HWFC's Coop Scoop #420 Nov/Dec 2017

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ISSUE #420



Winter & Ayurveda Waging Peace HWFC's Great Gifts Guide What's Your Dosha?

'Tis the Season

Gifts to Feel Good About

Honest Weight Food Co-op is a member- ecologically sustainable ways of living. owned and -operated consumer Honest weight is open to the public, cooperative that is committed seven days a week. The Coop to providing the community Scoop is produced bimonthly with affordable, high by our Education Department quality natural foods and and offered free of charge products for healthy living. as part of our mission. Our mission is to promote to view online, Please visit more equitable, participatory, and www.honestweight.coop/coopscoop. consuming it when most needed, for whichever of the difficult feature of winter is getting you down, or maybe as a remedy to a combination of all of them. In co-op circles, we often talk about food as medicine. Eating to prevent falling ill and eating to aid in healing. Feeding ourselves with good intentions. I think just as important is enjoying that food with one another, making a celebration out of a Tuesday lunch, cooking for and with people we love. In this issue, you’ll find several recipes for warming food and drinks. You can read about volunteering at Joseph’s House Shelter, about actively waging peace in troubling times, and about casting your vote in the consumer culture of the holidays by buying local and supporting small and missionbased businesses. We hope you enjoy reading and that you take time to relish the season and your next meal, whatever you’re eating and with whomever you’re enjoying it.

I am enamored with the idea of catching summer in a bottle and























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100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany, NY 12206 (518) 482-2667 [COOP]



As I sit down to write this, deep red plums from a friend’s tree are


The Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a snowy winter, and colder than last year. As the days get shorter, grayer and colder in our little corner of the world, togetherness becomes as important as ever. Potlucks with shared favorite recipes, ice skating on a neighbor’s frozen pond while a pie bakes, getting together with friends to binge-watch an enchanting television show with popcorn and mulled wine or cider. It’s no accident that my examples all include something delicious. Food and community go hand-in-hand, each improving on the lived experience of the other.


Marketing & Digital Coordinator



Georgia Julius


our Editor


Letter from

macerating in sugar on the kitchen counter. Tomorrow I’ll boil them into jam and preserve them in jars to enjoy over the winter months. Some will stay with me and be enjoyed with toast or oatmeal. Most will be given as gifts to neighbors, friends, and family. A line from Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine comes to mind as I preserve fruits through canning, freezing, or fermenting. One of the main characters, a young boy, muses about the dandelion wine his grandparents bottle each year during the warm months. “Summer caught and stoppered” he calls the corked bottles standing translucent in the cellar. “Peer through [a bottle] at the wintry day - the snow melted to grass, the trees were reinhabitated with bird, leaf, and blossoms like a continent of butterflies breathing on the wind. And peering through, color sky from iron to blue.”


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A note from the editors:

Associate EDITOR:

Ben Goldberg is retired from a 40+ year career in behavioral health care in the nonprofit sector. He is currently an active volunteer and a freelance writer and editor.

Assistant EDITORs:

Tara Herrick Brown is a holistic health practitioner and offers emotional and spiritual wellness at Elevate Albany Wellness (five minutes from Honest Weight). To learn more about Brown and her practice, INUR Wellness, LLC, please visit www.inur.com. Carol Reid is a retired cataloger at the New York State Library, where she worked for over 35 years. She has edited newsletters on librarianship, intellectual freedom, and social responsibilities, done scads of proofreading in her time, and maintained a 10-year blog called “Typo of the Day for Librarians.” A total nitpicking word nerd, Reid has been a member of Honest Weight since the 1980s.


Ben Goldberg, Sarah Goldberg, Steve Holmes, Georgia Julius, Garrett McCluskey, Rebecca Angel Maxwell, Melanie Pores, Pat Sahr


Tara Herrick Brown & Mathew Bradley


Donna Eastman, Ellen Falls, Bonnie Betz, Julie Harrell

interested in CONTRIBUTing TO THE COOP SCOOP? Contact our assistant editor, Tara Herrick Brown:


Advertise with us! Contact: Kim Morton (518) 330-3262 kim.a.morton@gmail.com Printed with soy ink on recycled paper in Albany, NY

Raya Ioffe's "Fermenting 101" article (Sept/Oct issue), refers to sauerkraut that has gone through the fermentation process and is rich in "healthful live bacteria." The addition of the last line of the article suggesting readers ask for extra kraut at baseball stadiums was caused by an oversight during the editing process and was not approved of by the author. Many commercially available sauerkrauts are either preserved with vinegar or pasteurized, making them devoid of good bacteria and thereby negating the health benefits that live, naturally occurring bacteria provides.

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ISSN 2473-6155 (print) ISSN 2473-6163 (online) The Coop Scoop is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider. We are not responsible for errors or omissions. Honest Weight is not responsible for, and does not necessarily agree with, our guest writers' articles.



