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Cranberry Rice Pudding

Sure, I try to write about using the fresh, seasonal, local produce bounty to create dinner. But sometimes, it's about upcycling. I don't make white rice, but I do sometimes acquire white rice. Sometimes it comes along with General Tso's Tofu. And it sits in the fridge. Sometimes I have the common sense to freeze it and make fried rice with it later, other times it sits until we have to give it the old sniff-n-toss. Let's face it, not every meal is a home-cooked treasure. But just like I add spinach or chard to my leftover Chicken Tikka Masala to stretch my takeout into a three day experience, cooked takeout white rice can be turned into a creamy dessert that pretty much comes free with your delivery meal. Recycled rice = instant dessert. So we start with one "pint" white rice. The quotes are intentional. It looked like a pint. It had a pink "16" on the bottom. It weighed 14 ounces and measured into about two and a third cups. Sure, fluid ounces and rice ounces don't take up the same amount of space, and how packed your pint is will vary from restaurant to restaurant and meal to meal. Let's say you're starting with two cups of rice. Scale as needed. Add that rice and an equal amount of milk to a pot. That can be cow milk or vegan milk, whole, skim, whatever. It's your dessert. If you want to go all out, do some milk and some cream. I used whole cow milk. Add two thirds of a cup of sugar. That's a lot of sugar! If you're avoiding sugar, use less. It can be more breakfasty than desserty. Add a tablespoon of butter. And a third- to a half-cup of dried cranberries. The cranberries will rehydrate a bit as they cook. And vanilla extract. A tablespoon or so. More if you're like that. Stir it all together, and bring it just to a boil. Dial it down to a low simmer and stir occasionally for 10-20 minutes, depending on how dry your rice was to start with. This batch took 12 minutes. When your milk is all absorbed and the pudding is creamy, you're almost done. If absorbs all the milk and still isn't creamy, add a splash (1/4 cup?) of milk and give it five minutes, stirring over low heat. If you're into it, and I'm into it, stir in some cinnamon. A teaspoon is a good start. And grate in some nutmeg. I used a half. Bust out your pretty ramekins or martini glasses or a cereal bowl and chill. This makes six small (reasonable) servings. Or, you could serve it hot and call it breakfast. This is cross-posted at where I'm working on making food out of food.   Cranberry Rice Pudding Leftover rice turns into a creamy dessert with a balance of sweet and tart. Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 cups (more if needed) milk (cow, soy, almond, whatever)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (more to taste) dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • Add everything to a pot except the spices. Stir and bring to a boil.
  • Dial back to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until milk is absorbed and rice is tender and pudding-like. 10-20 minutes.
  • If milk is absorbed before rice is tender, add a bit more milk and give it five minutes on low.
  • Add cinnamon and nutmeg, stir and chill, or serve warm.
 Details Cook time: 20 mins Yield: 6 servings

'Tis the season

The South Philly Food Co-op had a great year, increasing our membership to 330, organizing a fabulous garden tour, teaching folks to make beer for the holidays and swapping homemade soup.  We’re asking you to step up and include us in your end-of-year charitable giving plans.  Your donation of $10, $25 or $50 will help us reach our goal of $2000.  Thanks to our fiscal sponsor Fair Food Philly, your donations are tax deductible. Donate TODAY through Paypal and not only will you help the Co-op grow, but you'll be able to deduct this from your taxes!

5 reasons to donate to the co-op this month

1)    We’re growing FAST – after two years we already have 330 members.  At 600 we will be ready to sign a lease or mortgage for our store. 2)    We organize fun, educational events like Brew Day and the Soup Swap. 3)    Your donation will cover education and outreach expenses so that more of your member equity can go into opening the store. 4)    Your donation will help us do more outreach and grow faster. 5)    Donations are tax deductible, thanks to our fiscal sponsor Fair Food Philly Donate now (it's sooo easy with Paypal) before the end of the year to help the Co-op grow and to deduct it from your taxes. Happy holidays!

Girls Can Tell - Discount Offer and Free Gift!

