Creating a Positive Impact

While a lot of the work we do focuses on business at the local level, a national story recently caught my attention and I think the message and values are worth sharing.

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Many of you may have already read about outdoor outfitter REI closing not only on Thanksgiving Day, but the day after, Black Friday, as well. The marketing associated with the announcement is urging not only its employees, but customers to #optoutside.

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I’d like to commend REI for bucking the current trend of retailers opening on Thanksgiving and giving their employees a hard earned break. Not only is it clever, and will bring goodwill to the company, it’s also great to see a retailer recognize the importance of work-life balance on such a large stage. On a holiday meant to give thanks for what we have, those employees will have the opportunity to enjoy those things they are so thankful for.

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We talk so much at Local First about spending our dollars locally. Each time we buy something, we are choosing what type of community we want to live in, what type of businesses we want in our community and what types of values we want those businesses to represent. It’s a big decision. Because of this, we work with our Local First members to think about not only their bottom lines, but how they can impact their employees and their community in a positive way.

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REI is choosing to impact their employees in a positive way and while they are not a local business, it’s not hard to look in our community and find local businesses that are choosing the same thing. Maybe it’s not closing on Black Friday, but it could be employee appreciation days, living wages, supporting community involvement and investing in employee’s education. Businesses making their employees and their community a priority not only deserve our considered patronage, but, our thanks as well, for making our community a better place for all of us.

A Reflective Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. The intentional effort to give thanks and to reflect on our blessings creates an atmosphere of gratitude. Each year, before my family and I take part in our Thanksgiving dinner, my grandma asks us to circle around the table. After we have circled up, each family member shares something they are thankful for. I find myself looking forward to this moment when the whole extended family shares a moment of vulnerability with one another; it is moving to share with your loved ones what you are truly thankful for. The great thing about the atmosphere of gratitude that surrounds Thanksgiving is that it leads to a deeper, more honest reflection. If my family and I did this activity on any other day of the year, we would probably share more superficial things that we are thankful for. I would probably say I am thankful for my friends or for sports. However, the reflective spirit of Thanksgiving seems to spark this desire to open ourselves up and share our deepest feelings of gratitude and appreciation. It is amazing the levels of emotion a holiday can evoke.

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For me, Thanksgiving is special. Every year, at the end of the day’s activities I find myself realizing my family members are my best friends. There is nobody I would rather spend my time with. My entire extended family lives within twenty minutes of one another. This is something I took for granted until I went to college and realized most people do not have a large amount of family members living nearby to them. Our family spends a lot of time together, and it can be easy to overlook how special our situation is. I have strong relationships with all of my cousins because of the time we spent together growing up. Our strong relationships with one another make holidays all that more special. When we circle together around the table on Thanksgiving, often someone will share a great joy that occurred within the immediate family. Or they share a moment of hardship followed with the gratitude for the support they received from the family. It seems as though most of the blessings or moments shared revolve around the importance of love and support given by our family. I am extremely thankful for this bond that my family has with one another.

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As you gather around the table this Thursday, whether with family or friends, take a moment to reflect on how lucky you are to have these people in your life. 

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Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Celeriac

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Celeriac, also known as celery root, is not the most aesthetically pleasing vegetable around. However, beneath its rough exterior lies a surprisingly delicious and versatile vegetable. Celeriac has a crisp texture raw or cooked, and has an extremely concentrated celery flavor. Celeriac is high in carbohydrates, vitamin C, Phosphorus, and Potassium.

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How to Prepare:

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Slice off stalks at the root crown. Soak the root in warm water to loosen dirt in crevices, then scrub thoroughly with a stiff vegetable brush. If exterior is too tough, peel with a sharp knife.

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How to Store:

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Do not wash celeriac before storing. Place it in a hydrator drawer or store it in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 1 month. Celeriac may be stored for 6-8 months under proper root cellar conditions. Celeriac may also be dried and made into an excellent seasoning.

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How to Cook:

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You can enjoy celeriac boiled, baked, raw, in soups or boiled and mashed with potatoes.

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Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini

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Recipes

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Apple-and-Root-Vegetable Hash

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Ingredients

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  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ pound celery root, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • ¾ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • ¾ pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 small firm, sweet apples, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (2-½ cups)
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
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Preparation

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Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and generously season with salt. Add celery root, and simmer 3 minutes. Add potatoes and sweet potatoes, and simmer vegetables 2 minutes more. Drain well, and spread vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet. Let cool 15 minutes.

