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October 18, 2018 |

Archive for » October 18th, 2018«

What is left in the garden? Lots!

Basil Veggie Chicken
(Photo provided — Yvona Fast)

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Fall is here, leaves are blowing off the trees, and Whiteface Mountain had a dusting of snow. Tender crops — tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini — have been harvested. Summer sweet corn is brown. But gardens and farmstands still have lots to offer.

Fall is vibrant flavors: sweet squash, tart apples, pungent greens. Autumn is the season we bring back warm comfort foods designed to keep away the chill. Soups, stews, pastas and risottos incorporate fall foods like apples, winter squash, root crops and hardy greens. Cool temps mean heavier, heartier dishes replace light, cool summer salads.

Root crops are at their peak: Carrots, beets, turnips, kohlrabi, celeriac, leek, winter radish like Daikon and Watermelon, potatoes. Sweet, delicious and versatile, they can be roasted, fried into chips, mashed or sliced and baked into a cheesy gratin. Carrots, leeks, winter radish and kohlrabi make delicious autumn salads. Sweet roasted beets, arugula and goat cheese make a quick salad.

Greens that wilt in the summer heat thrive during cool fall weather, and are abundant this time of year. These include long-season fall greens like kale and collards, which are at their best after frost hits them; all the cabbages – green, red, and savoy; fast growing Oriental varieties like the choys (Bok Choy, Pak Choi and Choy Sum) and Napa; and tender, quick-growing greens like spinach, arugula or lettuce which enjoy multiple harvests even in our short growing season. They are delicious in salads, quiches, frittatas, gratins and skillets.

Winter squash and pumpkins are plentiful. It pairs well with tart or sharp flavors, like citrus, pungent greens or hot peppers. Roast them to use in casseroles or top salad greens along with pepitas (pumpkin seeds).

Fall is apple season. At local orchards, apple picking with the kids is synonymous with fall. If you don’t have the time to make a pie, just bake the apples and season with cinnamon, sugar or maple syrup, and your favorite toppings, like nuts, raisins, granola.

Fresh cider and donuts are other seasonal treats. Hot and spiced or cold straight out of the jug, cider is a totally different flavor than apple juice. On warm days, freeze some into a sorbet or slush, or blend with yogurt and oats for a cool smoothie. Add chopped apples and pears into a salad of arugula, bok choy, walnuts and goat cheese.

Fall is time for soup. Use fresh vegetables like golden squashes, colorful root vegetables and tough winter greens to create autumn soups and stews bursting with fall colors and fine flavors. There’s nothing like a hot, comforting bowl of soup to take the chill off. They are great fare for both family suppers and fall festivities such as a pumpkin-carving bash, a football tailgating party, or any autumn gathering of friends.

Fall is crockpot comfort. A slow cooker filled with comfort food is a great way to warm up on autumn’s chilly, damp days. Slow cookers need little attention and use little energy. Use them to make anything from soup or chili to Sunday roasts and hearty stews for days you come home from work tired and hungry. For a warm breakfast on a chilly morning, use them to cook oatmeal overnight.

Fall is time for baking. Casseroles, pies, quiches, gratins all turn on the oven, taking the chill out of the kitchen and off your bones. Muffins, quick breads, apple pies, custards made with fall fruit add a sweet touch.

With cooler temps, fall is a great time to turn on the oven or cook up steamy stovetop delights.

Roasted Roots Side Dish

Ingredients:

2 pounds assorted root vegetables

1 or 2 cloves garlic

1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or paprika

2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil

1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh minced parsley

Directions:

Peel and scrub the root vegetables. Cut them into chunks.

Peel and mince the garlic.

Toss the roots with the olive oil, garlic, salt pepper.

Place in single layer in buttered, shallow baking dish.

Roast root vegetables in a 425 degrees oven until soft, 40 to 60 minutes. Test for doneness with a fork. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, and serve. Serves six to eight.

