Honest Weight Food Co-op Coop Scoop: Self-Care Jan-Feb 2023

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This Is Your Brain on Meditation About the Cover Artist: See Us, Support Us Month Navigating Towards Health: Useful Shopping Tips Self-Care ∙ Jan/Feb 2023 Coop Scoop A FREE publication from Honest Weight
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Co-op. Coop Scoop 2 Joy during COVID Heal ∙ June/July 2021 Features Happenings at the Co-op adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod By Ruth Ann Smalley
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod Meet Stephanie, Caleb, and their new baby Nora! 11 10 By Melanie Pores Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer 13 Double Up Food Bucks! By Deanna Beyer Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer 14 Incredible Edible Gardens By Deanna Beyer Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer 3 What is a Co-op By Deanna Beyer Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer 4 What’s Fresh By Deanna Beyer Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer 4 Skin Deep Naturals By Pat Sahr Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer 9 Fresh News! Fresh News! Recipie Corner Co-op 101 Producer Profile Melanie’s Favorite Date-Sweetened Fruit Smoothie Coop Scoop JAN/FEB 2023 2 This Is Your Brain on Meditation Chinese Pavilion: Casual Chinese Cooking at Home Self-Care • Jan/Feb 2023 Features Happenings at the Co-op Have you ever seen people food shopping who stand in the aisles and read the labels? Well, that’s me! I read labels every time I shop. By Dr. Madeline
Glass Recycling
Zero Waste
Glass Recycling the Co-op, to ensure recycled rather than make it successful, we throwing clear glass home, bring it to the
By Rebecca
By Rebecca Angel
From the Archives: Growing Herbs Indoors By
Criscione 13 Learn to “Grow herbs in place of house plants,” with Mildred Baker 11
Paint Recycling 3 Triple Bottom Line: Planet
4 14 Koia Protein Drink
12 7 Co-op 101 Producer Profile About the Cover Artist: See Us, Support Us Month 12
By Melanie Pores GreenSheen
By Pat Sahr
By Lucia Hulsether
Self-Care 1 11 Be the Change
Up-Stitch 5
Honest to Goodness Cover Photo: Ya Ya in Conjunction with Capital Region Initiative for Incarcerated Parents. Learn more on Page 12. ISSN 2473-6155 (print) • ISSN 2473-6163 (online) The Coop Scoop is for informational purposes only, and not intended as medical or health advice. Always consult your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. The views of our guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Honest Weight, and we do not take responsibility for them. Be Sure to Check Our New Coop Scoop Blog! www.HonestWeight.coop/Scoop Check iT Out Here! of Apples Indian Ladder Farms
By Natalie Criscione


Letter from an Editor

is a retired cataloger at the New York State Library, where she worked for over 35 years. She wrote a 10-year blog called “Typo of the Day for Librarians” and has been a Co-op member since the 1980s.

Lucia Hulsether is a teacher and writer currently based in Saratoga Springs, NY. Her first book, Capitalist Humanitarianism, is forthcoming from Duke University Press. www.dukeupress.edu/capitalist-humanitarianism

ty and doctor visits and various new health regimens I’ve had to adopt due to these sudden revelations has greatly intensified my personal yearlong ordeal.

educational program, or taking on an opportunity. New family members will be welcomed, others mourned. A different dwelling might be on the horizon - whether it be more spacious or an act of intentionally downsizing. Some of us will get sick, others will get well. Some may abstain from sugar, coffee, or alcohol, others of us may learn to soften the edges of our own self-imposed rigidity. Some of us may finally learn to forgive ourselves and learn to love the people we are becoming each and every day. We are each a blessing and a gift.