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="230"]Nutcracker coaster from GirlsCanTell Didn't you always want a diagram to understand how a nutcracker works?[/caption] There's one week left before Christmas and, luckily for shopping procrastinators like me, Girls Can Tell is giving South Philly Food Co-op members a special incentive--a 10% discount on all merchandise. Not a member yet? If you join the Co-op before December 31, than you'll also receive a FREE GIFT (present for you!) from Girls Can Tell and the discount (present for someone else). Pretty much perfect, right? Join using our online form. Girls Can Tell is a unique housewares and gift store located at 1725 S. 12th Street, that sources materials responsibly and prints many items by hand. Featured on the Food Network's 2012 Gift Guide, Girls Can Tell sells adorable tea towels, notecards, napkins that will surely brighten up someone's holiday.

Cranberry Orange Bread

I make a lot of "quick breads." I try to always have banana bread or blueberry bread in the freezer for a quick breakfast. Blueberry bread is just blueberry muffins without the worry about whether they'll come out of the tins properly. I buy extra berries in the summer and keep them in the freezer for as long as I can stand it. I keep whole bananas with their skin on in the freezer (stash them just when they're too brown to eat raw). But sometimes, the season catches up with you and you're out of nanners and blueberries and you're *so over* things like pumpkin and apple. What then? Cranberry bread. Cranberry orange bread. Seasonal, but not squash. I started with two cups of fresh cranberries. Cut in half. I melted 3 oz of butter, which is about a third of a cup. Oh, and preheated the oven to 350. I swished the butter around my unphotographed loaf pans to grease them, then put it in a bowl with 3/4 cup orange juice and 3/4 cup milk. This was whisked together with three eggs and somehow, none of this is photographed, but in the end it looked like this and I set it aside. Then 3 cups flour - 2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup AP. 1 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. You could do all white, but I like what brown adds. Plus a teaspoon of baking soda. Tablespoon of baking powder. And mix the dry goods together. Then I zested my orange (from the juice) into the bowl - I might have gotten a tablespoon of zest. More is better. This didn't photograph. Stir the eggs/milk/oj/butter mix in. At this point it might be a little curdly looking with the oj and milk, but that's ok. Mix well. Add the cranberries. Pour it into two loaf pans and smooth it with a spatula. Into the oven for 50-60 minutes. I make one loaf to freeze and one loaf to eat, and then quick and homemade breakfast is always just a defrost away. This recipe is cross-posted at Saturday’s Mouse, where I’m working on making food out of food. Cranberry Orange Bread Tart and a little bit sweet (just a little) this quick bread means happy breakfasts in the cold months. Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups cranberries, cut in half
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • Mix wet goods and dry goods separately, then together. Add cranberries and mix well.
  • Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Cool, then slice and serve or freeze.
Details Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hour 20 mins Yield: 2 loaves

Need Good Karma Points? Earn Them Here!

Friends, As we approach the end of 2012, we are offering you an opportunity to support the South Philly Food Co-op in a whole new way! Now, thanks to our partnership with fiscal sponsor Fair Food Philly, you can help the Co-op achieve its goal of opening a community-owned grocery store with a tax-deductible, charitable gift. As you consider your year-end giving, we hope you will include a donation to the South Philly Food Co-op. With more than 320 member-owners, the South Philly Food Co-op is quickly becoming a neighborhood establishment, and we haven’t even opened the store yet! It’s so exciting to watch people connect at events like Co-op Brew Day and the Soup Swap. Says one Brew Day attendee who recently relocated to Philadelphia, “It sounded like the kind of event I could go to on my own, have fun, and meet some cool people — and it was different from all of the other holiday events.” By the end of the night, she told us she had a great time, made some new friends and was now considering a move to South Philly. Talk about building community! So join us in continuing to grow one of the most exciting projects in South Philly by making a donation to the Co-op today! (If you give before December 31st, you can count the tax benefit for 2012.) Your donation will go toward outreach, events and Co-op education, keeping our community connected and growing the Co-op’s local impact. We’ve set a goal of $2,000 for this end-of-year giving campaign, and we’ll get there with your contribution of $10, $25 or even $50. Making a donation couldn’t be easier. Just visit to make a secure online donation or write a check, made payable to our fiscal sponsor Fair Food Philly, and mail it to us at: South Philly Food Co-op, P.O. Box 31506, Philadelphia PA 19147. In addition to being a member, attending our events, volunteering or offering discounts at your business as part of Shop South Philly, supporting the Co-op with a charitable gift furthers your investment in an enterprise owned and controlled by a pretty awesome group of South Philadelphians! As always, get all the latest information on what’s going on at We hope to see you at a Co-op event soon! Best wishes for a warm and happy holiday season, Alison Fritz, Board President Maria Camoratto, Board Vice President