2 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR by Georgia Julius






by Melanie Pores

12 WAGING PEACE by Steve Holmes


15 RELISH YOUR VOICE by Garrett McCluskey

16 JEWISH CHRISTMAS by Rebecca Angel Maxwell



20 DIY KIDS CRAFTS by Sarah Goldberg

22 RECIPE CORNER by Melanie Pores



Producer Profiles

We truly value the small businesses and dedicated individuals who work hard to create the exceptional goods and products we carry here at Honest Weight Food Co-op. We think these inspirational stories demonstrate the importance of supporting local, and why we’re so committed to it!

TEENY TINY SPICE COMPANY The Teeny Tiny Spice Company (TTSC) is owned and operated by the Pomicter family, Thora, Ed, son Nick, and daughter Maddy. TTSC was established in Vermont in 2009, and in 2015 relocated to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia when Ed accepted an anesthesiologist position near Harrisonburg. Although relocated, the business continues as a family operation. TTSC creates and manufactures certified organic, kosher, and gluten-free spice and herb blends representing a diversity of world cuisines. The seasonings cover cooking styles from curries to barbeque to dessert. Salt-free and low-sodium products are also available. The TTSC website states: “All of our products are pure food. Nothing is hidden, with all ingredients listed on every package so that you know exactly what you are putting in your body.”

FOUND IN OUR MEAT DEPARTMENT The Pomicters blend, grind, and package all of their spices themselves in small batches, thereby assuring customers the freshest and most aromatic flavors available. The spice blends have a long shelf life; after grinding the fresh herbs and spices, the Pomicters package each batch in tins to seal in the freshness and block out air and sunlight. They have time-tested their blends and have found that even after one year, they still have rich flavor. There is no storefront for TTSC. Their products are shipped from the production facility in Harrisonburg to many retailers around the country, including our Co-op. Stop in the store and see what varieties are on hand in the Meat Department. More information and fabulous recipes can be found at teenytinyspice.com.

photo courtesy of Old World Provisions

OLD WORLD PROVISIONS In recent months, the Co-op has added delicatessen meats to the store’s offerings. Some of these products come from Old World Provisions, a meat processing company that has its roots in a business established more than 70 years ago in New York City by Sam Shuket. In 1983 Shuket's descendants, Joe Shuket and his son Mark, started their own deli business, which they eventually moved upstate to the Capital District. Today Old World Provisions operates with 45 employees in two locations under the leadership of Mark Shuket and his sons Ross and Seth. The Troy plant, at 12 Industrial Park Road, is the home of the national distribution center where the company produces all their sausage products and famous corned beef. The cooked deli meat plant is located in the South End of Albany at 84 Westerlo Street, near the State Capitol.

words by Pat Sahr

FOUND IN OUR MEAT DEPARTMENT for the local retail and wholesale markets. They also ship their meats to many places around the country. At the deli counter at Honest Weight, customers will find Old World roast beef, corned beef, pastrami, and smoked ham. For more information about this producer, go to oldworldprovisions.com. Enjoy! Pat Sahr has been a member of the Co-op since 2005. She contributes to the Coop Scoop as the writer of the Producer Profiles. Sahr says, “It’s a pleasure being part of the Honest Weight family, and I’ve especially enjoyed communicating with the various producers whose products are sold at the Co-op!”

The Shukets own a trio of brands, all of which contain only the finest ingredients: Old World Provisions, Helmbold's, and the New York State National brand for their pastrami, corned beef, roast beef, and turkey. Following traditional deli recipes, their products are cooked in 100-year-old brick ovens and original water kettles, just as their Grandpa Sam had done in the early years of the business. As Mark, Seth, and Ross say on the Old World website, “Today, we have a deep respect for our heritage and four family generations later we are breathing new life into old deli traditions.” photo courtesy of Teeny Tiny Spice Co. 6


A member of the North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP), Old World Provisions offers products NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017


Volunteering: The Giver Also Receives If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. - Dalai Lama XIV

words by Ben Goldberg

positive feedback loop.” That is, while empathic and happy people are more likely to volunteer, those who volunteer— even those who are less empathic and less happy to begin with—become measurably more empathic and happier over time as they volunteer. And these findings are more or less consistent across the life span, across personality types, and even across most cultures and societies, to the extent that some researchers have hypothesized that humans may be “hardwired” (perhaps as a species survival mechanism) for empathy/compassion, altruism, and giving. For those of us who are interested in maximizing health and overall well-being, the path is clear: •Be physically active, exercise; •Eat a healthy diet (Yes. We do know what that is!);

comp only

•Volunteer regularly (more or less).

For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself. - Galatians 5:14

PART 2: JOSEPH'S HOUSE Among the many worthwhile, mission-driven, nonprofit organizations in the Capital District is Joseph’s House & Shelter, Inc. in Troy.