For an impressive presentation, roast a variety of roots together (not just one or two).

If you’re roasting beets, roast them in a separate pan if you don’t want to turn everything pink.

Basil Veggie Chicken

Ingredients:

A little oil for the pan

1 chicken breast

Salt pepper

1 onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 to 2 cups broccoli florets

1 to 2 cups cauliflower florets

1 to 2 cups carrot chunks

1/2 to 1 cup broth or water

2 cloves garlic

1 to 2 Tablespoons frozen basil (or fresh, or dried)

1/2 cup shredded cheese, like Parmesan or Cheddar or combination, optional

Directions:

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breast; sprinkle with salt pepper; cook two to four minutes on each side. Remove and set aside. When cool enough to handle, chop coarsely and check for doneness. (Or, use leftover diced cooked chicken or turkey and add at the end).

Peel and dice the onion; cook over low heat in same skillet five minutes or longer, to soften.

Add veggies and half a cup of broth. Cook, covered, stirring every five minutes or so, until tender. Add more broth if needed, and add reserved chicken towards the end to finish cooking.

Peel and mince the garlic. Stir into the skillet, along with basil.

When vegetables are cooked to desired tenderness, add reserved chicken, sprinkle with cheese and cook until cheese melts.

You can serve this over pasta, with a grain like quinoa or millet, or with potatoes; either side should be done in the same amount of time, or less. Or serve with crusty whole-grain bread or a French baguette.

Serves two to three.

Author of the award-winning cookbook Garden Gourmet: Fresh Fabulous Meals from your Garden, CSA or Farmers’ Market, Yvona Fast lives in Lake Clear and has two passions: cooking and writing. She can be reached at yvonawrite@yahoo.com or on Facebook as Author Yvona Fast.

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NGOs urge EU to end POPs exemptions for recycled plastics

The European Commission must withdraw recycling exemptions on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in order to close a “toxic loophole” in EU policy, NGOs have said.

Their recommendation comes in a report from a major study, which found the flame retardants PBDE and HBCD in plastic toys and other articles made from recycled electronic waste.

PBDEs are used in casings and wire insulation of old electronics and appliances and HBCD was used in polystyrene foams and plastics for electronics and cars.

The report, Toxic loophole, recycling hazardous waste into new products, was produced by the NGOs Arnika, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and the International POPs Elimination Network (Ipen). They are urging MEPs to vote against exemptions for recycled plastics during a plenary meeting expected to start on 22 October.

Earlier this month NGOs called on the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (Envi) to vote against a draft report of proposed changes to the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Regulation. MEPs subsequently voted in favour of the proposed amendments.

The NGOs have seven recommendations they say are essential to close the “toxic loophole”. These are:

  • withdraw recycling exemptions for materials containing pentaBDE and octaBDE under the Stockholm Convention and EU POPs Regulation;
  • stop “undermining” the convention’s global elimination aims. The European Parliament should adopt a more protective standard of 10ppm for decaBDE content in articles made of recycled materials;
  • set protective limits on POPs waste under the Basel Convention and EU POPs Regulation. The EU should “take the initiative” to support lowering the currently proposed hazardous waste limit of 1,000ppm for PBDEs and for HBCD to the scientifically and environmentally sound limits. These would be 50ppm for PBDEs and 100ppm for HBCD in the Basel and Stockholm Conventions and the EU POPs Regulation;
  • under the Basel Convention provisions stop e-waste export from Europe to developing countries that lack regulatory and hazardous waste management infrastructure. E-waste must be “clearly designated” as hazardous;
  • streamline restrictions for POPs, avoid regrettable substitutes and speed up the REACH authorisation process. All halogenated flame retardants should be restricted under REACH to avoid regrettable substitution. No exemptions, derogations, or transitional periods for restrictions or authorisations should be given for recycled materials or spare parts containing POPs;
  • implement non-combustion technologies and separation techniques to remove toxic chemicals from waste. The EU should implement non-combustion techniques to destroy POPs and advocate their adoption in Stockholm and Basel Convention working groups; and
  • publish the non-toxic environment strategy “to guarantee a truly non-toxic circular economy” and benefits for health and environment. This should include a clear commitment to keep chemicals of concern out of products because of their harmful impacts on vulnerable populations.

