordering some kaffir lime leaves for Friday, and if they come in, this combination is used to make things like Tom Ka (coconut milk soup), which is delicious. Reliable tomatoes are back as well. These are organically grown out in Cedar Creek, TX. They are pretty consistently delicious, and are greenhouse grown, so they are always in season. We also have 1 lb. creamer peas from Lightsey Farms out in Mexia. These are super tasty, and can be cooked like normal peas/beans, minus the soaking time.

Apples and Pears, oh my!
Honeycrisp! Braeburns! Fujis! Apples, you love them. Eat them.

I'm still really excited about the Concorde pears. They are so great. They are a smooth pear (no grainy bits), and taste like candy. We'll gladly cut some open and sample them for you. The Asian pears are off the chain!  They have subtle root beer notes and hints of vanilla. Ask for samples!!!

Let's Talk About Persimmons.
We currently have two varieties of persimmons, Hachiya and Fuyu. The Fuyu ripen a bit slower than the Hachiya, but both should be eaten when overripe to avoid the ridiculous astringency that most associate with persimmons. When ripe, these are a delicacy. Sooooo good.

We are still getting a great selection of organic squash. We currently have organic red kuri, kabocha, pie pumpkin, spaghetti, delicata, and acorn sqaush. These are in season, and taste great.

We're celebrating Halloween this weekend in the Wheatsville Bakery!
Come by and grab some demonically delicious Devil's Food Cupcakes to get in the trick-or-treat mood! Or maybe our bright orange smoothie of the month, "Under Construction", a sweet blend of peaches, mangoes and orange juice, is more up your dark alley! Our steamy Coconut Curry and Minestrone soups are in stock today, as well as a slew of new Wheatsville classics like fresh Crispy Fish Cakes, tropical Curry Lime Chicken Salad and Indian-Spiced Chickpeas, a savory, spicy, saucy vegan dish, a staff favorite spooned over brown rice. If you're a salsa-lover, be sure to try October's salsa of the month, the smoky-sweet Guajillo con Miel, a sunset blend of dried guajillo and ancho peppers simmered with sun-dried tomatoes and finished with local Goodflow honey. Want to see your favorite item in the Wheatsville Deli case? Come on in to the Deli and let someone know!
Having a Halloween pary?  We offer a variety of trays that would be perfect to take to any party.  Try a Mediterranean Tray (vegetarian dolmas, creamy hummus & tabouli), Fruit & Cheese Trays, and  Meat and Cheese Trays.  You can also stop by and sample any of our salads in the deli.  If you like, we can then make them for you as a catering order.  .
From the land of cheese:
Did you know that beer is not the only thing that the Trappists Monks are known for? 
They also make a mighty fine cheese called Pere Joseph.  Pere Joseph was named after a 16th century Capuchin monk. This semi-soft, cowsmilk cheese has a satiny texture, and a bit of sharpness and saltiness to it.  It melts well and can be used in cooking, I was personally thinking Potatoes au Gratin. It pairs well with fruit and can be complimented with a nice French Pinot Noir or German Gewurtztraminer. Let's not forget about a glass of Chimay. Cheers!
From the Bryan in the meat department
Ok its official, Niman meat freaking rocks!
Not that I'm really surprised, Niman Ranch has the right philosophy, the right genetics, and their hearts are in the right place. If you not had a chance please check out the website-
            I've cut a lot of different brands of meat and this is hands down the best looking meat I've had the privilege to process. Cooked….it's just unreal.  This is truly a top shelf beef , reserved for restaurants for a reason. Granted, it is graded at High Choice and USDA prime so it should be amazing. The difference between Niman Ranch meats and other national choice and prime beef is the outside fat isn't over developed (bordering on obese) but the internal marbling is very mature and impressive looking. Put simply, the fat is where it's supposed to be, inside the steak as marbling not on the outside to drive up the weight. You get a steak with minimal excess fat resulting in a more cost effective product for the consumer.  This high quality is because of the diet which begins on grain but is then switched to grass for half of the animals life. This allows these pampered cows to live, run and canoodle about in the grassland near the pacific coast and grow into beautiful animals. What a life!
            Right now you can expect to see our favorite cuts in the meat case your all familiar with- Boneless ribeyes, Top Sirloin steaks, strip steaks,  Ground Chuck made ground fresh daily, shoulder roasts and steaks. With this new meat, I have started to do some different cuts to appeal to the gourmands. You can look for Filet of striploin that will be extra thick but not as large as the NY Strip. You will also see a Culotte steak which comes from the Top Sirloin and in my opinion the best part. Culottes cook just like a sirloin steak and braise really well. So get over and check it out.
            We also have all the Niman pork products on member coupon. Get a .30 cent break on the total price with a member coupon.     
 I hope that you have a great week!

Dan Gillotte
Wheatsville GM and e-mail guy!

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