PART 1: VOLUNTEERING Sociologist John Wilson defines volunteering as “any activity in which time is given freely to benefit another person, group, or cause. Volunteering is part of a cluster of helping behaviors, entailing more commitment than spontaneous assistance but narrower in scope than the care provided to family and friends.” Every year, more than 60 million Americans—about one in every four of us—do some form of volunteer activity. Many do so in a structured way through a volunteer agency or some other nonprofit or religious organization, while others “just do it” by helping out neighbors or others in need. Some volunteer in a focused, limited, temporary manner, such as on a specific project, while others do so on a long-term, regular, and committed basis. We think of both the religious and secular American cultural winter holidays as a time of giving. Volunteerism, of course, as noted above by Wilson, is a form of giving. Although we don't give gifts for our own benefit, when we give something special to someone we care about, and particularly when we do so unselfishly, we also benefit by how giving makes us feel and how it reinforces our connection to the recipient. An impressive body of validated research conducted over the past four decades—just Google “benefits of volunteering” to see 8

for yourself—clearly demonstrates that volunteers themselves benefit from their volunteerism in at least the following interrelated ways: •Psychological benefits – E.g., volunteers have higher selfrated life satisfaction and well-being (having a deeper sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in life); and lower depression and anxiety, even when controlling for physical health. Volunteering increases our confidence, self-esteem, and self-awareness. •Social benefits – E.g., expansion of one’s social network and community engagement; and reinforcement of important social identity and roles, particularly for younger and older people.

Founded in 1983, Joseph’s House provides an array of services—including emergency shelter, street outreach, and support services—to homeless and formerly homeless individuals and families who reside in Rensselaer County. While Joseph’s House relies heavily on both short- and longterm volunteers to provide and enrich their core services and special events, volunteers are especially appreciated for the annual Winter Walk for the Homeless, a more than 30-yearold event aimed primarily at raising community awareness about homelessness and fundraising (through walker pledges and donations) to support the organization’s services. This year’s Winter Walk, a 45-minute march through the

Little Italy neighborhood of Troy, will be held on Saturday, December 2 at 2 PM. The Joseph’s House website describes the Winter Walk as “a fun-filled afternoon of music, live animals, and a walk through the streets of Troy to raise awareness about homelessness. After the walk, stay and enjoy a traditional Italian Posada, soup, and more music.” The Posada, which is common to Italian and Mexican cultures, commemorates the trials of Mary and Joseph as they traveled to find shelter in which Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus. During their travels they were turned away from many doors (“no room at the inn”) until they finally found shelter in a humble manger in Bethlehem. During the Joseph's House Posada commemoration, which includes live sheep and donkeys, the costumed actors playing Mary and Joseph finally are given welcoming shelter at Joseph’s House Hill Street Inn on 4th Street, after which a street fiesta with food, music, and celebration commences. The annual Joseph’s House Wreath Sale will also take place on that day and on Sunday during Troy’s Victorian Stroll. Ben Goldberg is retired from a 40+ year career in behavioral health care in the nonprofit sector. He is currently an active volunteer and a freelance writer and editor.


learn more about joseph's house & shelter, Inc. josephshousetroy.org

VOLUNTEER: Winter Walk for the Homeless on Saturday 12/2 Annual Winter Banquet on Thursday 12/14


For more information about Joseph’s House, how to schedule a guest speaker for your organization, or how you can help by volunteering, please contact Patti Tullgren at 518-272-2544 or via email at ptullgren@josephshousetroy.org.

•Biological/Physiological benefits – E.g., secretion of stress-relieving neurotransmitter hormones; improved stress regulation; faster recovery from depressive symptoms; increased stamina; reduced symptoms of inflammation; and better overall physical health.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. - Winston Churchill Lastly, there is significant research evidence that shows that the activity of volunteering activates a “bidirectional COOP SCOOP

photo courtesy of Joseph's House NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017


Winter and Ayurveda

words by Melanie Pores

Balancing the mind, body, and spirit with warming foods and spices during the coldest months of the year.

WARMING CHAI TEA Makes 2 servings INGREDIENTS: 2 green cardamom pods, crushed with the side of a spoon /8 tsp black peppercorns


2 whole cloves 1 cinnamon stick 1 ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 2 cups water 2 tbsp maple syrup ¾ cup milk of your choice recipe by Melanie Pores

DIRECTIONS: 1. Bring spices, ginger, and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until liquid becomes fragrant, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Add maple syrup and steep three minutes.

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian “science of life force or vital energy” and the sister science to yoga, has been around for 5,000 years. Ayurveda teaches that we can preserve our health by maintaining balance (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) with diet and exercise. Each one of us is born with a particular constitution, and, along with everything else in the universe, humans contain a unique blend of five elements: air, ether (space), fire, water, and earth. Each of us is made up of these five elements, but in different concentrations. Ayurveda also maintains that there are three primary constitutions or doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Individuals with a predominantly VATA dosha, when in balance, tend to be quick-thinking, creative, and always in motion, with a thin build and a fast metabolism. When they are imbalanced, those with Vata dosha may suffer from anxiety, pain, and emaciation. Balanced PITTAS are often sharp, keenly focused, and driven, with strong leadership qualities. Pittas have a medium, muscular build. Imbalanced Pittas may suffer from heartburn, hot flashes, or other forms of inflammation, and they may be angry or aggressive. KAPHAS typically can be loving and nurturing with a calm temperament and a solid body frame. When Kaphas are out of balance, they can be needy or melancholy, and may suffer from obesity or diabetes. Each individual is either composed primarily of one 10