Study findings

Between April and June this year, the three NGOs and 17 other European organisations tested 430 plastic items including toys, hair accessories, kitchen utensils and other consumer products. They were purchased from stores in 11 EU members states and eight other European countries.

Of the samples collected, 109 were identified as “likely” to contain flame retardants originating from recycled e-waste. More detailed chemical analysis revealed:

  • 50 samples (46%) would fail to meet the EU POPs Regulation if the product was composed of new rather than recycled plastic; and
  • the highest measured concentrations of PBDEs were found in children’s toys, followed by hair accessories and kitchen utensils.

“Consumers do not know that new products made of recycled plastics can contain hazardous chemicals that were already banned a long time ago,” Manuel Fernández, from Bund – Friends of the Earth Germany, said.

“The EU should create maximum transparency and traceability of especially hazardous chemicals in products so that the downstream users, recyclers and consumers know what kind of dangerous chemicals might be in the products they intend to use and can opt for safer alternatives,” he said.

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Care and feeding of your cast iron frying pan (plus perfect recipes)

FOUND: Elana Keyes, of Guilford, wrote, “How do you season a cast-iron frying pan? I’ve tried several different methods and to no avail; everything sticks. I’ve tried oiling the pans in the oven for an hour at 500 degrees and inverting the pan. I’ve tried it on the top of the stove. Please help.

Elana, good news. My friends at America’s Test Kitchen sent me the information below from a 2003 issue of their magazine “Cook’s Illustrated” that should assist you. For everything you wanted to know about caring for your cast-iron skillet but were afraid to ask, check out their video at https://bit.ly/2zRoh4q.

You are not alone in trying to keep them in tip-top shape so all of your dishes come out perfect. If you haven’t subscribed to their magazines or their cooking newsletters, I highly recommend you do. If you are not familiar, their PBS television show is all about culinary education; it is not a reality cooking show with all of the “heated” time-based competitions. You will learn cooking techniques to enhance your culinary skills.

Steps: “1. Rub the pan with fine steel wool. 2. Wipe out loose dirt and rust with a cloth. 3. Place the pan on the burner over medium-low heat and add enough vegetable oil to coat the pan heavily. Heat for 5 minutes, or until the handle is too hot to touch. Turn off the burner. 4. Add enough salt to form a liquidy paste. Wearing a work or gardening glove, scrub with a thick wads of paper towels, steadying the pan with a potholder. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the pan is slick and black. 5. Rinse the pan thoroughly in hot water, wipe dry, and then coat with a thin film of vegetable oil, wiping off any excess with paper towels.”

I enjoy cooking in cast-iron pans because it is able to withstand high heat, especially when frying, searing or blackening. It retains heat well and can go from stovetop to oven … or place on the barbecue or over a campfire. Cornbread and cobblers are easy to bake in cast iron; I find it makes a moist corn bread. Just be careful, the handle gets hot.

Cast-iron cookware has been around for hundreds of years and was quite popular during the early part of the 20th century. Most kitchens had one; they were durable and fairly inexpensive. During the mid-1960s they began to decline in use when Teflon and nonstick pans were the craze. Grandma’s hand-me-down cast-iron pans were popular tag sale items and plentiful at secondhand shops.

As author Stephen King said, “Sooner or later, everything old is new again.” This holds true here, too. Cooking with cast iron is hot again. Displays of the cookware, and magazines and cookbooks devoted to this style of cooking are plentiful.

