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Coffee with the Co-op

Coffee with the Co-op

coffee with the coop

Head over to your local coffee shop this spring and learn more about the Co-op.  During the next two months we’ll be at area coffee shops on the weekend to hang out and talk about our favorite topic – the South Philly Food Co-op!  Want to know what all of the buzz is about? Come on down to one of these events to meet member-owners and get your questions answered while supporting some of our favorite local coffee shops. Become a member-owner at a Coffee with the Co-op event, and we'll send you home with a free South Philly Food Co-op mug! All events are from 9am to 1pm Locations: Sat. Mar 23:    Red Hook Coffee and Tea 765 S. Fourth St. Sat. Apr 6:      Benna's Cafe 1236 S. Eighth St. Black N Brew 1523 E. Passyunk Ave. Sat. Apr 13:    B2 1500 E. Passyunk Ave. Milk and Honey Cafe 518 S. Fourth St. Sat. Apr 27:    Plenty 1710 E. Passyunk Ave. Ultimo Newbold 1900 S. 15th St. Sun. Apr 28:   Ultimo Grad Hospital 2149 Catherine St. Sat. May 4:      Black N Brew 1523 E. Passyunk Ave. Sat. May 11:   Shot Tower Coffee 542 Christian St. *** JUST ADDED*** Sat. May 18: Breezy's Cafe, 2011 Reed St. (In addition to getting an awesome Co-op mug, anyone who becomes a Co-op member at Breezy's will receive a FREE coffee and vegan cookie!) TBD:   Artisan Boulanger Patissier - we are working to reschedule this one in their new space!
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Arts and Crafts Happy Hour 3/22

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Queen Village Art Center and South Philly Food Co-op are teaming up to bring you a FREE Arts and Crafts Happy Hour open to the public. Casual drop-in workshops will give Happy Hour attendees the opportunity to try their hands at painting, printing, sewing, collage and other cool crafts. Materials will be provided and wine and cheese will be served throughout.

When: March 22, 2013 from 7pm-9pm Where: Queen Village Art Center, 514 Bainbridge Street Cost: FREE (RSVP on Facebook to let us know you're coming!) For event and Art Center details visit phillyartcenter.com
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Co-op Speaker Series Presents: Chard Over Cheetos on 3/28

Chard Over Cheetos: Fostering Healthy Food Choices in an Era of Junk

chard_over_cheetos A panel discussion with: Kenji Tabery, Healthy Corner Store Initiative, The Food Trust Charles Matthews, Rebel Ventures, Urban Nutrition Initiative (to be confirmed) Tia McDonald, Vetri Foundation for Children Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:00-7:30 p.m. South Philadelphia Branch of the Free Library, Broad and Morris Streets FREE TO ATTEND! ****PLEASE CLICK HERE TO RSVP ONLINE**** Experience National Nutrition Month at the Free Library of Philadelphia! In an age where more than two-thirds of the nation is overweight or obese, type-2 “adult onset” diabetes is striking children, and health care costs are skyrocketing, the need to develop healthy eating habits in our communities is more urgent than ever. But spreading the gospel of health and wellness is an uphill battle, especially when the areas most at risk are places where healthy food choices are most inaccessible. Despite the challenges, there is progress being made towards a healthier reality for many Philadelphia neighborhoods, especially when it comes to kids. In honor of National Nutrition Month, the South Philly Food Co-op and the Free Library of Philadelphia are pleased to welcome a panel of experienced game changes to highlight some of the innovative efforts from across the city to make the healthy choice the easy choice. We hope you’ll join us as we hear from a few of the amazing folks that are out on the street making healthy food choices available to everyone. We’ll hear from Kenji Tabery, program manager from the Food Trust’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative, which is leading the nation in its efforts to bring fresh food to corner stores in underserved neighborhoods. From the Vetri Foundation for Children, which is turning the lunchroom from a junk food gym into a real deal dining room, Chef Tia McDonald will give us her perspective on helping kids eat great, five days a week. Fresh food is so hot the kids are doing it too – we’ll also be joined by Charles Matthews, a 10th grader from West Philadelphia who is working to run Rebel Ventures, a business venture of Penn’s Urban Nutrition Initiative, producing homemade granola bars to sell to fellow students. The Co-op is very excited to hear from this great group and we hope that you’ll join us to explore the challenges and rewards of switching Cheetos for chard! Rebellious refreshments will be served.
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Detox and Re-tox with the Co-op