of the three doshas, or they may be a mixture of two (dualdoshic) or even all three (tri-doshic). From an Ayurvedic perspective, the year is divided into three seasons. The seasons share the qualities and elements embodied within the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. What we eat and how we live during these three seasons can potentially create imbalances within our body and/or mind. Ayurveda holds that it is important to nourish our bodies by eating seasonally-appropriate foods and also by making adaptations to our lifestyle in order to maintain balance. As we move into the cold and damp months of November and December, we are entering the beginning of the Vata season. The qualities of Vata are light, dry, airy, quick, and cold. When Vata is out of balance, this can lead to fear and anxiety. During the Vata season, you may notice that your body seems to be naturally craving heavier and warmer foods. This is because your body needs more protein and healthy fats during these months. Warming spices and herbs, such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper, are also helpful at this time of year. These spices and herbs have the potential to assist your body in rebounding from winter colds and the flu. The yummy chai tea recipe is designed to warm you on a chilly winter’s day. COOP SCOOP

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES BOOKS: Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad The 3-Season Diet: Eat the Way Nature Intended: Lose Weight, Beat Food Cravings, and Get Fit by John Douillard

2. Strain tea mixture through a fine strainer or a coffee filter and divide it into mugs. Heat milk over medium heat until just simmering, stirring until frothy. Divide milk into the mugs, stirring well into the spice mixture to combine.

Love Local Food?... Protect Local Land! The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is celebrating 25 years of saving farmlands in the Capital Region.

We need your help-join the movement to save our local lands today!

Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing by Usha and Vasant Lad Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners by Amadea Morningstar Eat, Taste, Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook of Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda, Johnny Branigan

WEBSITES: mapi.com ayurveda.com banyanbotanicals.com


Melanie Pores is presently retired after having served a 30+ year career as a bilingual teacher, teacher-trainer, resource specialist, school board member, adjunct professor, and educational researcher and policy analyst. She has been an Honest Weight Food Co-op member since 1978. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017




In Vietnam, since the war ended in 1975, leftover, undetonated American bombs have killed an estimated 42,000 people and injured 60,000 others, including many children, who find, play with, and unintentionally set off the bombs. And more will die. These deaths and injuries are part of the devastating long-term consequences of waging war. There are currently 15 active wars and armed conflicts in the world. The U.S. and North Korea are in the midst of an escalating conflict with the possibility of nuclear war sounding a disturbing distant drum, while at the same time, the U.S. and Russia seem to have begun yet another nuclear arms race. In comparing U.S. military spending with that of other countries in the world, the Franciscans for Justice in Peace (franciscansforjustice.org) found that the U.S. spends more than the next seven countries combined: China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan. As of this writing, the proposed U.S. budget for 2018 includes $639 billion dollars for military spending. This amounts to a 10 percent, 54 billion dollar increase over the 2017 military budget (which is already 15 percent of the total U.S. budget, and which many analysts claim does not even account for the total U.S. military expenditures). To pay for this increase, the budget also proposes deep cuts in important domestic programs that many U.S. citizens depend on. The proposed budget and cuts tell the story of our national intentions and priorities. We all have to ask ourselves the question: are these priorities our priorities?

Waging Peace

There are many international, national, and local groups who are waging peace, including many in the Capital District. Groups become more powerful when they connect with other groups with similar intentions. The recent rally in Townsend Park, mentioned above, is an example of a collaboration of local groups. words by Steve Holmes

One Honest Weight Member-Owner explores the history of nonviolent protest and how deliberate action and resistance can make a difference in our community and around the world.

When on April 15, 1967, more than 100,000 people gathered in New York City’s Central Park to protest the war in Vietnam, they were waging peace. When on July 10, 2014, hundreds of local peace activists gathered in Townsend Park in Albany for a “Hands off Iraq” rally, we were waging peace. And when, on August 13, 2017, hundreds rallied in Townsend Park once again, this time in protest of the violence and racism at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, we were waging peace. 12


The January 2017 Women’s March on Washington, with an estimated 2.4 million participants, was a stunning example of local and national groups working together. Waging peace is an antidote to waging war. It is a call to action, not just in protest, though that is an important element, but also for the creation of an alternate response to world and national conflicts and inequities, and all the horrific and costly ramifications of war. Waging peace requires a citizen brigade of people committed to nonviolent protest and action. The stakes are high right now. War is being waged in many countries, and hatred and violence is ever-present. But peace is also is present. It is fueled by love, kindness, courage, and a commitment to creating a world where every human life is precious.