If there is only one book you want to have on the topic, “Cook It In Cast Iron: Kitchen-Tested Recipes from the One Pan That Does it All,” by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen (2015, $29.95) is the one.

Before getting into the recipes, the information at the beginning talks about cast-iron discoveries, why a cast-iron skillet belongs in every kitchen, evaluating cast-iron skillets, the science of seasoning and how to maintain your cast-iron skillet, troubleshooting, and busting myths.

The cast-iron personality test helps you determine which pan is right for you.

Each recipe has a headnote, “Why This Recipe Works.” It provides useful and interesting information about the preparation of the dish. It is one of the features I enjoy in America’s Test Kitchen publications.

For the recipe for chocolate chip skillet cookies, visit https://bit.ly/2yfH3QX. Recipes courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen.

Why this recipe works: Baked brie topped with jam or fruit — we like dried apricots and honey — is a popular party snack, and for good reason.

When the cheese is warmed, it magically transforms into a rich, dippable concoction.

Baking the cheese in a cast-iron skillet seemed like a no-brainer; since the skillet holds onto heat so well, it would keep the cheese in the ideal, luscious, fluid state longer than any other pan.

For sweet and creamy flavor in every bite, we re-engineered the traditional whole wheel of baked brie by trimming off the rind (which doesn’t melt that well) and slicing the cheese into cubes.

The result? Our honey-apricot mixture was evenly distributed throughout the dish, not just spooned on top.

We finished the dish with an extra drizzle of honey and some minced chives to reinforce the sweet-savory flavor profile. Be sure to use a firm, fairly unripe Brie for this recipe. Serve with crackers or Melba toast.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave apricots, 2 tablespoons honey, rosemary, salt, and pepper in medium bowl until apricots are softened and mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring halfway through microwaving. Add brie and toss to combine.

Transfer mixture to 10-inch, cast-iron skillet and bake until cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons honey and sprinkle with chives. Serve. Serves 8 to 10.

Why this recipe works: Frittatas are similar to omelets but much easier to make: All ingredients are combined at once, so you need much less hands-on time during cooking.

For a perfect, tender frittata packed with flavor, we started with 10 large eggs mixed with half-and-half. The water in the dairy helped create steam so the eggs puffed up, and the fat kept the frittata tender.

We used the microwave to quickly wilt fresh spinach and then drained it to keep the frittata from becoming waterlogged.

Feta cheese and oregano added great savory flavor.

Actively stirring and scraping the egg mixture during cooking kept the eggs from becoming tough and ensured quicker cooking.

Shaking the skillet helped the eggs distribute properly, and cooking the frittata on the stovetop created some nice browning on the bottom.

We then transferred the skillet to the broiler, where the high heat helped the frittata puff a little more and set without overcooking the bottom.

The cast iron was perfectly at home under the broiler, unlike nonstick pans with plastic handles and coatings that shouldn’t be exposed to intense heat.

Once we moved the skillet from the broiler to a wire rack, the residual heat from the cast iron helped the frittata finish cooking.

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Microwave spinach and 1/2cup water in large bowl, covered, until spinach is wilted and decreased in volume by half, about 4 minutes.

Remove bowl from microwave and keep covered for 1 minute. Carefully remove cover, allowing steam to escape away from you, and transfer spinach to colander set in sink. Using back of rubber spatula, gently press spinach against colander to release excess liquid. Transfer spinach to cutting board and chop coarse. Return spinach to colander and press second time.

Using fork, beat eggs, half-and-half, 3/4teaspoon salt, and 1/2teaspoon pepper in bowl until thoroughly combined and mixture is pure yellow; do not overbeat. Stir in 1/2cup feta.

Heat 10-inch, cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in spinach and cook until uniformly wilted and glossy, about 2 minutes.

Add egg mixture and, using heat-resistant rubber spatula, constantly and firmly scrape along bottom and sides of skillet until eggs form large curds and spatula leaves trail on bottom of skillet but eggs are still moist, 1 to 2 minutes. Shake skillet to distribute eggs evenly. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4cup feta and gently press into eggs with spatula.