Come join us for a great Second Saturday on the Avenue on Saturday, March 9th.  Get loose after a stressful week with an hour long Vinyasa class at Wake Up Yoga from 4-5 pm.  Follow it up with a drink or two at The Bottle Shop from 5-7 pm. Come to one or both events, or even make a day of it! Start your afternoon by wandering down Passyunk Avenue to check out some of our great Shop South Philly partners.  Bring that poster you’ve always wanted to frame over to Frame Fatale, get a trim at Fringe Salon or a treatment at South Philadelphia Community Acupuncture.  Explore the Second Saturday art openings, sales, music and complimentary refreshments on offer this month. At 4 pm stop in to Wake Up Yoga, 1839 E. Passyunk Ave to Detox in an hour long Vinyasa class with Laura Edoff.  Get out of your head and into your body as you sink into a series of poses that will stretch your muscles and enhance circulation.  You don’t need to already be flexible and fit, just give yourself an hour to dissolve anxiety and stress.  Contributions at this donate-what-you-can class will benefit the South Philly Food Co-op. From 5-7 pm head next door to The Bottle Shop, 1837 E. Passyunk Ave for for our Re-Tox event.  It's the weekend!  We’ll be hanging out and drinking some of the great brews in their wide selection, which includes local and gluten free - and a free tasting from Three Heads Brewery.  Hang with some of your favorite Co-op members, learn more about us, even become a member yourself!  Check out the snacks and the daily sandwich specials. Still haven’t had enough Passyunk Avenue love?  There’s plenty of fabulous restaurants and night life to choose from, but it’s a Saturday night so make a reservation ahead of time.  
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Cranberry English Muffins

Lately, I've just been sticking cranberries into everything I cook. I really miss fruit this winter, and I got tired of apples pretty early on. You could make this without the cranberries, but then I'd have nothing to contribute to the literature, because there already is a perfect recipe for English muffins. I've been trying to do this for a while. I hinted at it 14 months ago (!) It turns out that everyone uses the same recipe anyway, and it's Alton Brown's. "My" recipe is *so* Alton Brown's that I'm not going to post it at the end, really, this is someone else's work. The only changes I made were: 1. Cranberries! 2. Earth Balance instead of shortening 3. Equal parts whole wheat and AP flour When I say everyone uses Alton Brown's recipe, I mean that most of the first page of Google hits on "English Muffin Recipe" is either that version or something based on that version. I mean that when I searched for video guidance on making English muffins, the most useful video is based on Alton Brown's recipe. Also, I've made English muffins not using Alton Brown's recipe and they were less than awesome. These, however, are awesome, so let's do it this way. I made five muffins using the aforementioned recipe, cut in half. Really, I should have made four muffins using that much dough, and so my muffins are not perfectly round, but otherwise, it's a win. This recipe involves special equipment - English muffin rings. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="240"] Four of these are "English Muffin Rings" and one is an off-label use of my largest biscuit cutter.[/caption] Sure, you don't have that. Who does? I do, because I finally gave in and bought them ($4.99) after trying to create my own rings out of aluminum foil. They did not hold up. If you're open to various muffin sizes, you can use biscuit cutters or any other sort of ring you have floating around in your cabinet. The internet says that you can open both sides of a tuna can and use that in lieu of actual rings, but I don't eat cans of tuna and I don't believe a can of cat food can ever truly be clean enough to eat out of. The other thing that held me back, even though I first read this recipe a year and a half ago, was dry milk. That's not something I keep around, in fact it's not something I've ever purchased. It's something I was served disolved into lukewarm water the 1990s during a foreign exchange trip to Europe and I've not held it in high regard since. Also, it's pricey. But after wrestling with other recipes, it was the way to go. I mentioned a video based on the same recipe - I took some tips from that as well and it's pretty well done so if you're making these for the first time, why not check it out? I don't know this person, it's just a useful video. Let's do this then. Remember, I cut my recipe in half and tried to get five muffins out of it, but I think you can get a solid 8 out of a full recipe or 4 out of a half. These freeze great, but I do fork-split them first. It's water (divided), flour, yeast, Earth Balance (instead of shortening, but your fat of choice), sugar, salt, and nonfat dry milk. The original recipe is all white flour, but half AP and half whole wheat still gives you a nice texture. Chewy. Crisp on the bottom. Not too heavy. Also, dried cranberries. I added a third of a cup for a half batch. Oh yeah, also cornmeal. This is why I don't usually try to set everything out ahead of time. I'm going to forget something. And some oil (not pictured). I used safflower, but whatever you like. First thing, melt that margarine. Hot water, margarine (shortening, whatever) salt, sugar and dry milk go into a bowl and get a whisking. Do this first so it has a chance to cool. Then get your yeast going. Warmish water (body temp), a pinch of sugar or drop of honey and your yeast. Mix a bit and let it froth. Once your milk/margarine mix is coolish and your yeast is frothy, sift your flour in and mix it all together. Hold off on the cranberries for now. Mix well, cover your dough and set it to rise in the nice warm spot in your house where you set things to rise. Let it go for an hour. Alton Brown says half, but I like an hour. It all depends on the temperature anyway. It didn't quite double, but it loosened up and got airy. It's a pretty sticky dough. Fold in your cranberries. Preheat your griddle and your muffin rings on med-low. Add a smidgen of oil to each ring - maybe a tablespoon total among your four (in my case five) rings. Sprinkle the griddle with cornmeal inside each ring. Divide your dough among your rings. Alton Brown advises using two scoops with a #20 ice cream scoop. I don't know about you, but I haven't had my ice cream scoop calibrated recently. Do what you will. Notice how mine aren't quite full? This is why you should use four rings. Cover with a cookie sheet or other flat piece of metal. Let them cook six minutes (you'll hear them sizzling) then remove the cookie sheet and flip the muffins. Another 5-6 six minutes and you have English muffins. Cool on a baking rack. And split with a fork. They're good as is, but better toasted. And buttered. The cranberry goodness would go well with some orange marmelade, if you have that handy. I did not. Seal them up in something airtight or split and freeze. The whole thing takes less than an hour and a half, so homemade English muffins aren't a serious chore, but English muffins you've already made and set aside for later, those are fantastic. This is cross-posted at SaturdaysMouse.com where I’m working on making food out of food.

