Thursday, June 24, 2010

New online store makes buying local easy

LUNASA…making local easy. With seeds sown in the Raisin River Co-op, the Chelsea Community Kitchen and the Yellow Door, Jane Pacheco and Dawn Thompson are making it easy to buy local. Jane and Dawn are both proponents of celebrating Michigan’s bounty and eating local foods, but know the difficulty in trying to buy everything local throughout the year. They have now put together an online storefront called Lunasa (loo-nah-sah), a name derived from the annual Celtic celebration of the harvest.

e and Dawn are working around the clock to line up farmers and producers to create a one-stop online shop for local Michigan products. Twice a month, producers will upload their products to and then members order and pay for their purchases online. Producers and members then meet every second and fourth Tuesday each month to make the exchange.

As a Lunasa member you will have the opportunity to order what you want, when you want it. If a producer has it listed as available online and you order it, it's as if they will be picking it, baking it, or processing it just for you. You can customize your order every time you log in and personally shop from a variety of local Michigan producers of meats, eggs, dairy, produce, maple syrup, honey, beverages, and household items such as natural soaps. All products are made in Michigan and brought to you in person by the producer of the product to the Lunasa warehouse on market day.

To become a member of Lunasa, you purchase an online $40.00 annual membership beginning July 1, 2010. Membership gives you access to producers of local goods, year round, through an online order system and an in-person distribution transfer location. Other benefits of membership include connecting with local producers, meeting new people through the market, building confidence in your purchases, contributing to the health of the local economy, and the overall feeling that you've done something to make a difference in your community.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Give a hand: please volunteer to keep Yellow Door going

Yellow Door exists because of volunteers. We have amazing guest chefs (such as Craig Common of Common Grill, Barbara Wilson of Mindo Chocolate, Paul Cousins, Annie and Paul of the Ann Arbor Community Garden and our Yellow Door regulars), stellar hosts in Janice and Todd, shoppers in Dawn and Jane, prep cooks and day cooks in Deb, Jane, Dawn, Judy and others.

Debi ensures we have volunteers at Yellow Door cooking, serving, greeting and cleaning. Janet helps behind the scenes with ensuring linens are cleaned, and she pitches in on clean-up duty. Angie manages the financials and donations, greets and serves. Mully greets, serves and offers sage advice to the 7 Dirty Virgin gardeners who grow veggies for Yellow Door. Sharon (that would be me) sends the weekly newsletter, updates the Yellow Door blog, snaps photos and serves. Bernadette and Lisa are great on clean-up duty, and a handful of others chip in as their schedules permit. Every effort is so very much appreciated --- and needed to make Yellow Door run! It's because of volunteers that Yellow Door has raised $10,000 and the Chelsea Community Kitchen is benefiting from the net proceeds of this fund-raising effort!

Last fall, Yellow Door was launched to connect community members, introduce fresh Michigan agriculture and raise money for Chelsea Community Kitchen. If we can grow our volunteer foundation, we're sure to keep Yellow Door open and the community spirit alive for in-season Michigan breakfasts. Become part of the team. Email us at:

Yellow Door in new location in July

Our usual, much-loved Yellow Door location is undergoing renovation in July. Some of our gracious volunteers are hosting Yellow Door at least once, possibly twice and maybe even three times in July. The plan, today, is to hold an informal (yeah, like we were formal before - ha!) breakfast gathering at Timbertown* on July 8 from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m., followed by an afternoon or early evening gathering on July 15 and a maybe gathering on July 22.

Yellow Door is definitely closed on July 1. So, be sure to visit your favorite Chelsea breakfast destination, like Zou Zou's or Pierce's Pastries, instead!

*For those who don't frequent Timbertown, the outdoor picnic-play destination is just off Sibley Road in Chelsea.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June ServSafe canceled; July and August classes are still open

Please note that the June ServSafe class has been canceled because of a last minute scheduling conflict on the part of the instructor. July and August sessions are still open and we encourage people to sign up as soon as possible.

June 26: Breakfast on the Farm

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 26, if you're interested in enjoying a free Michigan-made breakfast while experiencing family fun and a chance to learn about local farm families who produce the food you eat.

Breakfast on the Farm is a family-oriented program that welcomes neighbors and area residents to enjoy a complimentary breakfast along with a self-guided tour of a family-owned farm. Attendees will be able to visit various educational stations and have opportunities to ask local farmers questions about raising animals, growing crops and living on a farm. The June 26 breakfast and farm tour takes place rain or shine from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (breakfast served from 9 a.m. to noon) at Horning Farms, 11834 E. Pleasant Lake Road, near Manchester.

The event is hosted by Earl and Diane Horning, winners of the 2010 Michigan State University (MSU) Dairy Farmer of the Year award, along with their son, Jeff, and his wife, Lynda, at the family's six-generation family dairy operation started in 1877. Today, the farm consists of 360 milk cows, 410 head of young stock and 700 acres of cropland.