Transfer skillet to oven and broil until center of frittata is puffed and surface is just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes; when cut into with paring knife, eggs should be slightly wet and runny.

Using potholders, transfer skillet to wire rack and let frittata rest for 5 minutes. Being careful of hot skillet handle, run spatula around edge of skillet to loosen frittata, then slide frittata out of skillet onto cutting board. Cut frittata into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6

Union League Café celebrates 25 years: 1032 Chapel St., New Haven. Throughout October, serving classics from the original 1993 menu in a three course, pre-fixe with wine pairings for $79 per person plus tax and gratuity ($55 per person plus tax and gratuity without wine pairings). Partnering with New Haven Farms and will donate 25 percent of proceeds from iconic confit de canard appetizer for the month of October. Menu and reservations at http://unionleaguecafe.com/menu/.

Consiglio’s Cooking Demonstration and Dinner: featuring Angelo Durante from Durante’s Pasta and Master Cheesemaker Jeshar Zeneli from Liuzzi Cheese Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m., Consiglio’s Restaurant, 165 Wooster St., New Haven, 203-865-4489 (reservations required), $75 (beverages, tax and gratuity not included). https://bit.ly/2Nd0xAg.

Cooking Class: Ravioli Workshop: Oct. 12, 6:30 pm, Chef’s Emporium, 449 Boston Post Road, Orange, $59.99. Reservations at 203-799-2665. Reservations at https://bit.ly/2pEJ19M.

Consiglio’s Murder Mystery Dinner: “What are you Wearing?” Oct. 12. Doors at 6 p.m., dinner and show at 7, Consiglio’s Restaurant, 165 Wooster St., New Haven, reservations at 203-865-4489 https://bit.ly/2O3TQzQ. $65 includes dinner and show (beverages, tax and gratuity not included).

“Chefs Of Our Kitchen” celebrates Oktoberfest with BAR: Oct. 17, 6:15 reception; 7 p.m. dinner. Gateway Community College, 20 Church St., New Haven, 203-285-2617. Watch the famous BAR salad being made and learn about the beer they brew at BAR. $65 benefits Gateway Community College Foundation. Parking in Temple Street garage. Bring ticket for validation. Tickets at https://bit.ly/2zTfUWf.

Alforno Wine Dinner: Oct. 30, 6:30 p.m., Alforno, 1654 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook, reservations at 860-399-4166, $75, plus tax and gratuity. Complete menu at http://alforno.net/events/.

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Brooks to host Skillet Fest | Ga Fl News | suwanneedemocrat.com

VALDOSTA — It first began as a way to spotlight local agriculture; and now, it acts as a vessel to unite the community. 

The Eighth Annual Skillet Festival will be hosted by the Brooks County Chamber of Commerce 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Brooks County Courthouse Lawn, 100 E. Screven St.

To kickoff the event, there will be a Cast Iron 5K Run/Walk beginning 8 a.m. Registration is $20 until Friday, Oct. 19, and will increase to $25 Saturday.

Medals will be given to the top male and female in each age division, overall male and female and masters male and female.

Proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club, and registration can be completed on runsignup.com.

The Skillet Festival is a food fair, artisan craft show and vintage market, said Kelly Hanks, festival director and chamber executive director.

“We’re sort of proud of it here in Brooks County,” she said. “We work really, really hard throughout the year to get some special vendors to attend.”

Hanks said the vendors at Skillet are one-of-a-kind, not attending any other festivals but Skillet.

There will be vendors from three states this year. Hanks said guests come from areas outside of Brooks County, including North Florida.

“People come in to visit their families and stay overnight and go to the Skillet Festival,” she said. “People come from hours away to attend, and we have a really good reach for our vendors.”

A staple in the festival is the skillet toss where competitors toss skillets to get them closest to a stake.

