Tag Archives: bethlehem grocery co-op

Reminder: Bethlehem Food Co-Op Meeting Tonight!

One of the coolest things happening in Bethlehem right now is the development of the Bethlehem Food Co-Op, a good-food grocery store that will serve the downtown areas of the city. Even though we are in the earliest stages of the process, it’s obvious that this will be amazing due to the passionate, dedicated people that have already gotten involved. Tonight, planning moves to the next step as committees meet to formulate plans, select leaders and vote on an official name.

Come get involved—All are welcome! There’s something for everyone to do, whether you have lots of time or just a little, no matter where your talents lie! Bring a friend or neighbor that might be interested, a snack to share (if you’d like to), and your ideas for how we can make this happen.

The meeting will be held at 7pm at the Ice House on Sand Island. For details about the meeting agenda, click here.

Sand Island Ice House

See you tonight at the Ice House!

Learning to Love My Hometown

This blog is about learning to love my hometown and growing to be an active member of the community I plan to call my home for a long time, perhaps a lifetime. Often, the posts tend to be about local food because:

  1. I love food and cooking.
  2. There are tons of great local farms here—It is Pennsylvania, after all.
  3. You can learn a lot about a town through tasting it.
View from Bear Rocks

One great thing about this area—the trails!

There are many other things I love about this town—Access to hiking trails, cultural and arts events, inspiring people …

There are also things I don’t like about this town—Poor public transportation, intolerance, suburban sprawl …

And, there are great things that I discover about this town every day. Most recently, what I’ve learned about this area is not that another great ethnic restaurant opened or that a new rail-trail is completed, but that there are passionate people doing awesome things here. Of course, I knew several inspiring people here already (take my friend Emily, for example, who has grown her family’s café, Jumbars, by epic proportions and earned a spot on the Eastern PA Business Journal Top 20 Under 40 list), but I didn’t realize the whole wealth of people who exude passion literally in my neighborhood. I didn’t get that feeling of community or that sense that I belong in this area—thus, my strong desire to move west.

Since the start of this month, I met and/or shared conversation with a person who knows a ton about edible gardening, a person who stands for the environment as a leader with Appalachian Mountain Club, a person who spends time on the train to the city working on discussion forums to help the community and blogs about modern home economics, a person who teaches people what the heck to do with tofu, a person who organized a humanist organization in this area (I didn’t even know there was one here!), a person who passionately shares her knowledge of the vegan lifestyle, and a person who inspires little girls not to be afraid of bugs and uses words like “vermaculture” when talking to 5 year olds. There are some seriously awesome people in my neighborhood.

How did I come to meet all of these people? Through the initial discussions of the Bethlehem Grocery Co-Op. YES—Each of these cool folks are also interested in FOOD! Food and community. Like me! They don’t stare at me like I am the three-eyed fish from the Simpsons because I make chips from scratch or drink raw milk or think that the community should be educated about composting. Sure, I knew a couple of these people already, but I really don’t think I would even know that my neighbors are doing so much if I hadn’t gone to that first co-op meeting. All I can say is, if these are the kinds of strong minds and passionate souls that are coming together to make a co-op happen, there’s no way that it will not rock the freaking socks off of this valley.

So, spread the word that the cool kids are at the co-op meetings. Head over to the co-op blog to download some flyers to get the word out. You’ll probably end up meeting some ridiculously awesome people.

Co-Op Flyer

Post this on your blog, site or Facebook to get the word out!

Can it be?

Can there really be enough energy, dedication and enthusiasm about a Bethlehem Grocery Co-Op that it could be a reality within a few years?


That much was made clear to me at the first co-op meeting tonight. Aside from getting to eat a ton of great food (everything from venison to red pepper-walnut dip to muffins), I learned so much about the principles of co-ops, the crazy amount of work behind setting one up, and the spirit that exists in this community towards issues a co-op would address. This is what I was looking for in a community— what I saw in Portland but hadn’t yet fully seen here. The sheer amount of ideas generated and smiles were enough to keep me positive about humanity for another year, at least.