Sarah's Garden: These Bulbs Won't Plant Themselves

It's true, you know, but luckily planting bulbs is hardly any more work than planting seeds.  I believe it was Beverley Nichols who said (I'm paraphrasing here) that the best way to plant bulbs is to have your friends throw them around your yard and then plant them wherever they land.  I don't have too much yard space for bulb throwing so I planted mine in the already-existing beds. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"]photo.JPG this is an awesome picture of some dirt. just kidding, it's the bed prepped for bulb planting![/caption] I bought a lot of bulbs.  I ordered some (lots) online, forgetting that I had already bought some at the Lansdowne K-Mart back in September.  So now I have quite a variety.  Here's a list of what I planted:  daffodils (all yellow), crocuses, muscari (grape hyacinths), irises, snowflakes, blue squill, starflowers and winter aconite (eranthis.) It didn't really take that long to plant all that, though.  Since I was planting so many, I didn't really worry about rows or anything - just kind of sprinkled them all around and then covered them with dirt.  Did you know that it doesn't matter which way you plant bulbs - they will always turn right-side up as they start growing!  At least I think that's true.  We'll see! [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"]photo.JPG here's some more dirt, this time with bulbs! I know it looks just like the last one; just go with it.[/caption] One big difference between this garden and my old garden is that this one is a lot more open and therefore has a lot more...wildlife.  Of course in a city, wildlife has a slightly different meaning than I'm used to...okay, it's mostly stray cats.  I saw a possum about a block from my house once, too.  But mostly cats and squirrels.  The cats tend to use whatever dirt they can find as a litter box but I'm actually more worried about the squirrels eating my bulbs.  There were like five different squirrels watching me plant my bulbs, probably thinking about what a tasty snack they were about to have.  I asked them nicely not to eat my bulbs but I still have the sneaking suspicion that maybe I was just planting squirrel food.  Some bulbs, like daffodils and crocuses, animals don't eat as much but I know something back there is eating things because something ate all my little carrot seedlings.  ALL of them!  Rude, I say.  Selfish. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"]photo.JPG LOOK MORE DIRT[/caption] Okay, I know these three pictures look strikingly similar, but the above one is after everything was planted.  This is, again, a bed that was here when I moved in and I'm planning on changing everything around come spring (or summer or fall) so I'm only planting things here temporarily.  But here you can see some of my other plants.  From the left side of the picture:  a gingko turning yellow for winter, some rosemary and lamb's ear in the front left corner of the bed and a burning bush (burning!), a blackberry and a raspberry, a hibiscus (uh, I think) and the fig I got at the Rittenhouse farmer's market two years ago.  Everything else will (hopefully) be bulbs! [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"]photo.JPG this is also dirt. variation![/caption] Lastly, I planted this elephant ear I got at Greensgrow earlier this summer.  It was never really happy in the pot I transplanted it into after buying it and kind of drooped sadly in my window until I put it outside.  I decided I'd put it in the ground to see if it would make it through the winter.  It already weathered a few frosts outside this year so I may be too late. I'm still getting used to my new backyard - I find it takes at least a full year to fully understand the bright spots, the sheltered spots, the windy spots and things like that.  It'll be interesting to see if these bulbs make it.  I'm ROOTing (get it???) for you, bulbs! Sorry, I'll let myself out.

Get Your Christmas Shopping Done With The Co-op and Girls Can Tell!

Girls Can Tell Holiday OrnamentsGirlsCanTell, a housewares and gift store at 1725 S. 12th Street, will be serving up great shopping and light refreshments for the Co-op on December 13th from 3pm to 8pm. Current members can come out to meet other members and use their 10% discount (compliments of Girls Can Tell's participation in Shop South Philly) on wonderful locally made gifts. Not-yet members who become Co-op members between now and December 13th will receive a free gift from GirlsCanTell, redeemable at the event. Now is the time to become a member! Join using our online form or come out and join in-person at Girls Can Tell on Thursday, December 13th. If you are already a member, stop by and say hello on December 13th - and bring any of your friends who might be interested in joining!

Top 5 Reasons to Attend Co-op Brew Day (space is limited!)