Hanks said the event has gained a Guinness World Record title for most skillets simultaneously tossed.

The toss has its first title sponsor this year, Next Era Energy Resources, and it will also include children age divisions.

There will be a petting zoo, quilt show, face painting, games, dog show and performances from local dance groups such as SweetE’s and Latoya’s School of Dance.

Free parking will be available at the First Baptist Church, 509 W. Screven St. A free shuttle service will be provided by the Brooks County High School FFA to transport guests to Skillet.

No parking is allowed around the Courthouse Square block, according to organizers. Handicap parking by permit only is available at the Quitman Church of Christ, 111 S. Stevens St.

Visit skilletfest.com, or search for Brooks County Skillet Festival on Facebook and Pinterest for more information. The Twitter and Instagram handles are @bcskilletfest. 

Amanda Usher is a reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times. She can be contacted at 229-244-3400 ext.1274.

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Celebrate Fair Trade Month With Coffee, Tea, And Olive Oil

Earlier this week we shared some fun fair trade kitchen accessories to help celebrate Fair Trade Month. Most people who first hear about fair trade think about coffee and tea so, with that in mind, we wanted to highlight some additional fair trade goodies to enjoy this month and year-long.

Coffee

“Chicago Fair Trade and their business member Metropolis Coffee have joined forces to bring Chicago Fair Trade Coffee, the trifecta of coffee!” shares Katherine Bissell Cordova, executive director of Chicago Fair Trade. This coffee represents a triple win, according to Bissell Cordova, since each purchase supports fair trade coffee farmers in South and Central America, Metropolis Coffee, a Chicago-based award-winning coffee roaster, and Chicago Fair Trade, the largest city-wide non-profit in the United States.

Chicago Fair Trade and Metropolis Coffee have joined forces to bring Chicago Fair Trade Coffee: the trifecta of coffee.Merideth Hallissey

Tea

Priscilla Schleigh, owner of Giraffe Home in Washington, has had many tea brands in her shop over the past dozen years but she raves about JusTea. Not only does she think it tastes great, but the information on the package on steeping times and water temperature helps make sure the tea lover gets the best result. “Through an amazing, trusted collaboration, this product supports many people, not just tea growers, but wood carvers and beading groups,” says Schleigh. “The package comes with a see-through top so you can look at the tea, and also a beautiful hand carved spoon with beads to reflect the variety of tea is attached.”

As a retailer and a tea drinker, Schleigh feels the attention to detail is remarkable. The tea appeals to someone who wants to give the gift of tea to someone as well as someone who appreciates a great cup of tea themselves. “Fair trade works when all the pieces come together,” she adds. Things like quality, ethics, beauty, function, and the joy of knowing your sip is making a difference in the lives of so many,” adds Schleigh.

Olive Oil

Have friends who don’t love coffee or tea (do they even exist?), if so, there is always fair trade olive oil. Carolyn Hopkinson, owner of Mondo Trading Company, offers her customers olive oil that provides farmers a fair and sustainable wage. Her shop also sells za’atar and a variety of tapenades, adds Hopkinson.

While most people have enjoyed coffee and tea and their introduction to fair trade, companies like Mondo Trading Company offer olive oil, za’atar and a variety of tapenades to fair trade supporters.Mondo Trading Company

Fair trade consumables have really increased over the last decade. Most people would learn of fair trade through coffee, tea or chocolate and while those products are still very much part of the fair trade space, it’s exciting to see additions such as olive oil, banana, rice as well as ingredients that are included in beauty and skincare products. As more consumers demand transparency and knowing where their products are sourced, how they’re harvested and how the employees are treated, we’ll continue to see a rise in fair trade goods. Soon we won’t need October to celebrate the contributions of fair trade producers and artisans because fair trade will be part of our lexicon every day.

