Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Night's Fun and Coffee Talk

Last night was a rare and special occurrence- Joe and I were both home in the evening at the same time! He usually teaches, takes classes or rehearses in the evenings, and I'm either at class or the gym, so we decided to spend our rainy night-in cooking!

My special kitchen helper, who sometimes is not very helpful at all. 

We desperately need to go grocery shopping, but decided to use up what we had. Soup time!
 Joe was making fun of me for something...

 I found this in my cupboard and literally jumped for joy! Yes, I am a five year old.

 Since I don't drink, Joe decided to polish off the leftover grownup beverages from his birthday party. No glass required.

Me: Let's get a nice picture of us cooking together! I'll set the self-timer!
Joe: Sure!

I should know better than to trust him when he's so compliant...

Joe whipped up some feta and mozzarella quesadillas. Mmmm....

 And the "Everything in the Fridge" soup turned out great! Leftover roasted eggplant, green beans, carrots and black beans. Random AND delicious!

I'm usually a die-hard budget shopper, but there are some things for me that are worth the money, not only for the quality, but for the ethics of their business practices. My absolute no-compromise splurge? 

Fair Trade Coffee. 

I've always had a vague idea of the importance of fair trade coffee, but it's usually a bit more expensive than whatever's on sale. After watching the documentary Black Gold, I will never. ever. ever. buy a bag of coffee that's not Fair Trade ever again. Fair Trade Certification ensures that the farmers who grew the coffee in your bag were paid a fair price and not gouged by the companies who shortchange coffee-growers who are desperate to sell their crops keeping them locked in a cycle of poverty, desperation and dependence. 

One of my favorite fair-trade brands? Green Mountain Coffee- especially the Newman's Own Vanilla Caramel flavor (though all the Newman's Own coffee products are great)!

Does it cost more? Yes. But honestly, I'd rather drink less or skimp somewhere else than support companies who do not support the farmers that make their businesses possible. I stock up like a crazy person when it goes on sale and it usually lasts me a while. Yes- there are caveats- I still purchase iced-coffee when I'm out and about which may or may not be brewed with fair trade beans. 

Does anyone know of any great fair-trade coffee shops in Brooklyn? What business practices are important to you?