Letter from an Editor

Ts we start 2023, many people will focus on a list of improvements, or resolutions, that they wish to attend to in their lives. Getting healthier, reading ingredient labels, starting a meditation practice, learning to cook, growing your own food, creating self-care routines might be among the lists. If you are one of those people, then this issue of the Coop Scoop is a perfect supplemental guide for your journey! We’ve even got suggestions for what to do with your unused/forgotten textiles (see UpStitch, our January Be the Change recipient), clothes (Clothing Swap 4.0 in What’s Fresh), and leftover paint (GreenSheen, Honest to Goodness).

his has been a rather fraught year for me and not just for the obvious Covid-related reasons. I’ve also learned that I have two different physical disorders, one fairly common for people my age and the other one far less common. I made the first discovery right at the beginning of the pandemic and the other one just after getting my second vaccine dose. On top of the anxiety and isolation and fears of leaving the house in general (just like everybody else), attempting to simultaneously deal with all the uncertain-

For others, the new year might mark the start of other changes that come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Beginning a new job, starting an

Honest to Goodness

“What exactly IS an “edible garden?”

GreenSheen Paint Recycling

On November 12th, 2022, Honest Weight collaborated with GreenSheen Paint to hold our first-ever paint recycling event and the response was tremendous!

Over the course of four hours, the teams (with smiles on their faces) worked tirelessly to move 375 vehicles through the parking lot, and collect (and sort) almost 50,000 lbs of paint. The event was

But obviously, I’m not the only one who’s been struggling with such issues—wheth er for oneself or one’s family members, friends, or colleagues; whether Covid-re lated or not; whether serious or routine. It’s enough to make you downright sick, and often quite desperate and depressed to boot. People have been afraid to make or keep their medical appointments, to go in for testing, or to even be around other afflicted people. Mental and emotional illnesses have been exacerbated and are sadly on the rise. But there are also a lot of resources available online right now, and there’s hope that we can finally beat the Virus and deal with whatever else might be currently ailing us.

One thing that we know for sure – change is coming. In fact, Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, noted over 2,000 years ago, “Change is the only constant in life.”

For me, this year brings a vast adventure that begins with an ending. After over 18 years (9+ years as staff) at Honest Weight, it is time for a change – a change I’ve needed desperately for some time now. It involves a childhood dream, 7 acres of raw land in the Pisgah National Forest (in the mountains of Western North Carolina), a LOT of physical labor and learning on YouTube, many dragonflies, and still nights where the stories of the sky are spelled out in the stars with such clarity that I can’t help but be overwhelmed and filled with hope, simultaneously.

In this issue of the Coop Scoop, entitled “Heal,” Rebecca Angel writes about her own experience with healing heartburn; Melanie Pores makes what’s good for you also taste good with her delicious Date-Sweetened Smoothie recipe; Ruth Ann Smalley gets to the root of things with an article on Regenerative Agriculture; and [etc.]. We’re hoping that all of the articles and information contained herein will contribute to helping all of us on our personal journeys toward renewed health and healing.

There’s no getting around it – it won’t be easy, but change rarely is. The community I have been surrounded by has left indelible prints on my heart and you will go with me always. As I hope I will go with you.

I’m thrilled to introduce Stasia Rodgers as the new Education & Engagement Specialist and staff editor. They will do a brilliant job and bring a fresh effervescence to the Scoop!

I’ll leave you with the words of the brilliant Mary Oliver:

“All I know is that “thank you” should appear somewhere. So just in case I can’t find the perfect place–“Thank you, Thank you.”

We’ve started with a modest plan that includes some of the “easier” plants to grow (including: lettuces, tomatoes, zucchini squash, pole beans, peppers, and various herbs) and hope to expand our planting based on what works (or doesn’t) this

publicized through the Co-op’s membership network, on FaceBook and Instagram, and by word of mouth.

And it certainly did travel because we greeted friends from the Capital District and as far away as Cobleskill, Nassau, and Catskill. While the event was completely free, participants had an opportunity to donate to our Be the Change Program and they blew us away with their generosity. We collected $1,586.87 to add to the November total to benefit The Food Pantries for the Capital District.

You may be wondering what happens to all of the paint collected. GreenSheen has a proprietary refining process that enables them to take all of the old paint collected and create eco-friendly, premium latex paint in 18 pre-tinted, designer colors. Started in 2010 by Kevin Callahan in Colorado, they now have sites in Phoenix, AZ, and Kent, WA, and have recently expanded to New York State. So far, they’ve prevented about 20 million lbs of paint from entering our landfills! You can find GreenSheen Paint in retailers across the county, including Ace Hardware, True Value, United Hardware, and Habitat ReStore locations.

