Thursday, May 5, 2011

Highlights from the April Cook’s Club

Ten people joined s.a.l.t. sisters partners Charmane and Brenda for a relaxing morning of wonderful food (Charmane made her frittata featured above!), relaxing conversation and great education on the theme, “Getting the Most Out of Your Grocery Dollars”.
A wealth (no pun intended) of information was shared; from cutting coupons, buying in bulk, planning menus around in-season produce and sale items, and making items from scratch as opposed to purchasing already-made items.
One homemade item shared by attendee Tammy Tilley is laundry detergent. Tammy likes this recipe because it gets clothes very clean, the soap rinses out and the clothes smell fresh. She says the detergent is safe to use in high efficiency washers, too! Here’s her recipe:
Homemade Laundry Soap:
1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap (can be found in the laundry section of your grocery or department store. If you cannot find this soap, any bar soap will suffice as long as it does not contain moisturizers or oils).
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1 cup regular baking soda
Grate the soap either with a grater (use the tiniest holes) or in a food processor. Add to the measured powders and mix together.
Use 2 tablespoons per load of laundry. It’s that easy to save money on laundry detergent and like the results, too!
Guests also talked about buying local foods that have been responsibly harvested.
Many towns and cities have CSA programs, or “Community Sustained Agriculture” programs, a contemporary type of “tenant farming”. Individuals rent a “share” of land from a farmer, who in turn toils, grows, and harvests produce. Then each week or month, those individuals receive their “share” of the produce.
Why join a CSA?
• CSA keeps food dollars in the local community and nurtures regional food production.
• CSA provides fresher and therefore more nutritious food.
• CSA creates opportunities for dialogue between farmers and eaters.
• CSA puts “the farmer’s face on food” and builds a trust and understanding that ensures the safety and value of your food.
Check your local farmers’ markets for CSA organizations around your area.
Here in Northern Indiana several Amish families have created CSAs to better sustain their culture’s livelihood and, at the same time, offer locals the best organic produce our dollars can buy. One such Amish family has named their enterprise Crystal Valley Organics, located at 1090 N 1150 W, Middlebury, IN, 46540.
For more information on this specific CSA, “Friend” us on Facebook, request more info and we’ll be glad happy to supply it!
Also on Facebook, answer this question: “What are some of your favorite ways of cutting grocery costs?” We can’t wait to read your ideas!

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