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Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium-high heat, and cook onions until translucent and just beginning to color, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the apples, and vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then press into a single layer using a spatula. Cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes. Stir, and repeat process until vegetables are very tender and beginning to caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in sage, and season with salt and pepper.

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Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

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Celery-Root and Beet Salad

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Ingredients

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  • 6 medium beets (2-¼ lb with greens), trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
  • 1 (1-lb) celery root (sometimes called celeriac)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus additional to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (2 oz), toasted and cooled
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Preparation

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Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Wrap beets tightly in foil to make 2 packages (3 beets in each) and roast until tender, about 1-¼ hours. While beets roast, peel celery root with a sharp knife and cut into ⅛-inch-thick matchsticks. Whisk together lemon juice, shallot, oil, salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl until combined well, then add celery root and toss until coated. Keep at room temperature, covered, until ready to add beets.

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Carefully unwrap beets and, when just cool enough to handle, slip off skins and remove stems. Cut beets into ⅛-inch-thick matchsticks and toss with celery root. Let salad stand, covered, at room temperature 1 hour. Taste salad and season with more lemon juice and salt if necessary, then toss with walnuts.

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Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

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Smashed Celeriac

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Ingredients

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  • 1 celeriac, peeled
  • olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons water or organic stock
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Preparation

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Slice about a ½ inch off the bottom of your celeriac and roll it on to that flat edge, so that it's safe to slice. Slice and dice it all up into ½ inch cubes. Put a casserole-type pot on a high heat, add olive oil, then add the celeriac, thyme and garlic, and a little seasoning. Stir around to coat and fry quite fast, giving a little color, for 5 minutes.

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Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the water or stock, place a lid on top and cook for around 25 minutes, until tender. Season carefully to taste and stir around with a spoon to smash up the celeriac.

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Recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver

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Quick Celeriac Remoulade

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Ingredients

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  • 7 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 small celeriac
  • toast and watercress, to serve
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Preparation

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In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard and lemon juice together thoroughly with a generous sprinkling of salt and some freshly ground black pepper, so it all becomes one sauce.

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Peel and quarter the celeriac, then, working quickly, coarsely grate it and stir into the sauce until evenly coated. Serve the celeriac remoulade with lots of toast and some dressed watercress. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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Recipe courtesy of BBC Food

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Root-Vegetable Soup with Orange, Ginger, and Tarragon

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Ingredients

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  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped (about 2-½ cups)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2-¼ cups)
  • ½ small rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1-¾ cups)
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2-½ cups)
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth
  • 2 oranges, such as navel and Cara Cara
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly grated peeled ginger
  • ½ cup water, plus more if needed
  • Fresh tarragon leaves, for garnish
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Preparation

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Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and ¾ teaspoon salt, and cook until onion is softened, about 6 minutes (do not let brown). Add parsnip, rutabaga, celery root, thyme, and broth. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme. Puree soup in batches in a blender until smooth (fill blender only halfway), and transfer to a clean pot.

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Finely grate enough peel of 1 orange to yield ½ teaspoon zest. Working over a bowl, cut segments of orange free of membranes, and set aside. Squeeze juice from membranes into a bowl, then squeeze enough juice from remaining orange to yield 1 cup total. Just before serving, reheat to warm. Stir in orange zest, juice, ginger, and water, plus more to thin to desired consistency. Season with salt, and garnish with orange segments, tarragon, and pepper.

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Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

Eating Local for Thanksgiving

Cooking with local ingredients for your Thanksgiving celebration can be simple with a little planning. A holiday that celebrates the end of the harvest season, Thanksgiving meals naturally lend themselves to the use of seasonal vegetables including potatoes, rutabaga, radishes, turnips, brussels sprout, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower among many others. That said, this weekend while you are planning what to prepare for your Thanksgiving dinner, consider heading to Fulton Street Farmers Market to buy your produce directly from your local farmers. Supporting your local farmers creates a sense of connection to your food, supports our local economy, and allows us to celebrate the essence of Thanksgiving by appreciating all that our land and our growers have been able to provide us with this growing season. 

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Below are a few simple fall recipes. Try one of these out for your Thanksgiving meal and you will not be disappointed! All of the produce used in these recipes can be purchased at the farmers market. For reference, I purchased brussels sprout from Blandford Farm, broccoli and cauliflower from Ham Family Farm, rutabaga from Hope Farms, potatoes from Groundswell Farm, and radishes and celeriac from Green Wagon Farm. Simple, delicious, local.