If you missed this event, keep your eye on our website. We plan to hold another event in the spring.

Fresh News! Coop Scoop
Rebecca Angel has been a part of Honest Weight for twenty years and is Managing Editor of the Coop Scoop. When not at the co-op, Rebecca is a teacher, musician, and writer, currently working on a memoir about her experience with Cushing’s Syndrome. Mathew Bradley is our Layout Editor. He has been the Lead Designer at Honest Weight since the new store. Outside
Honest Editors
he enjoys writing band, tending to his garden, and training his English Cocker Spaniel, Cricket, for field work. Ruth Ann Smalley PhD, is our Content Editor. An educator and writer, with a 4-digit Co-op member number from the early 90s, Ruth Ann offers wellness, writing, and creativity coaching through her practice at www.vibrant-energies.com or www.ruthannsmalley.com. Natalie Criscione remembers shopping at the Quail St. Honest Weight location. She wears many hats: educator, writer, artist, musician, property manager, advocate, volunteer. She loves being part of the Coop Scoop team!

What is a Co-op?

If you’re new to Honest Weight, you might be wondering what makes us different from any other grocery store. There are lots of things, but probably the biggest is that we’re a community-owned co-op!

Salad, Hot Bar, and Cafe are Back, with

Just follow these simple steps:

• Locate the collection bins near our bike lockers

• Only place clear, clean glass in the bins

• Make sure to remove both the lids and little plastic rings (labels are ok)

Seasonal Local Produce

What could be fresher than all of your favorite produce arriving daily from local farms? (could we include a couple of relevant farm names here?It’s growing season and we’ve got farm-fresh fruits and veggies from all over the area. So, whether you’re looking for nNon-GMO sweet corn, crisp cucumbers, or super juicy, tiny strawberries, we’ve got you covered! Be sure to check out all the beautiful new arrivals next time you’re here.

“ ” -Up-Stitch
We create a sense of community that comes with sharing and helping others in their quest to create.

It’s a new year. Resolutions are born. If you haven’t already come up with one, how about this: find new ways to be creative. Up-Stitch can make your resolution easy AND affordable. You’ve thought about knitting a sweater? Now is the time. How about making a quilt? Sure. You’re not sure what to make? Visit the Up-Stitch website or store for ideas. Maybe you’d like to use your creativity as a volunteer? There are options!

In 2017, Maggie Erlich and Megan Stasi recognized that there were large supplies of unused craft items in people’s homes, a need for such items within the community, and a great potential to up-cycle. And so, the call went out and they began a nonprofit called Up-Stitch. It is a thrift store, but not the kind of thrift store you might imagine. This is a specialty thrift store that collects “donated fabric, yarn, and other sewing and needlework materials to distribute and sell back to the crafting community at an affordable rate.” They sell products through both their web site ( www.up-stitch.com) and store (located in The Albany Art Room at 350 New Scotland Ave, Albany— open Saturdays from 1-4).

So, in case you’re wondering where you can donate that unused bag of material you purchased in 2004 to make a baby blanket for your new niece who is now in college, this is the thrift store for you. Or, if you’re thinking of knitting a hat for someone in your life but you need some affordable yarn, this is the thrift store for you. Or, if you’re just wildly excited about discovering a new thrift store because you are that kind of person, you owe yourself an on-line or in-person visit. Remember, it’s a new year. Resolutions!

Because they keep “useful materials out of landfills, facilitate creativity, and increase environmental awareness throughout the Capital District,” a larger community has developed. Up-Stitch partners with the Stitching Exchange to provide sewing opportunities in which English and non-English speakers gather to develop community and language skills. Through generous donations, several immigrants have taken home a sewing machine. Up-Stitch also provides other non-profits with the supplies needed for education and creativity.