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[UPDATE] Are you Philly's Foodiest Foodie? Test Your Knowledge at Food Quizzo on Feb. 27 @ The Wishing Well

Question Mark Made of Fruit and VeggiesIt's time to put your money where your mouth is, Philly foodies. On Wed., Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. at The Wishing Well (767 S. Ninth St.), round up a team of your best gourmands and test your knowledge of all things comestible and potable at the South Philly Food Co-op's Food Quizzo. The event is FREE to attend. Questions will be "sourced" from some of the finest culinary minds in the Philly dining and food-blogging scene, and will be grouped in three categories:

  1. Philly Focused
  2. At Home Cooking
  3. Nutrition and History

Question contributors thusfar  include:

JUST ADDED:

  • Barry's Homebrew
  • Daniel Berlin, Owner and Pickle Packer at the Bongo Zeptobrewery
  • Garces Trading Company
  • Beth Kaufman, Healthy Fare
  • Fair Food
  • The Avenue Delicatessen from co-op members Laura Frangiosa and Josh Skaroff
  • Jill Weber, Jet Wine Bar and Rex 1516
  • Passyunk Post
  • Trey Popp, Philadelphia Magazine

And we continue to add  tongue-teasers from food industry folks every day. (Want to submit your own questions? Email questions about food — any question — along with the answer, to Leigh Goldenberg, Chair, Programs and Events Committee, South Philly Food Co-op. Ideally, your question will fit into one of three categories: Philly Focused, At Home Cooking, or Nutrition and History. If you are so inclined, provide 2-3 alternative (but incorrect) answers, that would help our quiz master. We'll read your name and affiliation along with the question at Quizzo.) There will, of course, be prizes for the winning teams. But as if that's not exciting enough, all Co-op members will get their 15% Shop South Philly discount on food and drinks purchased at the Wishing Well that night. And anyone who joins The Co-op that evening will get the discount, too. See you there! Discover more about the benefits of  member ownership, learn about our next very important milestone, meet a member or, if you're now convinced, join the co-op.  

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What is your food worth? Continuing discussions (3/13/13)

As part of a series of conversations about food, ethics, and sustainability, Mark Bittman, acclaimed food writer for the New York Times, brings his insights to Philadelphia to address this question. Mr. Bittman will be speaking at the Congregation Rodeph Shalom (615 North Broad Street) on March 13th at 7:30. The South Philadelphia Food Co-op hosted Temple Professor Bryant Simon last month for a discussion in this series. We publicized Mr. Bittman's lecture on Facebook,  but it is receiving more and more attention. RSVP now since space is expected to fill up quickly. Check out the event here: What is your food worth? 
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East Passyunk Ave Restaurant Week is Coming Soon