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Cheesy Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli with Dried Cherries and Almonds

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Ingredients

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  • 1 small bunch of broccoli, broken into florets and stems thinly sliced
  • 14-15 brussels sprouts
  • 4 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 3 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup + ⅓ cup nutritional yeast, separated
  • ⅓ cup dried cherries
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds, toasted
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Preparation

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 casserole baking dish with olive oil and set aside. Mix the Bragg Liquid Aminos, maple syrup, and olive oil in a large bowl. Set aside. Trim the brussels sprouts of any dirty/yellow/wilted outside leaves. Rinse them off. Trim the stem off and cut each one in half lengthwise. Add the brussels sprouts and the broccoli to the large bowl. Toss to coat every piece with the sauce.

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Sprinkle ⅓ cup of nutritional yeast over the vegetables. Toss to coat. Pour the contents of the bowl into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove, pour the remaining ⅓ cup of nutritional yeast over the vegetables and mix to combine. Mix in the dried cherries. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and serve. Enjoy!

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Recipe courtesy of Keepin it Kind

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Roasted Cauliflower

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Ingredients

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  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (or about half a lemon)
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
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Preparation

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a large roasting pan or baking sheet. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place them in a bowl. Toss with minced garlic. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Drizzle with olive oil and toss so that the florets are lightly coated with oil. Spread the florets out into a single layer on the roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Place the cauliflower in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Use a fork to test for doneness; the tines should easily pierce the cauliflower when done. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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Recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes

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Honey Roasted Rutabaga

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Ingredients

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  • 1 large rutabaga, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp honey
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Preparation

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the rutabaga horizontally into ¾ inch rounds. Slice each round into ¾ inch pieces. Cut pieces in half horizontally if large. Combine butter and honey in a medium-large bowl. Heat for 30 seconds or so until butter is melted. Stir to combine. Add rutabaga slices and toss to coat evenly.

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Spread rutabaga pieces onto a lightly oiled or parchment lined baking sheet. Roast 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until slices have golden brown spots and are crispy around the edges. Enjoy!

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Recipe courtesy of Modern Beet

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Jamie Oliver's Mashed Root Vegetables

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Ingredients

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  • 4-½ lbs root vegetables (celeriac, potatoes, rutabaga, parsnips, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil or butter
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Preparation

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Feel free to use any single vegetable or a mixture of your favorites. Peel the root vegetables then chop up into golf-ball sized pieces, place in salted boiling water and cook until very tender.

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Drain in a colander. Place the vegetables back in the pan and mash with a potato masher. You can mash them as smooth or as chunky as you like. Season with salt and pepper, then enrich the flavor with extra virgin oil or butter, or both, to taste.

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Recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver

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Celery Root Remoulade

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Ingredients

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  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound celery root (about 2 medium-sized roots)
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Preparation

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In a large mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, mustard, cream, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

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Quarter the celery root and peel it. Grate coarsely. Immediately add the celery root to the mustard sauce and toss to coat. Season to taste. Serve as a first course or side salad.

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Recipe courtesy of The Land Connection

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Cranberry Harvest Muffins

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Ingredients

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  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-¼ cups whole milk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • ½ pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1-½ cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup medium-diced Calimyrna figs
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
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Preparation

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Stir quickly just to combine.

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Add the cranberries, figs, hazelnuts, and both sugars and stir just to distribute the fruits, nuts, and sugar evenly throughout the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Layer up this Thanksgiving Morn

When we think ahead to Thanksgiving morning, we conjure up thoughts of early morning kitchen prep, pulling out spices and herbs, stuffing the turkey, and roasting the red skinned potatoes. We plan to spend the morning in, staying toasty and warm in our homes, slippers on our feet, and blankets wrapped around tight. For most, the last thought to pass through our minds of an idyllic Thanksgiving morning is going for a run. By the end of November the weather here in Michigan has grown cold and grey. The temperature at dawn hovers in the twenties, and a layer of frost, if not snow covers the ground. Pulling on running clothes, lacing up tennis shoes, and topping off with a hat to venture into the cool air does not shout Thanksgiving morn, but as we all well know Thanksgiving is as much about gratitude, as it is food. We fill ourselves with heaps of food, leaving our waistline expanding and our heart content. So why not sneak in a bit of exercise before the table is piled high? If you need an extra boost, reason, or fellow running companion. Gazelle Sports can lend a helping hand. 