As you’re paying for your groceries during the month of January and you’re asked if you’d like to round up to the nearest dollar for Up-Stitch, just say “yes.” That in itself is a creative act AND a New Year’s resolution!

Honest Weight’s “Be The Change” program continues to partner with local non-profits like Up-Stitch to not only raise money for the organizations but to also increase awareness of the many offerings within our community.


Navigating Towards Health: Useful Shopping Tips

Have you ever seen people food shopping who stand in the aisles and read the labels? Well, that’s me! I read labels every time I shop.

I am a consistent label reader because they change all the time. Very often, a familiar brand will get an opportunity in the manufacturing process to use a cheaper alternative. The cheaper alternative is not usually better for human health. Sometimes small companies, once loved and cherished by us local buyers, get bought out by bigger companies. Shortly after this buy-out, the list of wholesome nutritious ingredients may be swapped out for cheaper, less healthy alternatives. Honest Weight’s Nutrition and Education Committee works diligently to make sure nothing from our Banned List has shown up, but buyers may have their own no-go lists, too!

Coop Scoop 8 JAN/FEB 2023
NOTE: The following article is not intended for people working with an eating disorder. Label reading is healthy for some and not for others. ~Managing Editor

loved ones harm.

Buy Most Food from the Outer Aisles

The foods found on a grocery store’s periphery must be stocked more frequently because they are fresher and perish more easily. In general, they will also have a higher health profile, for example: vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy products, and meats.

purchase a “share” of the co-op, become eligible for lots of additional discounts on products, and have voting rights on decisions that affect the store. Honest Weight member-owners can choose to invest their time at the store, serve on one of our committees, or work with a program, in order to receive a bigger discount (up to 24%) on their groceries.

aisles, you’ll notice that the labels get longer. These foods must be shelf stable and are usually processed in some way with ingredients that may not be good for our health.

there are several others you can check out: Niskayuna Consumers Co-op, Chatham Real Food Market Co-op, Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market, and Cambridge Food Co-op.

The Fewer Ingredients, the Better

If it has more than 5 or 6 ingredients, I usually put it back right away (there are a few exceptions, but this is a general rule). Most processed food

What is on o er? We believe everyone in our community should have access to affordable, high-quality, natural foods and products for healthy living. So we offer things like Co+op Basics (a line of over 450 high-quality foods and household items) at Everyday Low Prices. We

Avoid Added Sugars

On the ingredient list, I look to see if there is added sugar. Added sugars cause negative inflammation in the body. This type of inflammation is associated with ushering in and/or exacerbating existing chronic diseases.

While every co-op has its own distinctive vibe, we are all founded on the same basic principles: · voluntary and open membership democratic member control · member economic participation · autonomy and independence · education, training, and information

If I choose to eat sugar, then let it be only during special occasions. Unfortunately, sugar is added to pasta sauce, salad dressing, crackers, pickles, or other savory items. The thing about

One of the most common changes a company will make to save money is the type of fat or oil used to either make or preserve a product.

sugar is that it can be hidden on a label. One way to do that is to call sugar by a different name.

At this point, there are upwards of 100 different names that manufacturers can use instead of just writing “sugar.” In general, if it ends in “-ose,” it’s a sugar. And if it’s a “syrup” or a “solid,” it’s often a sugar too. I’ve created a list for you here. I tried to include alternative sugar names that don’t have the word “sugar” in them to help you recognize when there is sugar in the food, but the label is misleading.

Avoid Processed Vegetable (Seed) Oils

The word ‘lipid’ refers to fats, oils, and waxes. One of the most common changes a company will make to save money is the type of fat or oil used to either make or preserve a product. The type of lipid used is one of the top ingredients I check for when reading labels.

Every one of your body’s cells requires different types of lipids to maintain its shape. Normal hormones like estrogens, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol require lipids to be made. Lipids (fats) are essential to human health. The oils found in whole seeds, like sunflower and safflower are naturally healthy.

