Simply Fascinating

I am a big fan of plain, unadulterated yogurt. In fact, I keep a large container of it in the fridge and often substitute a portion of yogurt in lieu of high fat ingredients in sauces requiring sour cream, butter or mayonnaise – its lovely tang often adds a refreshing dimension. I use it regularly in baking for the same reasons – plus it improves texture enormously.

It just so happens that we have one of the best yogurts I have found right here in my own backyard. I love Nancy’s Yogurt beyond such elementary issues as great flavor and food value – it is fermented with natural probiotics (live organisms, not quick-fix chemicals). What I really appreciate about Nancy’s is its ability to maintain a lovely thickness that does not break down as readily as other supermarket varieties.

Of course, I prefer supporting local producers, and since the creamery is located in Springfield, nothing could make me happier. What I didn’t know is the colorful Oregon history behind Nancy’s Yogurt.

The Springfield Creamery was started in 1960 by a young hard working couple, Chuck and Sue Kesey, not so co-incidentally the brother of another local legend, Ken Kesey. The business shifted when an employee named Nancy shared her family’s yogurt making techniques.

Although customers responded and demand for Nancy’s yogurt grew, it was slow going. In 1972, a bit of promotional wizardry in the form of a Grateful Dead benefit concert attended by 20,000 devotees saved Nancy’s Yogurt from near extinction. The movie, Sunshine Daydream is a record of this seismic event.

Back in the black again, Nancy’s Yogurt flourished with the help of a very loyal clientele. More help was on the way though, when U of O graduate Gilbert Rosborne and his partner, a young Huey Lewis, the music maker, offered to market the yogurt to the San Francisco bay area. Fascinating, right?

With the growing demand, the business successfully expanded through the 80’s. In the mid 90’s a devastating fire consumed much of the creamery. As you now would suspect, loyal friends and customers rallied and within weeks the business was back in business. Amazingly after 50 years, Nancy’s Yogurt continues to thrive – further affirmation on the amazing powers of yogurt. Simply fascinating.

The following unusual salad is still appropriate for today, too. Especially if you are looking for a day of quiet reflection or cleansing…

Detoxicating Salad
From Grayshott Hall Health Centre, near Hindhead, Surrey, England, courtesy A World of Salads by Rosalie Swedlin

3 medium carrots, scrubbed
3 medium apples, scrubbed
3 stalks celery
1 handful raisins
1/2 cucumber, washed
1 small green pepper
2 pears
1 orange, or 1/2 grapefruit
1 cup yogurt, with lemon juice, no sweetening, optional

In the morning, chop all ingredients into a covered container and shake to combine. This should make enough for 1 day of 3 equal meals. Note: 1 cup of yogurt flavored with lemon juice, total can be consumed with the salad.

Begin your fast day with 1 glass hot water, lemon juice optional; consume between meals throughout the day as desired. 3 cups tea, total, may be substituted.

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