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On November 26, Thanksgiving morn, Gazelle Sports will be holding their annual Gobble Wobble fun run. It is a laid back, family friendly 4.1 mile run that has no timekeepers, strollers are welcome, and four legged companions can jog along. After the run there will be activities for the whole family: face painting, bag decorating for Kids’ Food Basket, and refreshments from Robinettes Apple Haus. 

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Running on Thanksgiving may not seem like the traditional way to begin a day of thanks, but joining in on the Gobble Wobble stretches beyond personal satisfaction, it gathers food for children in the community. All the proceeds from the run will be donated to Kids’ Food Basket, a community of donors and volunteers that rally together to put food bags, known as Sack Suppers, in the hands of over 6,000 children in 30 schools throughout the area and at various sites during the summer months. Last year the Gobble Wobble run donated over $10,000 for Kids’ Food Basket. 

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The repercussions of waking up early on Thanksgiving morning are bigger and broader than a personal run before the day’s festivities. It impacts your fellow neighbors and the local community at large. It helps kids. So this Thanksgiving morn, consider pulling on your socks and running shoes, hat and mittens and brave the cool morning air for a run.

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Learn more about the Gobble Wobble run and how you can get involved on Gazelle Sports’ event page. And to read more about Kids’ Food Basket and their positive impact check out their website.

Imagining a Community of Encounters

The folks that work at my credit union know my name when I walk in the door and ask if I like the new home I’m renting. As I’m checking out at the small grocer down the road from my house, I know to ask the cashier how his daughter is doing, and he asks how my tomato plants are faring after the heat. These are pleasantries exchanged which make our lives exceedingly pleasant indeed. But there is more to these encounters than polite chitchat.

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I’m a theologian by training and Christian minister by trade, and have come to appreciate the idea of an encounter between people—an event in which two people interact in a way which upholds the dignity intended by the Creator God. In spiritual terms, undergirding the encounter event is the firm belief that all people are created in the image of God, and because of that all people have infinite dignity—no one person more or less dignity than any other. Each person is a living, breathing fingerprint of the Creator carving out our unrepeatable lives in time and space. On a spiritual level, an encounter is a moment in which two souls bump into each other and reverence the specialness of each other.

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With an encounter the dignity of each person is celebrated, while at the same time an event in which the Creator of those people is also active in the mix. When we encounter each other, indeed, we also encounter the One who created us. As each person lives with the inherent likeness of God, to encounter another person is to encounter a unique iteration of the Creator-God who through the simple act of living is proclaiming God’s wild diversity. A Christian understanding of prayer is certainly to encounter God directly and to be lovingly encountered by God’s own self.

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With all that in mind, it should be noted that an encounter is a possibility, not a given. Our society is very often structured in a way which impedes encounter. The marketplace generally removes human interaction in favor of profit. Ponder for instance the impossibility (not to mention aggravation) of encounter checking your groceries out through the self-check. Counter that with the heartening encounters possible with a clerk who knows you personally and cares about you. Consider too the manner in which online shopping stymies the possibility of encounter not only with people employed to attend to shoppers but even fellow shoppers themselves. An encounter is a human-to-human event which occurs and leaves each more assured of their God-given dignity.

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Spirituality aside, the notion of encounter also carries with it an ethical level. Large corporations, especially multinational ones, are very good not only at maximizing profits at the expense of their workers but also hiding the workers altogether. For instance, when you buy a t-shirt at any trendy store at the mall, you need not consider the people who farmed the cotton, the others who spun the thread, and the other people who stitched together the garment often working under deplorable conditions for paltry pay. To buy an apple at a grocery store conglomerate never requires the shopper to ponder the farmer who cultivates an orchard or the migrant worker who picked the fruit. An encounter is an impossibility; upholding the dignity of all involved in an economic interaction is unfeasible when most of the people involved are hidden, often intentionally.

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All this brings me to the hopeful assertion that encounters are not only possible but plentiful. It is entirely possible that our economic endeavors be personal and ethical when the way we spend our money and interact with those who attend to us in our shopping upholds—even enhances—the dignity of all involved. Structuring your life in a way that facilitates encounters with other people takes discipline, but the benefits are living our lives in the way that the Creator intended humans to live them, for to encounter another person is to encounter God and to be encountered by another is to be loved by the living God.