Unfortunately, seed oils are usually rancid by the time they are in your processed food. Why? In order to get the oil from the seed, the extraction process strips the fragile oil from its natural environment and exposes it to light, heat, chemicals, and oxygen. Any one of these exposures will deteriorate most natural seed oils into what’s known as a trans-fatty acid. In short, this means that the structure of the fat can no longer assimilate into a human body properly. Over time this can lead to inflammation, chronic disease, and other problems.

In short, buy fresh foods with few ingredients, and avoid sugar and

processed vegetable (seed) oils. And the next time you see someone blocking the aisle while reading a label, wearing a pair of readers perched on her nose that already has a pair of glasses on it, it’s probably me.

The Mad Health Doc has a Ph.D. in molecular cellular and developmental biology. She works at a local college where she teaches in the biology department. When not at work she can be found with her awesome family (which includes 6 chickens). Have a question or a suggestion for a future topic?


Whole seeds and nuts are a great source of healthy fat!

PRO TIP: Buy bulk flax and/or hemp seeds. Grind with a coffee grinder into a powder and store in your freezer. This releases the concentrated nutrients while preventing any degradation of natural oils. It’s easy and delicious sprinkled on your cereal, yogurt, or morning smoothie!

committed to providing our with for
foods and products for healthy who choose to participate a community that embraces cooperative principles in an atmosphere of 10 Coop Scoop
To promote ways to BY ANAUMENKO
Papscanee Island Nature Preserve from the south
The Co-op provides many healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, fish oil, and butter. Many are found in the bulk department to keep within your budget.

This Is Your Brain on Meditation

For thousands of years, people around the globe have practiced various forms of both spiritual and secular meditation. While the discipline is practiced in a wide variety of forms, the essence of meditation is: nonjudgmental acceptance of whatever is experienced; conscious focusing of attention; being in the moment, with any intrusive or distracting thoughts noted and then allowed to fade away.

During the thousands of years humans have been meditating, the various electrochemical processes and functions of the body—and particularly of the brain, the wondrous, complex, and still somewhat mysterious organ that controls every important function in the body—were not well understood. The adult brain


Pay very close attention to what is right in front of you. Only then will the present, the past, and the future reveal their secrets. Or not.

itself was believed to be fixed and unchanging, but that has been proven to be stupendously mistaken! The brain is dynamic and adaptive, changing structurally and functionally in response to experience, behavior, and lifestyle. This ability to respond and change is called neuroplasticity (brain plasticity).

Although the brain weighs only about three pounds, it contains approximately one billion neurons: cells that transmit information electrochemically, and that enable feeling, thinking, and behavior.

Changes in the brain can be detrimental, occuring in response to negative or destructive behaviors or conditions such as poverty, or self or other-inflicted abuse. However, positive changes made in the brain—in response to healthful experience, living conditions, and lifestyle—include the development of additional brain cells and/or the development or expansion of neuronal connections and networks.

Many hundreds of authenticated research studies using sophisticated technology such the EEG and MRI have demonstrated that meditation leads to the development of additional brain cells, strengthens neural connections, and can even change the configuration of these neural networks. More specifically, when practiced regularly, meditation measurably enhances the brain’s structure (e.g., increased thicknesses and folds in the brain) and functioning, in at least the following areas:

Gray matter plays a critical role in the central nervous system, involving muscle control, sensory perception, emotions, memory, language, vision, hearing, and decision-making.

The Amygdala, a mass of gray matter inside each cerebral hemisphere, controls emotional regulation and response.

The Hippocampus, a structure in the temporal lobe, is responsible for learning, memory, and emotional regulation.

The Prefrontal cortex is responsible for executive functions such as planning, decision-making, problem-solving, and self-control.

Brain Wave Activity in the form of increased alpha, theta, and related wave states associated with creativity, learning, and problem solving occurs during, and for an extended time after, meditation.

Crucial neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) are produced in the brain, such as serotonin, endorphins, growth hormones, and melatonin.

Finally, some studies indicate that meditation may prevent, slow, or even reverse some negative changes that take place in the normally aging brain. It may also be helpful in recovery from substance abuse and addiction disorders, as well as from depression and PTSD.

