Building Your Future in the United States The Immigration Insider
A Winter Food Wonderland
From the Desk Of Clare Corado
Don’t Let the Season Stop Your Fun in the Kitchen
Many of you have gotten to know and love working with Attorney Megan Pastrana over the last few years as much as I have. She’s an amazingly talented attorney who cares deeply about her clients. I’m very happy to announce that, beginning on Jan. 1, Megan will become a partner of the firm. Together we have plans in 2020 to continue to modernize the firm’s technology, launch a podcast, and create an even better experience for all of our clients. Thanks to all of you for your support and a big congratulations to Megan!
If you do your best to eat seasonally, you’re not alone. In recent years, more and more people have embraced the idea of eating fresh, local produce that cycles throughout the year. Some choose the path for health reasons — studies have shown that organic fruits and vegetables, which are more common on small farms, have 20–40% more antioxidants than conventionally grown ones — while others want to decrease the carbon footprint of the food on their plates to help fight climate change. Regardless of the reason why, many have embraced this simple fact: The fresher produce is, the better it tastes! A tomato engineered to travel hundreds of miles to your dinner table just doesn’t pack the same flavor punch as one picked in your own backyard. In the spring, summer, and even the fall, eating seasonally is relatively easy. If you have access to a farmers market or local co-op, it’s no doubt bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables during the warmer months. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, salad greens, peaches, cherries, strawberries, blueberries — all of these tasty foods and more overflow in the spring and summer. Once fall arrives, an abundance of squash and apples shows up to complement the summer bounty. Winter, however, is another story. When the weather turns chilly, berries and delicate greens disappear, and produce in general seems scarce, which can make it feel impossible to eat seasonally.
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However, even when there’s snow on the ground, there is more seasonal food out there than you might think! Here are just a few of the fresh vegetables and fruits the U.S. has to offer in winter:
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Potatoes and sweet potatoes
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Winter greens like kale can make for delicious versions of your favorite salads, too, and if you’re concerned about kale’s toughness, simply massage the leaves with olive oil and let them chill in the fridge overnight. Some farmers even have greenhouses that enable them to grow herbs, leafy lettuces, and other warm-weather delights year-round. If you’re struggling to find sources for local, seasonal produce, don’t worry; the internet has your back. Websites like LocalHarvest.org can connect you with farmers, farmers markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) subscriptions, and food events in your area. Just type in your zip code, and its search engine will offer up suggestions on where to shop. With resources like this at your disposal, there’s no reason to quit the kitchen this winter. In fact, you might just discover a new favorite dish!
Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets. Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, How Lilou and Animals Like Her Calm Stressed-Out Travelers Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig Root vegetables like potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and beets are ideal for roasting and can pair with bread and cheese for hearty, warming dishes like roasted root vegetable salad (see FoodNetwork. com for a great recipe), shaved carrot tart with ricotta (Saveur. com), or chicken and root vegetable soup (BonAppetit.com). If you’re missing the fruits of summer, try adding pomegranates and citrus to your diet and seek out farmers who offer canned, frozen, or preserved local fruit throughout the year. A bag of frozen strawberries can make an excellent pie, and canned peaches are delicious on ice cream!
and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip!
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Snow is magical and gorgeous — unless you have to commute in it. If you want to enjoy all the wonder that winter has to offer without the hassle, why not turn it into a vacation? Here are a few breathtaking, snow-covered destinations that any winter lover can enjoy. Bulguksa Temple, South Korea Above the city of Gyeongju, this ancient Buddhist temple has stood on the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain since the eighth century. Bulguksa, or “Temple of the Buddha Land,” is South Korea’s No. 1 UNESCOWorld Heritage Site, making it a popular attraction for domestic and international tourism. The crowds and school tours die down during the winter, however, which also happens to be when Bulguksa is at its most pristine. The iced-over lotus ponds and snow- dusted pagodas add to the sense of tranquility this site naturally exudes. The Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy If you want the feel of a ski trip to the Alps without the packed slopes and ritzy resorts, the Dolomites are just for you. Located in northeastern Italy, this stunning mountain range is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, as well as many historical sites. The secluded Escape to a Winter Wonderland Chill Out in These Frosty Destinations
villages that dot the mountain valleys are an attraction in their own right, especially for the rustic cuisine you’ll find there. Don’t expect pasta though. This region is a melting pot of flavors from Austria, northern Italy, and the local Ladin people. Ricotta and sauerkraut pancakes, anyone? The Antarctic This is the one entry on this list that is best enjoyed during the summer months, which is December–February in the Southern Hemisphere, because that’s when the freezing temperatures of the southernmost continent are at their most hospitable. The Antarctic has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with cruises taking adventure seekers through the vast, untouched beauty of this far-flung destination. Some tourists even enjoy kayaking or cross-country skiing through this icy paradise.
Take a Break!
Inspired by Nom Nom Paleo
EASY TOMATO SOUP
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp coconut oil
8.5 oz coconut milk
4 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 28-oz can roasted and diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic is a good brand)
1. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté leeks in coconut oil until softened and translucent, about 7–10 minutes. 2. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat. 3. Meanwhile, in a blender, purée entire can of tomatoes, including juice, until smooth. 4. Add sautéed leeks and garlic and purée again. 5. Transfer purée to a saucepan and add chicken broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then drop to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Clare PAGE 1 How to Eat SeasonallyThrough the Winter PAGE 1 Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig PAGE 2 Real Winter Wonderlands PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Easy Tomato Soup PAGE 3 The Sweetest Crime in
History PAGE 4
History’s Sweetest Theft The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist
In what is now known as the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, thieves made off with 10,000 barrels of maple syrup valued at $18.7 million. This remains one of the most costly heists in Canadian history. Vallières himself became a millionaire and took his family on three tropical vacations in one year. Unfortunately, the thieves got sloppy and stopped refilling the barrels with water. When an FPAQ inspector visited the targeted facility in the fall of 2012, he accidentally knocked over one of the empty barrels. The inspector alerted the police, who would go on to arrest 17 men in connection to the theft, including Vallières himself. Police were then able to recover hundreds of barrels of the stolen syrup, but most of it was never recovered — likely lost to pancake breakfasts far away.
Stealing syrup from Canada doesn’t sound as glamorous as stealing cash from a Vegas casino, but their plan could rival the plot of “Ocean’s Eleven.” At the FPAQ facility, syrup was stored in unmarked metal barrels and only inspected once a year. The heist, led by a man named Richard Vallières, involved transporting the barrels to a remote sugar shack in the Canadian wilderness, where they siphoned off the maple syrup, refilled the barrels with water, and returned the barrels to the facility. The stolen syrup was then trucked east to New Brunswick
Maple syrup holds a proud place in the history and culture of Quebec, Canada. It’s also a big part of Quebec’s economy, with 72% of the world’s maple syrup produced in Quebec alone. Due to tactics employed by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ), the NPR-backed podcast “The Indicator” estimates that maple syrup is valued at approximately $1,300 per barrel — over 20 times more than crude oil. The FPAQ controls the available syrup supply, never releasing enough maple syrup to meet demand, which increases the price. As a result, most of the world’s maple syrup is stored in various reserves.
and south across the border into Vermont. Wisely, the thieves sold their ill-gotten goods in small batches, avoiding suspicion from legitimate syrup distributors.
Between 2011 and 2012, a group of thieves decided to liberate the syrup from an FPAQ facility in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec.
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