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by Thomas Eggleston

Brussels Sprouts

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Brussels sprouts are a part of the cabbage family and contain high amounts of protein and carbohydrates. 

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How to Prepare:

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Pare off the tough bottom part of the sprout stem and remove the two outermost leaves.

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How to Cook:

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Brussels sprouts can be enjoyed in a variety of ways including cooked, steamed, raw, marinated, pureed, or in soups and stews.

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How to Store:

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Refrigerate unwashed sprouts in a plastic bag. They are best used fresh but can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. For long-term storage, they may be frozen.

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Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini

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Recipes

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

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Ingredients

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  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
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Preparation

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Heat oven to 400° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts, pecans, oil, garlic, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Turn the Brussels sprouts cut-side down.

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Roast until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

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Recipe courtesy of Real Simple

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Brussels Sprouts Gratin

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Ingredients

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  • 2 hickory-smoked bacon slices
  • 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (2-ounce) slice French bread baguette
  • 3 Tbsp butter
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Preparation

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Preheat broiler. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings; crumble. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to drippings in pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add Brussels sprouts and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil; cook 6 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are almost tender. Uncover and remove from heat. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt and pepper; toss to combine. Spoon Brussels sprouts mixture into a 2-quart broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

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Place bread in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and remaining ¼ tsp salt to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add cooked, crumbled bacon to toasted breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over Brussels sprouts mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and thoroughly heated.

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Recipe courtesy of My recipes

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Broccoli and Brussels Sprout Delight

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Ingredients

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  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 8 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
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Preparation

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Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir garlic in hot butter until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir broccoli and Brussels sprouts into garlic; add tomato and remaining butter. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.

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Stir Brussels sprouts mixture until well-combined, cover the skillet, and cook until browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip sprouts and broccoli, cover the skillet again, and cook until browned on the other side, about 4 minutes.

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Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts

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Ingredients

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  • 4 cups trimmed and quartered Brussels sprouts (about 1 ½ lbs)
  • 1 ¼ cups halved bottled chestnuts
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • Dash of ground red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter
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Preparation

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Preheat oven to 400°.

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Combine sprouts and chestnuts in a large bowl. Add oil, salt, and peppers; toss well to coat. Spread in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan.

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Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until sprouts are tender, stirring after 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Add butter to sprout mixture, tossing until butter melts.

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Recipe courtesy of My recipes

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Brussels Sprout Slaw

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Ingredients

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  • 1 Tbsp grainy mustard
  • 3 Tbsp white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
  • 1 small head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
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Preparation

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In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, honey, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add Brussels sprouts, radicchio, chives, and sunflower seeds and toss to combine.

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Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

How You Can Become a Localist

Looking for ways to incorporate Local First values into your daily life? Consider stopping by one of the 800+ businesses in your community that are Local First members. Engage with the neighborhood and its attempts towards sustainable practices. Invest in the people, the businesses, and the environment that you and your peers enjoy.

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Buying from locally owned businesses will reinforce the local economy and allow the community to thrive. A sustainable lifestyle develops from the relationships between neighbors, customers and employees encouraging one another to engage and enhance their physical environment. If you shift spending towards food from West Michigan farmers instead of imported produce, your dollars go much deeper and much further-they support your neighbor, your friend, and your community. 

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There are hundreds of Local First businesses in your area that can address all of your consumer needs. Some great ways to start Buying Local are to think of the places you currently frequent and shift it to a locally owned business. Some simple, sometimes overlooked shifts are where you get the oil in your car changed, or where you go for computer tune ups, or the shop where you pick up a birthday card. It can be bigger shifts as well, taken in small steps, such as where you purchase your groceries from, or where you bank at. The shift doesn’t have to happen in one swoop, but overtime small steps get you far. 

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For access to the Local First business directory, click here.

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Living like a Local also includes taking care of the neighborhood and environment that you benefit from. Local First defines sustainability as being committed to the Triple Bottom Line of people, profits, and planet. For businesses, this means being dedicated to social, environmental, and economic impact. For you, sustainability can mean recycling or composting waste rather than sending reusable materials to the landfill or choosing to support Local First members dedicated to sustainability. By investing in the environment you are functioning as a Localist preserving local economic and environmental value.

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If you’re looking for opportunities to incorporate Local Living into your daily life, check upcoming Local First events and volunteer opportunities!