"Waging Peace is An antidote to waging war." Over the last few months, in separate purchases, I bought two tee shirts. One is grey with the words: Love Over Fear. The other is black with bright white letters and the word: Resist. Two very different tee shirts, two very distinct ideas that come together for me and represent what I think is the heart of the peace movement. We as individuals, and collectively as citizens, have a lot of power. And we have choices about how we exercise that power. Resistance with peaceful and loving intention is at the heart of the response to war and injustice that many people have demonstrated over the years, including Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, who taught us a lot about waging peace. Waging peace at home and abroad is certainly not easy or simple. Neither is it without risk. However, it is the only path that may ensure and sustain genuine safety and security for all nations and all people in this 21st century when dire environmental challenges loom large and will require the utmost international cooperation. We can make a difference and we must. Peace be with you. See sidebar on page 14. Steve Holmes was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War era. For alternate service he worked in an institution for people with disabilities, and then spent the last 49 years helping people with developmental disabilities live and work in their communities and advocate for themselves.


Relish Your Voice

capital district peace groups:

words by Garrett McCluskey

Albany Friends Meeting Albany Jewish Voices for Peace Chatham Neighbors for Peace Citizen Action Guilderland Neighbors for Peace New York State Council of Churches Peace Action Pine Hills Neighbors for Peace Schenectady Neighbors for Peace Social Responsibilities Council, Peace Team Solidarity Committee of the Capital District Southern Rensselaer Neighbors for Peace Veterans for Peace, Tom Paine Chapter, #10 Women Against War

calendars of events for local peace & social justice: Albany Social Justice Center albanysjc.org Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace bethlehemforpeace.org Upper Hudson Peace Action peaceact.net 


    

    

During this holiday season, let us sing praises to and give thanks for each other, but also for that exquisite, intricate built-in musical instrument, the human voice. The voice, after all, is the only instrument humans use that was not invented by us. Nor could we have invented it, for it is one very high-tech piece of equipment.

acclaim, or slick professionalism. A song cannot be thrown in the garbage or left to rust or rot in storage. We may underappreciate the value of song because it has no monetary worth, and our supply of song is virtually inexhaustible. Gifts have to cost something, right? Wrong! While free to produce, gifts of song have been some of the most priceless this author has ever received. So, if you are poor in cash, but rich in spirit, you can still be everyone's favorite gift giver, and a most prolific one as well.

It is easy for us to take our voices for granted. After all, we have always had them, and nearly everyone else has one too. Every day to which we awaken with our voice in good working order is a glorious gift, and a new opportunity for self-expression. At any time, but especially during the holidays, when giving thanks and gifts are especially appreciated, what better way to show gratitude for our voice than to properly maintain it and use it. What better gift is there to give than the gift of song? Too much of the singing that we hear is through a speaker, an impersonal recording of someone we don't know. It is often far better to receive the gift of song in an up-close, personal, and intimate setting, even if it lacks accompaniment, critical

Did you know that singing can be a helpful practice for mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being? If you intend to make a health-based New Year's resolution this year, one way to ensure your success would be to include singing in your health plan. It can be a great core workout and it’s great for your lungs. Learning how beautiful your voice is will bring more joy to you, and more joy to the world. Garrett McCluskey enjoys spending most of his free time singing jazz tunes and doing breathing/voice exercises. He is an ardent advocate of The Mucusless Diet, as prescribed by Arnold Ehret, for optimimum health and singing.

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Another great gift, priceless yet cost-free, that one can give through use of their voice is the complimenting of another's voice. So if you hear someone singing, or even just speaking, and it is pleasant to your ears, tell them!




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Jewish Christmas

words by Rebecca Angel Maxwell

Reflections on the experience of bringing family members of different faiths together to celebrate a multicultural mishmash of winter holidays and enjoy some of the best traditions of each!

“Aunt Becca, I think there are more Jewish people than Christians here.”

sparkly red, green, and gold trimmings, and filled with holiday aromas. Walking in was a treat for the eyes, and the nose.

“I think you’re right,” I giggled with my niece, and we happily went back to the celebrations on Christmas Day.

My sister and brother-in-law outdid themselves with delicious food that took into account all of our dietary issues, plus my nieces had baked tons of cookies. The Jewish in-laws happily decorated gingerbread men and women for the first time. How often do adults join in on everything? It’s easy to become ho-hum (or bah-humbug) about the same activities year after year. However, for my brother-in-law’s family, this was their first Christmas, sampling traditions they had heard, read, and known about, but had not had a chance to participate in until then.

Several years ago my sister and brother-in-law hosted Christmas at their house. My sister is Christian and my brother-in-law is Jewish, and they have invited their two children to explore both faith traditions. My family is Catholic, and Christmas is a special time of preparation in our hearts for the Holy Family: celebrating Jesus’ birth with angels’ messages of peace, honoring the feminine side of our spirituality with Mary’s steadfast patience, and recognizing Joseph’s commitment on his path amidst the chaos and dangers of the world. That said, we also LOVE the American, secular, throwtinsel-on-everything holiday! I go all out decorating the house, hosting an annual dessert party, and spending weeks making homemade presents for everyone on my list. And the music! I relearn piano songs I’ve played for decades. The day after Thanksgiving my son (an even bigger Christmas fan than I am) is allowed to start our playlist of hundreds of seasonal songs, and every year we buy another album to get a new take on the classics. So the year my sister told me she would like to host Christmas, and by the way, my brother- in -law’s extended family was coming, I did a double take: “But they don’t celebrate Christmas!” My sister explained that her girls wanted everyone together for the holiday. I wondered if we would still have a “normal” Christmas, but reminded myself that the season is about family. “I’m sure we’ll have fun.” Oh yes, we did! In fact, that year is one of my all-time favorite holiday memories. We (husband, two kids, and my mother) live two miles away, so visiting my sister is easy. My brother-in-law’s family members aren’t so close so they stayed overnight, attending the Christmas Eve children’s mass. (My nieces were a sheep and angel, respectively.) It meant a lot to my sister that the Jewish side of the family began the festivities with her faith community. When we arrived at the house Christmas Day, we were greeted with a big chorus of “Merry Christmas!” from the crowd. My nieces, bouncing and hugging, were beside themselves with joy at having so many of the people they love all together. The spacious home was decorated with 16