File this in "supporting local businesses!" (While also dining at some great places.)
East Passyunk Restaurant Week
February 24 thru March 2
Feast on a 3-course prix fixe lunch and/or dinner at 21 award-winning East Passyunk restaurants for either $15, $25 or $35. From low key BYOBs to elegant candlelight dining, East Passyunk Restaurant Week boasts a diversity of dining experiences and cuisines that offers something for everyone. Come hungry! For a full list of restaurants, menus and reservations, go to www.eastpassyunkrestaurantweek.com. Tell your friends you plan on going by RSVPing at their Facebook page. And if you happen to get to chat with one of the owners of these fine establishments, let them know that you saw information about them on the South Philly Food Co-op's website and ask whether they'd like to be part of our Shop South Philly Program. (It can't hurt to ask!)
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Why Is The Real Estate Committee So Sad?

Sad RE Committee The following is by Megan Kiesel, chair of the South Philly Food Co-op Real Estate Committee. We're usually a happy bunch!  I swear! But these days the Co-op Real Estate Committee has been a bit blue.  Why?  We are ready to start looking for a space for our new neighborhood co-op, however, the Co-op market study tells us that we shouldn't secure a location until we have 400 members.  We only have about 340. We've been working hard the last couple of months.  We developed a checklist to help us compare and assess potential locations.  We met with folks around Philly who might be able to help us find space.  We also interviewed members of real estate committees at other co-ops to learn some best practices.  We know our membership committee is working hard, too.  I can barely leave my house without running into a Co-op volunteer with a map and clipboard asking me if I've joined yet. We are ready!  We are excited!  We want to find the perfect space for the South Philly Food Co-op! So, where are the last 60+ members that we need to get this party started?  If you are reading this, and you are not yet a Co-op member, IT'S YOU!  Are you excited about the Co-op but you keep forgetting to sign up?  (Click here!  Click here!).  Are you unable to part with the $200 membership dues?  (You know we offer payment plans, right?).  Or are you holding out to see where we put the co-op before you commit?  (We know all about you guys!)   That's just the thing, you see -- we can't put the store anywhere until all of you join us. So what do you think?  Is 2013 the year the South Philly Food Co-op finds its home? Click here to make the Real Estate Committee smile again! Editor's Note: Having just gotten 7 new members over the past week, the Co-op is on track again to making the Real Estate Committee happy but we need to keep that momentum going. Sign up today!
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Seeking Nominees for Board Election This Spring

This spring the Co-op will be holding an election to fill six (6) seats on the Board of Directors and any member can put themselves forward as a candidate for one of those seats.  This includes YOU! We need the involvement of dedicated member owners to guide the functions of the Co-op as a whole and provide a diverse set of perspectives on its decisions. One of the most important features of the South Philly Food Co-op is that it is a community-owned and -controlled enterprise, whose member-owners have the power to make decisions about how it will be run. Members exercise that decision-making power through a 11-person elected board of directors. If you're a member in good standing and you want to play a HUGE part in getting the Co-op to opening day, you can nominate yourself to run for the board. The board represents the different neighborhoods, families, backgrounds, and ideals of the community that the Co-op seeks to serve.   We are looking for member-owners that have been involved in the past but are ready to take on more of a leadership role. Below are the requirements for candidacy.
The elections will be held at the Spring General Membership meeting in May, 2013. Candidates must meet the following requirements to be placed on the ballot:
  • Member of shareholding household for at least 8 months prior to election
  • At least 18 years of age
  • In good standing re: equity
  • Prior Attendance at a General Membership Meeting
  • Prior Attendance at a Committee Meeting
  • Not associated with interests contrary to general interests of the South Philly Food Co-op
All nomination forms (available below) must be submitted no later than 5 pm, Saturday, March 2, 2013. Please email the completed form with answers to the questions below to Aubrey Jones (jonesa2 (at) gmail.com). You’ll receive email confirmation that your application was received via email within 24 hours. Forms may also be mailed and postmarked by March 2, 2013 to: South Philly Food Co-op Attn: Leadership Committee PO Box 31506 Philadelphia, PA 19147 Please answer the following questions separately. Your entire response to all three questions MUST NOT EXCEED 250 WORDS (not counting the questions). 251 words and your final nomination will be rejected.
  1. Why is the South Philly Food Co-op important to you?
  2. What has been your involvement with the Co-op to date?
  3. How will your experience, skills, or unique perspectives strengthen the Co-op Board?
Please provide names and signatures of 15 South Philly Food Co-op member owners in support of your nomination. If you submit your form via email, please attach a scanned copy of the required signatures along with your essay. Click this link to download a .pdf or this link to download a .docx of the nomination form.
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