In sum, meditation is not a panacea, but clearly it can be a beneficial practice for overall health and a sense of well-being. It is safe, typically easy to learn, cost-free, and not time-consuming. Sit, and be well.

Ben Goldberg lives and celebrates in Albany.

The writer/artist Jenny O’Dell wrote that bird watching should really be understood as bird noticing.

About the Cover Artist:

See Us, Support Us Month

Double Up Food Bucks is a nationwide fruit and vegetable incentive program, servicing millions of SNAP users, active in 20+ states at over 800 farmers markets, CSAs, farm stands, mobile markets, and grocery stores. The program gives shoppers $1 for every $1 spent with SNAP, so you can purchase even more produce.

This is CRICIP's fourth year participating in See Us Support Us Month. This advocacy project was created by The Osborne Association in 2015. The Capital Region Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents, INC. CRICIP is the peer support nonprofit extension of Our Art Class, LLC.

committed to providing with

The CRICIP collection includes donated artwork from children who have experienced the impact of familial incarceration. Featured youth artwork from the collection includes youth artists who participated in the project from 2017 - 2018. Our Honest Arts Committee partnered withe CRICIP during the month of November 2022 and displayed it in our Honest Arts Gallery for the month of November. Preem Cabey of Our Art Class, LLC had this to say about the artist and their piece:

Double Up Food Bucks!

Hunger Free America estimates that this past year has seen a 67% increase in food- insecure New Yorkers. And here at Honest Weight we’re on track to have the highest redemp-

Profile Producer

“The artist of the piece that you mentioned is a cousin of Ahmed Minkeson. She dropped in to create that piece back in 2018. Her name was Ya Ya. The back story is, I brought all the supplies for the project to first street between Judson and Lexington sometime during September 2018. Ahmed and his two younger sister had family over and all five of the kid's created artwork and discussed familial and parental incarceration with me as they created artwork. We had to end abruptly due to a medical emergency that was happening across the street from the community center.”

tion of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits that we’ve seen in a single year. Which is why we’re so excited to participate in Double Up Food Bucks!

A match of up to $20 a day could mean $40 for healthy foods. Why is this important? Because too many people don’t have access, even with government aid, to the amount of healthy food needed to support families. Sign up is free and the dollars never expire.

In New York State, Double Up has contributed to 1.1 million pounds of healthy food sales to over 24,000 customers, at more than 130 sites spanning 23 counties.

Visit our Service Desk to sign up and go to honestweight.coop for more information on the program.

oia is a business that’s owned and operated by its founders, Maya French and Dustin Baker. French’s own experience of various food allergies contributed to their emphasis on using simple ingredients and reducing sugar. Koia produces three kinds of health drinks: protein shakes, keto shakes, and smoothies. They are nutritious, plant-based, low in sugar, vegan, and non-GMO, as well as gluten, dairy, and soy-free.

According to the creators of these drinks: “They taste just like a creamy milkshake except they’re better and healthier.” Koia uses a proprietary complete-protein blend of brown rice, pea, and chickpea proteins with all nine essential amino acids, to support the body's natural renewal and maintenance.

These drinks are carried by Honest Weight, as well as 15,000 retail stores nationwide. For more information about this product, go to drinkkoia.com, and if you want to get creative, check out their recipes for incorporating Koia drinks into snacks and desserts!

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!"

A and for

foods and products who choose a

Fresh News!
Koia Protein Drink
community cooperative in an atmosphere

From the Archives

Herbs Indoors”


Cookbook Review

Chinese Pavilion:

Casual Chinese Cooking at Home

Some of you may be aware that I became a member of the Honest Weight Food Co-op in 1978. There are so many things I love about our food co-op besides the healthy yummy foods we sell. I love that we can share our passions and expertise through our Coop Scoop, and I love the amazing diverse offerings through the Co-op’s educational and practitioner programs which I have both personally benefited from and also been able to joyfully contribute to.

Recently, I was able to enjoy one of our newest opportunities—to exchange books in the Little Library that is situated a few steps from our teaching kitchen.