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Celebrate Fair Trade Month With Coffee, Tea, And Olive Oil

Earlier this week we shared some fun fair trade kitchen accessories to help celebrate Fair Trade Month. Most people who first hear about fair trade think about coffee and tea so, with that in mind, we wanted to highlight some additional fair trade goodies to enjoy this month and year-long.

Coffee

“Chicago Fair Trade and their business member Metropolis Coffee have joined forces to bring Chicago Fair Trade Coffee, the trifecta of coffee!” shares Katherine Bissell Cordova, executive director of Chicago Fair Trade. This coffee represents a triple win, according to Bissell Cordova, since each purchase supports fair trade coffee farmers in South and Central America, Metropolis Coffee, a Chicago-based award-winning coffee roaster, and Chicago Fair Trade, the largest city-wide non-profit in the United States.

Chicago Fair Trade and Metropolis Coffee have joined forces to bring Chicago Fair Trade Coffee: the trifecta of coffee.Merideth Hallissey

Tea

Priscilla Schleigh, owner of Giraffe Home in Washington, has had many tea brands in her shop over the past dozen years but she raves about JusTea. Not only does she think it tastes great, but the information on the package on steeping times and water temperature helps make sure the tea lover gets the best result. “Through an amazing, trusted collaboration, this product supports many people, not just tea growers, but wood carvers and beading groups,” says Schleigh. “The package comes with a see-through top so you can look at the tea, and also a beautiful hand carved spoon with beads to reflect the variety of tea is attached.”

As a retailer and a tea drinker, Schleigh feels the attention to detail is remarkable. The tea appeals to someone who wants to give the gift of tea to someone as well as someone who appreciates a great cup of tea themselves. “Fair trade works when all the pieces come together,” she adds. Things like quality, ethics, beauty, function, and the joy of knowing your sip is making a difference in the lives of so many,” adds Schleigh.

Olive Oil

Have friends who don’t love coffee or tea (do they even exist?), if so, there is always fair trade olive oil. Carolyn Hopkinson, owner of Mondo Trading Company, offers her customers olive oil that provides farmers a fair and sustainable wage. Her shop also sells za’atar and a variety of tapenades, adds Hopkinson.

While most people have enjoyed coffee and tea and their introduction to fair trade, companies like Mondo Trading Company offer olive oil, za’atar and a variety of tapenades to fair trade supporters.Mondo Trading Company

Fair trade consumables have really increased over the last decade. Most people would learn of fair trade through coffee, tea or chocolate and while those products are still very much part of the fair trade space, it’s exciting to see additions such as olive oil, banana, rice as well as ingredients that are included in beauty and skincare products. As more consumers demand transparency and knowing where their products are sourced, how they’re harvested and how the employees are treated, we’ll continue to see a rise in fair trade goods. Soon we won’t need October to celebrate the contributions of fair trade producers and artisans because fair trade will be part of our lexicon every day.

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[Monolithic Cookware] Wins Good Design Award

JIA announced that its recent release, [Monolithic Cookware], is the winner of a 2018 Good Design Award. The company was awarded for the sleek design of the cookware, which was created in cooperation between JIA and Naoto Fukasawa, an industrial designer, design educator and author.

The Good Design Award has been the sole comprehensive design evaluation and commendation system in Japan since 1957, however, companies from both inside and outside of Japan submit entries. This year, the awards had 4,789 entries, with 1,353 winning entries from more than 900 companies. Click here to see the full list of winners.

JIA said the new cookware features the latest premium Teflon Profile nonstick technology, is PFOA free, and is also test approved by Computer Assist Mechanical Utensil Test (CAMUT), and is scratch-resistant and long lasting. The cookware is made from cast aluminum and has a heat-resistant plastic handle. The line was designed with both Eastern and Western cooking styles in mind, said JIA.

The [Monolithic Cookware] set contains three pans and several other accessories, including a flat pan, single-handle pan, double-handle pot, spatula, colander and soup spoon.

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