Domino's Pizza will be supplying and preparing the food for the breakfast, which will include the introduction of a new breakfast pizza product that has, up until now, only been sampled in school meal programs. We are expecting 1,500 to 2,000 attendees.

Tickets are not required to participate in the farm tour, but they are required to receive the free breakfast. For tickets or more information about Breakfast on the Farm or to download directions to the Horning farm, call the Washtenaw County MSU Extension Office at
734-997-1678, email, call directly at 222-3825, or visit the Washtenaw County MSU Extension web site at
or go to

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Thursday: Renowned Chef and Community Advocate Paul Cousins Cooking at Yellow Door

Paul Cousins is a masterful chef and well-respected, long-time advocate for this region. We're thrilled that Paul is cooking in the Yellow Door kitchen this Thursday to help raise more funds for Chelsea Community Kitchen -- and fill us with his artful fare.

Yellow Door is a must-visit this Thursday. Feel like summer on the inside after eating Paul's tantalizing, in-season dishes:

* Poached eggs with a cream of leek sauce, fresh shell peas, toast rounds and brown sugar glazed bacon. (Eggs: Back Forty Acres / Cream: Calder Dairy / Bread: Mill Pond Bread / Bacon: Ernst Farms)

* Brunch Torte with swiss chard, smoked ham and gouda cheese. served with whole wheat toast and jalapeno green pepper jelly. (Swiss chard: Tantre Farm / Ham: Legacy / Cheese: Greystone Creamery / Bread: Mill Pond Bread / Jelly: Homemade by Paul Cousins)

* Buttermilk blintzes filled with cream cheese, topped with a spiced rhubarb-strawberry compote, creme fraiche and served with brown sugar glazed bacon. (Cheese: Greystone Creamery / Cream: Calder Dairy / Bacon: Ernst Farms)

* Apple-pear coffee cake (Westwind Milling Company).

* Rhubarb-Iced Tea

Many of you may already know Paul or spent many nights dining in his former restaurant. For those who don't know him, Paul was the owner and chef at Cousins Heritage Inn in Dexter for 17 years. He was also instrumental in saving historic Gordon Hall in Dexter and has been actively involved in community affairs for years.

Join us on Thursday to wave at Paul, and linger over
his fabulous fixins'.

Dirty Virgins, Dirty Virgins, how does your garden grow?

Dirty Virgins, Dirty Virgins, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle* shells, and pretty maids all in a row!

So, I happen to be at Timbertown today for a Kindergarten bash. One of the Dirty Virgins (newbie gardeners who are growing veggies for Yellow Door), Angie, gave me a quick tour of the garden plots in the Community Garden.

Ten adventurous ladies, with no gardening experience, planted some seeds and are caring for the garden that is already blooming green with a slew of veggies. I was quite surprised to see the neat garden rows (hmmmm... neat rows.... note to self!) and the beautiful buddings of garden greens. We caught DV Denise and her son working the plot and snapped some photos to share. Enjoy!

* What is a cockle, anyway??? A cockle is
a group of small edible saltwater clams. And -- as you guessed it -- not found in Michigan!

Asparagus Guacamole

2 cups chopped, cooked asparagus
2 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons tomato salsa
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1 teaspoon minced garlic, pressed to a paste with a pork
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Puree asparagus, yogurt and lime juice in food processor or blender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers, or as a sandwich spread. Makes 1 3/4 cups.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Food Safety Classes this Summer

Are you a beginning food entrepreneur looking for a class that will certify you as a Food Protection Manager?

Chelsea Community Kitchen (CCK) is offering a two-day ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification class three times this summer. The training fulfills the Michigan Food Law requirement to have a manager certified in food safety in each food service establishment.

CCK offers the classes on weekend days:

* Friday evening, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. & Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
* Choose your weekend: July 30 & 31 and August 27 & 28.

The fee for the class is $200. This includes the cost of the ServSafe materials, a valuable reference for you after the class as you apply for your license.

Interested? Send an email to and mention the class you want to attend. In return, CCK will send detailed information about how to enroll.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New June menu: Scrumptious strawberry waffles, poached eggs, goat cheese quiche

  • Poached eggs with bean and sausage patties served with asparagus guacamole and tortilla chips
  • Strawberry waffles with fresh strawberry topping, maple syrup and whipped cream and a side of
  • bacon
  • Wilted greens and goat cheese quiche, with minted spring salad
  • Rhubarb-Mint Iced Tea

Next week, June 10, Paul Cousins is cooking up a custom menu. Be sure to join us this month for our fabulous-o breakfast specials. We may shake things up a bit in July, so get your fix of Yellow Door this month before summer travel, summertime events and sleeping-in days.