Our family keeps gift giving as low-key as possible. I make a lot of food treats. But one of the first-time Christmas celebrants went all out. She had so much fun Christmas shopping, asking my sister about everyone’s likes and dislikes so she could get the perfect presents. And the wrapping was gorgeous! It was so unexpected and thoughtful. I still wear the scarf she gave me on a regular basis. As the day continued, I realized how privileged I was to be a part of this celebration. As much as I love Christmas, even I can find myself “going through the motions.” With our Jewish side of the family joyfully participating, every tradition was seen with fresh eyes. And the music! Oh, the music. I come from a family of musicians, and my sister married into more talent. Starting before Thanksgiving, holiday music diffuses throughout the air of every public space. Everyone in that house knew the songs of the season. The piano, guitars, and violins came out, along with beautiful voices to sing together in harmony. Since that year, we have had several inclusive holidays at my sister’s house. My nieces keep track if there are more Jewish people than Christians, but it’s all for fun. I don’t even know what a “normal” Christmas is anymore, if there ever was one in the first place. What I do know is that love reaches across all faiths. Rebecca Angel Maxwell has been a member of Honest Weight for fourteen years, bringing her family along for the ride. In addition to being part of the Nutrition and Education Committee, she teaches classes on gluten-free cooking, tea, and utilizing the Bulk Department. When she’s not at the Co-op, Maxwell is a music teacher, writer for GeekMom.com, and publisher of TeaPunk Tales. COOP SCOOP



For the kids Keim’s Wood Handcrafts Kits & Toys

Emily has been working with Elias Keim since 2015 to bring his handcrafted wooden toys to the Co-op. Elias is Amish, so Emily communicates with him via handwritten letters and his woodshop in Fultonville does not use electricity. Older kids will love putting together a sailboat or a bat or bluebird house, while younger kids will get a kick out of the trucks, trains, and pull toys with their moving parts. Built to be enjoyed by generations of children, these high-quality toys are simple, beautiful, and no-batteries-required.

words by Georgia Julius pictures by Mathew Bradley

For the crafter

Revival Homestead Supply

Lip Balm & Candle Making Kits These supercool DIY kits are created by a couple in Northampton, Massachusetts with a radical mission to support the rising tides of a post-consumerist culture. They offer goods and education in back-to-the-land type skills in hopes of creating a sustainable future and local economy. Melody and Chris run a small storefront, offer classes, and operate a blog to instruct and supply curious makers and future makers in backyard farming, food preservation, and creating handmade products for body & home. Maybe your gift of a Revival kit will change your recipient's life! (Read how Collar City Candles got their start, below!)

he holiday season is upon us, and for 86% of American adults, the celebration of the season will include buying gifts for friends and family. According to the same study by the Pew Research Center, when asked what they like least about Christmas and the winter holidays, one-third of adults cite the commercialization of the season. It can be easy to become discouraged by the mass-produced-overseas plastic, Black Friday calamity, and the prevalence of profit-driven big box stores, but what if your participation in the traditional practice of gift-gifting can do good all along the distribution channel? Making a conscious decision to buy local and support small businesses has consequences beyond good feels for the gift-giver. Small businesses tend to put far more care into their wares, in the form of good craftsmanship, quality 18

and ethical materials-sourcing, and responsible employment practices. Supporting them helps to enrich cultures and communities. It also exponentially boosts local economies: buying local creates jobs and has a ripple effect in supporting other small and local businesses, ultimately creating a profound outcome on the social fabric of our country. These are some unique gifts that were thoughtfully found, researched, and selected by Emily Collins, Honest Weight’s Mercantile Buyer. Emily strives to stock our co-op with well-crafted products that are either made locally or produced under fair-trade or ethical practices. Many of these companies have missions that align with that of HonestWeight’s, to do good work that benefits the planet and its people. This is our gift guide for good giving. COOP SCOOP

For lovers of local Collar City Candle & Nine Pin Cider Scented Candles

Collar City Candle, a Troy-based small-batch candle & soap company, has partnered with Albany’s Nine Pin Cider to produce the first ever New York Cider candles, making for a gift that’s local times two! Owned & operated by a husband & wife duo, Collar City Candle is committed to using organic essential oils, phthalate-free fragrance oils, and lead-free wicks. The company got their start when they received a candle-making kit as a present in 2004, a gift they call life-changing! Compile a cute gift bag with the candle and a bottle of Nine Pin, or a basket with a Collar City Candle and Revival Homestead Supply candle-making kit--one candle to burn now and one for later! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