I am currently studying Mandarin Chinese, so imagine my delight when I discovered the Chinese Pavilion: Casual Chinese Cooking at Home in our Little Library. This cookbook presents “78 simple and savory Chinese recipes.” I hope you will enjoy my reflections about this tasty cookbook.

This cookbook includes recipes for soups and salads, eggs noodles and rice, steamed dishes, fried dishes, and stir-fried wok dishes, illustrated with photos and accompanied by Chinese artwork. There are meat and seafood dishes as well as vegetable dishes featured. Although many of the recipes include healthy ingredients, I want to shed light on some healthy substitutions we can make for condiments and sweeteners, for folks who are trying to reduce sodium and added sugar intake. For example, in place of soy sauce, the co-op sells both Coconut Aminos and Braggs Aminos. For sweetness, you might want to substitute soaked dates, or perhaps add a smaller quantity of maple syrup, which at least includes trace minerals. From an Ayurvedic perspective, heating honey makes honey toxic, so if you choose to use it, be sure to add the honey after the cooking process is completed.

In the Taoist tradition, soups are considered elixirs that help promote longevity. This cookbook includes familiar soups such as egg drop and wonton soup, and also includes more exotic soups such as shark fin soup, and a simple but hearty shrimp and ginger soup. It also includes hearty salads. I like the recipe for shrimp cellophane noodle and carrot salad, and also a yummy Chinese cabbage salad. Both are fairly simple to prepare.

Rice, mostly consumed in southern China and wheat, predominantly consumed in northern China, are both considered nourishing and serve as standard components of a variety of dishes. The recipe featured for chow mein reminds me of the dish I have eaten at Chinese restaurants. The recipe

for stir-fried noodles and vegetables is simple but tasty. If you are like me and cannot have a lot of spicy foods, then you may opt to reduce the quantity of garlic in this recipe (and other recipes), and you may also choose to not to include chili peppers. I am not a big egg eater but the recipe presented for egg foo young is quite flavorful. The recipe for rice noodles with seafood reminds me a bit of the dish “seafood bird’s nest.”

I love dim sum, so I was really happy to see a variety of steamed dumpling recipes. For vegetarians, there is a simple cucumber stuffed with tofu recipe, a recipe for steamed vegetables, and a recipe for braised zucchini. For meat eaters, there is a recipe for pork and shrimp dumplings. They also include a recipe for a dipping sauce. Their recipe for mushroom chicken features shiitake mushrooms and wood ear mushrooms. Mushrooms are not only included for their taste and texture, but also for their nutritional value.

In the fried food section there’s a recipe for tofu fritters that sounds yummy. I also like the recipe for lime chicken, as well as the spring rolls. For those who are looking for a recipe for sweet-and-sour pork there is one included.

If you have a wok, you might be interested in some of the stir-fried wok dishes. The chicken with almonds and vegetables recipes looked pretty good. There is a recipe for braised eggplant, and also a recipe for spinach and tofu.

The cookbook mentions that the Chinese don’t historically end a meal with a dessert. Often they include ripe fruit such as oranges, grapefruit, mangosteen, mango, litchi, longan, and pears. I did, however, notice in the steamed recipes, a dish known as “eight treasures rice pudding” that looks like it would perhaps be appropriate to serve as a dessert.

Chinese Pavilion was published in 2003, but the cultural contextualization infused throughout this older text makes it “ageless.” If you aren’t lucky enough to find it in a library, I’d still suggest looking for a copy. For new books, I choose to support my local independent bookstore, The Book House, in Stuyvesant Plaza. When seeking unique, older texts online, my “go to” sources include Second Sale, Thriftbooks, and ABE books. These used bookseller aggregators allow me to select books based on price and condition. They are also helpful in choosing the location of the used text, so the book travels the least distance, potentially reducing its carbon impact, whenever feasible.

Melanie Pores, is a retired bilingual educator, an HWFC member since 1978, and the facilitator of HWFC’s Spanish Conversation Group since 2015, currently on Zoom, Fridays 10am to noon.
14 Coop Scoop JAN/FEB 2023

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