As we told you earlier, the South Philly Food Co-op is holding a great event—Co-op Brew Day!— from noon till 5 p.m. on Dec. 1 for anyone interested in homebrewing (or simply interested in beer): Award-winning homebrewers Andy and Sean Arsenault will lead a workshop in which they demonstrate how to brew a Sugarplum Porter, the perfect beer to kick of your holiday season. Since the event is almost at capacity (seriously, if you're on the fence, don't sleep on this), we asked Andy Arsenault, a brewer at Downingtown's Victory (and, what do you know, a Co-op member, too) to fashion his Top 5 reasons to sign up for this great event where you'll learn about making great beer, support The Co-op, and, of course, learn about the benefits of membership. Take it away, Andy:
  1. There will be free beer.
  2. There will be homemade doughnuts.
  3. There will be homemade sugar plums.
  4. You'll get to meet Minnie, our sassy 95-year-old neighbor.  She usually helps out with the brewing.
  5. You'll get to learn about the SOUTH PHILLY FOOD CO-OP!!!
How's that?!
Sounds great to us. Hope to see you there! The event will take place at the Arsenaluts’ home at 732 Clymer St. Tickets are just $15 for members, $20 for non-members, and can be purchased at Eventbrite And remember: Becoming a member is easy. Why not join right now and attend at the member rate?

Make the Co-op Happen! Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities


Hello Co-op members and volunteers! Boy do we have a wealth of opportunities for you; from home brew to finding membership discounts, we have a number of ways for you to get involved.  Have a look at the list below and let us know if any are of interest or if we can provide you with any more details to pique your interest at [email protected]. Many thanks for your ongoing support of the Co-op; we wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! Volunteers Needed at the Homebrewing Workshop We’re looking for a couple of volunteers to help with the upcoming Homebrew Workshop. When: Saturday, December 1st What: Assist our hosts in the homebrewing workshop and provide information about the co-op to potential members. We need one volunteer for each of two shifts from 12-2:30 pm and then from 2:30-5 pm.


Looking to get know your Co-op community and South Philly better? Why not jump in and help on some the projects below? If you want to make some new friends, meet future pet sitters, or find that neighbor who will help you fix a broken water heater on a Sunday morning, working with our committees is a great way to build these connections. While experience is great, it's not needed -  we love volunteers with enthusiasm and a desire to learn new skills. Help us find more members Eager to see us reach our next membership goal and move on to opening the Co-op? Consider joining the Membership Committee. This winter we are focusing on developing materials and events to assist our current members in recruiting their friends and neighbors. If you are Interested in helping us tap into our current member networks or if you want to bring your own ideas for recruiting new members, please email [email protected] to get information about our meetings. Help with social media and blog posting We are looking for someone to help operate a Facebook/Twitter feed and help out with posting things (you don't necessarily have to write them!) to a wordpress blog. Help us keep track of potential funders We're looking for El Jefe de Dinero!  We need a volunteer to work alongside the Operations committee to maintain our list of potential grantors and financing agents.   We’ve brainstormed a lot of potential sources of money and need an organized person to help keep us all in check.  This will include researching potential lenders and other sources of funding that we identify together, maintaining the list of prospects and action items, and cracking the whip on the Operations committee. If you’re an organized person who's interested in project management, helping from home, strategic planning, development or fundraising, and willing to make some preliminary contact with nice people who like to give out money,  then your Co-op needs you!  This will take up approximately 4-5 hours of time per month. Help members get more discounts at local businesses We are looking for 1-2 outgoing folks who are able to follow-up with targeted business for our Shop South Philly program. You will help in securing discounts for our members at these local businesses. Volunteers can work independently on their own time for a few hours each month. Help find event sponsors Have a background or interest in sales or fundraising? You are the perfect volunteer to work on securing sponsors for all our Programs and Events. You'll work with the committee as they identify businesses who could help offset costs for our events. We're searching for 2-4 volunteers who have a few hours each month to commit to letter writing and follow-up phone calls. You can work on your own time and attend the occasional (very fun) Programs and Events meeting. Like running? The Programs and Events committee is considering organizing a South Philly 5K run this spring. We need 2-5 people who will research logistics, sponsorships, and marketing to determine if we want to present this event. If you like organizing, research, or running, this is the volunteer opportunity for you! Volunteering is a great way to help the Co-op advance its main goal of the moment: getting to 400 members! If you are currently a member-owner, volunteering at any of these events will count toward your household’s annual 8 hour volunteer commitment. For those who haven’t become members yet but are interested in volunteering, your hours are being tracked and will be applied to your account when you join. Email [email protected] if you can help out with any of these events or activities. Need more info? Email [email protected]