For the foodie Farm Steady

Bagel, Cheese, Kraut & Pretzel Kits

Brooklyn Brew Shop

Beer & Cider Brewing Kits These sister companies were founded by a Brooklyn-based couple with mission to help people understand what it is they’re eating, how it’s grown, how it’s cooked and how individuals can truly make it their own. Their beautifully packaged kits make it easy to experiment in fermenting, brewing and baking at home. Each kit provides detailed instructions and everything you need for your first batch, save for fresh ingredients and some standard kitchen equipment. Most kits contain tools and equipment that can be used again and again. You’ll provide your foodie family member with an experience, empowerment, and a delicious made-from-scratch outcome!

For the Socially Conscious Sustainable Threads

Napkins & Table Runners

These beautiful, fair trade napkins and runners are all either handwoven or hand-printed with woodblock printing techniques by artisan groups in India. Sustainable Threads focuses on people, not just products, and has a goal of rural development, entrepreneurship and social justice. Their model requires a significant investment in design and product development, factoring in the skill sets of each community. As if that’s not enough, they also collect used packaging materials from family, friends, and businesses in their community to reduce their environmental impact. Now that’s a business we can get behind!

Holiday Supplies & Ornaments Great Arrow

Boxed Card Sets Silkscreened by hand in Buffalo, NY, Great Arrow cards are designed by a crew of graphic designers, illustrators, and fine artists. The process of producing a card takes about a week, from creating the screens (one for every color!) to cutting, folding, and packaging. For loved ones far and near, these colorful cards beat an email any day.

Acacia Creations

Handmade Ornaments

Acacia Creations was started in 2007 as a way to connect artisans in Kenya to the global marketplace and has since spread across East Africa and to Thailand, Vietnam, India and the Philippines. Working with over 1,000 artists, the company goes beyond fair trade by creating jobs, providing training and interest free-loans, and giving back to communities through their education and healthcare initiatives. 19

Co-op Kids! DIY Crafts

words by Sarah Goldberg

The Do-It-Yourself revival has been brewing for a while now. With the holidays always rounding the corner faster than we think, it’s time to ditch the online shopping and get our hands into some crafts!


Want a fun light in a bedroom or small nook space? (Very carefully) draw designs on a lightbulb using a colored marker. When the bulb is turned on, the designs will be cast around the space with a fantastic shadow effect.

If you’re looking for something fun and exploratory for children, there are a couple of alternatives to store-bought things. Cloud dough is a fun alternative to kinetic sand (for “wet sand” projects) that doesn’t cost a lot. You only need two ingredients: oil and flour. Although I’ve exclusively used baby oil, any kind of oil will do. Simply add one cup of oil for every eight cups of flour and mix. The oil and flour create a fluffy and firm alternative to sand or dirt. It’s easy to scoop and build into mounds or castles.

I have also constructed my own cloud light. It took a couple of hours and required the purchase of materials, but it’s still one of my favorite things I’ve made. I found a pack of paper spherical light shades at Joanne’s Fabrics and selected the largest as the form for my light. Using many hot glue sticks (be very careful and have some adult help!), I covered the light shade with pulled pieces of batting and cotton. I then stuck a strand of holiday lights inside and hung it from my ceiling. Voila, a magical cloud light!

Did you know that children can create their own watercolor paints? I find that homemades last longer and look brighter than store-bought paints. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons of white vinegar. (Yes! It will fizz! Which is a treat in itself…) After it has stopped fizzing, mix in a half teaspoon of corn syrup and two tablespoons of cornstarch. The mixture should be very thick. If it isn’t, add a bit more cornstarch. Then, pour the mixture into an ice cube tray. Once your mixture is in its tray, mix in some food coloring with a toothpick. Let the cubes dry overnight, preferably somewhere warm. When the paints are completely dry to the touch, they’re ready to use!


FUN WITH LIGHTS: Something a bit more complicated but still small is a space jar. Poke some delicate holes in aluminum foil before wrapping it around the inside of a Mason jar. Attach a small LED click light to the inside of the top. When the light is on and the jar is closed, the look of a starry night sky will be yours.



If you’re not into knitting but still interested in needle or fabric crafts, cross stitching and embroidery are two of the easiest needle crafts to learn and enjoy. Kids won’t have to count rows and stitches, but they do have to be careful about accidentally poking themselves with the embroidery needle. You will need to gather a few supplies such as a hoop, embroidery thread (also known as “floss”), needles, and fabric, but these kinds of needlework projects can be

Sarah Goldberg is an early childhood educator with a degree in Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz. She lives in Albany with her dog, her parents, and her student loans.