Jaime, Cathy and Summre were masters of running an efficient meeting (I think they should come run my Brownie meeting sometime. :P), even with attendance at a much higher level than anyone expected (I would estimate around 80-100 people—fantastic!).

I walked out of the room with not only a bright outlook and a full belly, but with a new task: create and maintain a blog for co-op news, independent of the Facebook group. I came home so jazzed up from the meeting that I’ve stayed up to create it and put up the first post. So, here you have it—click here to jump in!

To read a more detailed account of what was said at the meeting take a look at The El Vee blog

Today I worked a full day, went to the Westgate Farmers’ Market, had lunch with an honored guest at work, led a Girl Scout Brownie meeting, attended a 2-hour co-op meeting, and created a new blog. I’m going to collapse now. G’Night.

Vegan Butternut Squash Dip with Garlic-Onion Crackers

Tonight is the first meeting of the Bethlehem Grocery Co-Op (7:00 at the library—Be there!). My husband and I are so psyched. I am even skipping out on one of my Girl Scout meetings to attend! The Express Times covered the story with a pretty decent article, which you can read here.

In the spirit of community, the meeting organizers have asked people to bring vegetarian or vegan snack food or non-alcoholic beverages to share in a potluck. Since I’ll be coming straight from my earlier Girl Scout meeting tonight, I knew I had to make something ahead of time that I could just grab when I pick up my husband and bring along. With a bunch of roasted butternut squash in the freezer, plus two whole ones in the fridge, I figured that was a good place to start. Dip is generally pretty foolproof, so I whipped up a super-simple batch in the food processor and made some tasty garlic onion crackers to go along with it. The combination is delicious—Savory crackers (based off a recipe for Indian nippattu, an onion and chili savory cookie) with a slightly sweet, slightly spicy dip. So, whether you’ve got a holiday party coming up or taste this tonight at the meeting and decide you want more, give it a try! (By the way, both recipes are vegan.)

Butternut Squash Dip



Dip Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic (Apple Ridge Farm)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 c. roasted butternut squash (I had some in the freezer from Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 takeout packet soy sauce (I think that’s a tablespoon?)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • hot sauce, to taste (Easton Salsa Company)


  1. Mince garlic in food processor.
  2. Squeeze all the juice from the lemon into the food processor, then add remaining ingredients.
  3. Process until smooth.
  4. Serve with savory crackers.
Butternut Squash Dip

Butternut Squash Dip—How easy was that?!

Garlic-Onion Crackers

Makes 120 bite-size crackers!


Cracker Ingredients

Cracker Ingredients

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt (I used herb sea salt we made from thyme, sage & rosemary from our garden)
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. sesame seeds
  • ½ large onion (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • 3 cloves garlic(Apple Ridge Farm)
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup warm water (you may not use it all)


  1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and sesame seeds in large bowl.
  2. Mince onion and garlic (I used a food processor) and add to flour mixture, stirring to combine well.

    Cracker Dough

    With Onion & Garlic Added

  3. Add olive oil and mix well (mixture will be lumpy)
  4. Gradually add water and stir until dough forms. Dough will feel oily.
  5. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 325°.
  7. Form a small ball (about 1/2-3/4″ in diameter) of dough. Place between two sheets of wax paper or greased plastic wrap. Press thin with your fingers (about 1/16″ thick, 1-1.25″ diameter).
  8. Gently peel dough circle from wax paper and place on non-stick or foil lined baking sheet. Prick dough circles all over with fork.

    Dough Circles

    Dough Circles

  9. Repeat until all dough is used.
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. (Since this makes 120 crackers, you may want to bake these in batches so you aren’t using up a zillion baking sheets!)
  11. Cool completely on wire rack and store in airtight container.
Garlic Onion Crackers

Crackers and crackers, oh my!


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