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Monthly Archives

December 2017

Job Opportunity: BLIND Inc.

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BLIND, Inc. is looking to hire a:  HOME MANAGEMENT INSTRUCTOR

Job Description

After 11 years our Home Management Instructor is retiring. You could be the next one! Our employees receive a good benefits package, including staff and student holiday leave, paid leave, excellent medical benefits, an employer contributed 403B retirement program, and paid attendance (including transportation, lodging and stipend) at National Federation of the Blind, state and/or national conventions. You will enjoy working as part of a great team, with the opportunity to develop your program and leadership skills.

For 30 years, Blindness: Learning In New Dimensions (BLIND, Inc.) has provided small group instruction in the alternative techniques of blindness. Our programs are based on a positive attitude toward blindness and a belief in the normality and competency of blind people. We know that with proper training and opportunity, blind people can live full, happy, and successful lives. We work hard to create an environment that promotes active learning and collegiality where adult students can empower themselves and exceed their expectations.

Successful applicants will be skilled in teaching and versed in the skills of home management, and should believe in the capabilities of blind people. Successful applicants should be passionate about teaching, excited by new challenges, and interested in working as part of a small but energetic team.

All of our instructors undergo staff training in order to ensure that they are fully competent to teach in their subject areas and have a solid understanding of the program and the experiences of students. Therefore, we are willing to work with sighted applicants who have a solid background in teaching home economics, and are willing to learn and practice nonvisual skills using a blindfold. Regularly scheduled in-service/training provide staff with the professional development necessary to optimize teaching effectiveness.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Provide individualized instruction in nonvisual alternative techniques to blind adults in all areas of home management, including but not limited to:  food shopping and preparation  budgeting and menu planning  sewing, cleaning, labeling  clothing selection, organization and care  personal management and social skills

2. Provide instruction to up to four adult students in a classroom with two separate kitchens. The number of students may increase during projects such as Thanksgiving dinner. This position coordinates food preparation, serving, and setup for student activities, including student small and large meals. Instruction is done non-visually, with students who have any degree of remaining sight wearing blindfolds (sleepshades).

3. Assist with apartment instruction on a routine basis in order to assess home management skills in the residential environment.

4. Use the curriculum to develop individualized lesson plans and update the curriculum as needed to stay up with current trends and meet the needs of students.

5. Write comprehensive monthly reports on each student describing progress made and goals to be completed over the next month.

6. Participate and assist in all center activities including rock climbing, dogsledding, camping and other challenge recreation activities.

7. Promote the organization’s progressive philosophy of blindness and positive attitudes to students, co-workers and others, and provide support and guidance to students throughout their program.

8. Actively promote the philosophy of the National Federation of the Blind.

9. Other duties as assigned.


1. Advanced skills in the area of home management

2. Willingness to undergo and successfully complete a period of paid staff blindfold training in order to learn or further develop alternative skills of blindness.

3. Ability to plan, organize and develop lessons.

4. Effective written and verbal communication skills and ability to work as part of a team

5. Ability to work with different students in a variety of situations, including the ability to teach/inspire people who can be unmotivated at times. 6. Ability to coordinate residential teaching services with other staff to insure that adult students receive effective apartment instruction.

Preferred Qualifications

1. College degree–preferably in a teaching or individual and family sciences/home economics related field.

2. Experience working with the blind in an instructional setting.

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to: Dan Wenzel, Executive Director at We plan to interview in early January, so please submit your resume/cover letter soon to ensure you are considered for an interview.

Please feel free contact Dan Wenzel at 612-872-0100 if you have any questions

Gingerbread Wonderland

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Looking for a fun and inexpensive holiday experience?  Our new tradition is to attend Gingerbread Wonderland at the Norway House in Minneapolis.  There are impressive gingerbread structures made by kids and adults. The creativity and skill shown by local bakers is amazing!  The Gingerbread Wonderland is on display until January 7, 2018.

Target Field Gingerbread Structure

My kids’ favorite—the Giant Slide from the State Fair

Gingerbread Carousel

Rockefeller Center

Gingerbread RV

Summit Avenue Mansion

Norwegian Church

Gingerbread Wonderland Hours

Mondays – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Tuesdays – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Wednesdays – 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Thursdays – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Fridays – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Saturdays – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sundays – 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

913 E Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Admission: $5 for Adults and children over 12. 

Meeting Recap: Holiday Tea

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FCS Professionals kicked off the holiday season with a not-so-traditional tea in Stillwater, Minnesota on Saturday, December 2.  Sandy Nelson, owner of Northern Lights Tea Company started the program by serving their Christmas tea blend called “Noel” which is a black tea with orange peel, apple pieces, almond pieces, cinnamon chips, rose petals and natural flavors of cinnamon, orange spice and orange flavor. While sipping our tea Sandy gave a brief education on the basics of tea, a simplified demonstration of a Chinese tea service and Japanese tea service.  Sandy started her tea shop at the urging of her husband when she returned to Minnesota after living in Germany. Her background is in art.


Some tea tips from Sandy

  1. Constricted tea leaves decreases the flavor so she is not a fan of the “tea bag”.  Instead steep in an infuser or a tea basket as seen here
  2. Store tea in a container with a double lid.  You want no light and no moisture.
  3. Tea will never “go bad”.  It will lose flavor over time but will not spoil.
  4. Tea can be frozen but let it thaw before using it


How to make the perfect cup of tea?  The method depends on the type!

Black Tea:  Use boiling water and steep for 3-5 minutes

Green Tea:  Water at 180-190 degrees and steep for 2-4 minutes

White Tea:  Water at 170-180 degrees and steep for 4 minutes


This event was not just about sipping teas–we were also treated to some culinary delights from our own Chef Amy Lawson!  Amy developed recipes using teas from Northern Lights Tea Company.  We enjoyed Spicy Pumpkin Bisque, Havarti Cheese & Cherry Tarts, Brie & Bacon Cigarette Russe, Gouda, Mozzarella & Apple Party Parcels, Tea Braised Pork Tenderloin, and Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cabernet Truffles.  As a special treat, we were able to sample some of Amy’s famous Baklava–this time it was infused with tea!  The tea really cut through the usual sweetness of baklava and was delicious.  Attendees were able to take home the recipes which included Amy’s tricks and tips.  Everyone also was given a lovely poinsettia to take home.   Afterward many members were able to walk to downtown Stillwater for some Christmas shopping on a seasonably warm December afternoon. 


In the News: Wine and Cheese Pairings, Color of the Year, 2018 Trends, and General Mills Has a New Logo

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Here are a few snippets from the news:

  • Many FCS Professionals members might remember Leslie Miller who was our speaker at our fundraiser “Wine at the Westin” a few years ago.  Click this link to a video she shared with wine and cheese pairings
  • Pantone released their 2018 Color of the Year: Ultra Violet.  In this article Time discusses other companies have followed suit with their predictions for the hot colors of 2018. 
  • Speaking of trends for 2018…. this article discusses their predictions for 2018 food trends!
  • discusses 5 flavor trends for 2018 
  • Food Business News reports on General Mills’ updated logo