Hands-On, Hearts Open

Care During Your Entire Childbearing Year Betsy Mercogliano, CPM, LM (518)449-5759

November 4, 2017 & January 20, 2018

Jess Hayek ,CE, Doula (518)727-8219

Tisha Graham, CPM, CLC, Doula Rose Mitchell-Tenerowicz, Doula Laura Simpson, RN, NMT, Doula

12:30-3 pm Montessori 101 session 1:30 pm An Education for Life

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Whether you’re creating something for yourself or for someone else this season, remember that DIY is nothing to fear. Being incredibly creative and talented are not requirements for creating something on your own. Part of the point of doing it yourself is putting yourself into your craft in whatever way that may be. Giving someone something you’ve crafted yourself is like handing over a part of yourself—created with your thoughts, your hands, your materials, and your heart.

(518)465-0241 www.albanyfamilylifecenter.org

Meanwhile, who can resist Slime? Slime is also something enjoyable for children of all ages. While most slime is made with glue, borax, and water, there are alternatives if borax or liquid starch isn’t something you’d like to use. One recipe I found on a website called Little Bins for Little Hands was a combination of eye drops, baking soda, and glue.

Meet the faculty, tour the campus and discover how the proven excellence of a Montessori education can help your child achieve a lifetime of outstanding results. Pre-registration is requested.

picked up and laid down over time when the creative urge (or boredom) strikes. One of the most fun (or challenging) things about embroidery is how open-ended it can be. While cross-stitch is a form of embroidery (made with stitches that look like x’s), there are a lot of other stitches one can learn, such as flowers or dots. But there is also still something endearing and organic about a simple “poke in and out” stitch. I like to embroider while I’m watching a movie or listening to a podcast. That way I’m using more than one part of my brain while creating something I enjoy. (That’s why Grandma likes to crochet during staff meetings at work. Well, that and to stay awake.)


Professional homebirth midwifery, Doulas, education and more! Locations in Albany & Saratoga NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Solid Ground Center for a Balanced Life

Offering mindfulness-based solutions for Stress Management Caregiving and Compassion Fatigue Grief and Loss Weight Management ADHD Relapse Prevention Individual and group services 148 Central Avenue, Albany 518-339-9443 www.solidgroundny.org Check our website for class schedule


Recipe Corner

recipe by Global Chefs and the Pomegranate Council

Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 1 hour 10 min | Serves 8


INGREDIENTS 2 tsp ground coriander 2 tsp sugar A pinch of salt 1 pomegranate, seeded ½ cup green onion, thinly sliced 3 tbsp fresh lime juice 2 tsp finely chopped jalapeno pepper 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped 2 avocados, diced to ½ inch 4 center-cut salmon fillets, 6 to 7 ounces each 1 lime, cut in eighths for garnish





DIRECTIONS 1. Mix coriander, sugar, and a pinch of salt; reserve. 2. Up to four hours before serving, mix pomegranate seeds, onion, lime juice, jalapeno, and garlic; gently fold in avocado. If holding more than 30 minutes, put plastic wrap against the surface of the salsa, then tightly cover; store in the refrigerator. Remove about 30 minutes before serving. 3. To prepare the salmon, rub a generous teaspoon of the reserved seasoning mixture over each piece. Arrange the salmon on a baking sheet, skin-side down. Roast at 425° F about 10 minutes for medium-rare and 12 minutes for medium-well. 4. When salmon is done let it cool slightly; it should be warm but not hot. Put a piece of salmon on each plate and top with ½ cup salsa. Garnish with lime wedges.

HOW TO "SEED” A POMEGRANATE IN SIX EASY STEPS: 1. Pomegranate juice stains, so be sure to wear an apron or old clothes before de-seeding. 2. Lay a thin layer of newspaper on your countertop or over your cutting board to protect your kitchen from the juice.

9" pre-made pie crust 2 cups pure maple syrup 2 eggs, lightly beaten ¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed 1 /8 tsp salt 2 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee, melted 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 ½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped


DIRECTIONS 1. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F. 2. Line pie crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw short-grain rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then lift an edge of the foil. If the dough looks wet, continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes, until the dough is pale gold, for a total baking time of 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.




3. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil and boil for 8 to 10 minutes to reduce. Remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof Pyrex measuring cup. The syrup should be reduced to 1 ½ cups. If necessary, return the syrup to the saucepan and continue to boil until sufficiently reduced. Let cool to room temperature before proceeding. 4. In a bowl, stir together the eggs, brown sugar, reduced maple syrup, salt, melted butter or ghee, and vanilla until well mixed. Add the pecans and stir well. Pour into the partially baked pie crust, making sure the pecans are evenly distributed. 5. Bake the pie until the center is slightly puffed and firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool until just slightly warm, about 45 minutes, before serving. Makes one 9-inch pie.

3. Cut the pomegranate in half.

recipe adapted by Melanie Pores from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pie & Tart, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2003)

4. Hold one half of the pomegranate over a large bowl, seeds down, and tap the rind firmly with a spoon or spatula, rotating it slowly as you tap. 5. Continue tapping until all the seeds have fallen into the bowl. 6. Repeat with the second half. photo by Brian McLernon 22