Like many of my office teammates, I deployed to a PCC store (Redmond!) last week to bag groceries, stock shelves and help "face" the wine department and canned-food aisle ("face" is the grocery term for making displays look nice and neat, largely by turning labels so that they face out toward all of you shoppers. Let me tell you ... it's so disappointing to achieve a perfect display of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes only to have someone come along and buy one of them ;)
But I digress. The Redmond staff was so much fun and I wish I lived closer so I could visit the store more often (and eat more samples of our glorious pecan pie!). Saw so many gift ideas while I was there, from fun hats by San Diego Hat Co. to cool zippered pouches made from recycled materials to gorgeous candles.
Fun bags and zippered pouches.
I also saw the pretty handiwork of our graphics department. To wit:
See those pretty images up above the aisles?
Reporting for bagging duty!
Did you know PCC's aprons are ergonomic? Do you share my intrigue that such a thing exists? Apparently, the design is easier on our backs.
A bagger's view of the world.
Some bagging etiquette I'd like to share: If you bring your bags (and kudos to all those who do!) send 'em on down the conveyor ahead of your groceries. Makes the bagger's job easier and helps us get your groceries ready for home even quicker.
Later that week, I headed to PCC Fremont to pick up my reserved 19-pound Diestel free-range turkey (along with various and sundry additional items, including organic satsumas and farmstead butter from Golden Glen Creamery -- yum!). I stuffed said bird with fresh organic herbs (sage, thyme and rosemary) and roasted it cloaked it in butter-soaked cheesecloth per the advice of friend and local food writer Nancy Leson. Per...fection!
Reporting for carving duty! (T-Day photos courtesy Howard Wu)
Hope all of you had a happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! When you awaken from your respective food comas, we've got plenty of fun in store.
WELCOME DECEMBER at the Edmonds tree-lighting ceremony, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 at Centennial Plaza by bell Street and 5th Avenue North in Edmonds. Enjoy Christmas carols, meet Santa and taste test healthy treats from the Kid Picks Mobile. Visit www.edmondswa.com for details.
PET LIVE REINDEER and meet Santa (man, he's busy!) and sit in his sleigh at the Issaquah Reindeer Festival, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1-23 at Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 S.E. 54th St. in Issaquah. Discounted tickets are on sale at Issaquah PCC. Children under 2 are free. Visit cougarmountainzoo.org for details.
LEARN TO MAKE PEAR AND HAZELNUT TARTS with PCC Cooks instructor Chef Lynne Vea on this week's Gardening With Ciscoe show, 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 on KING 5 TV.
What do you do when you hear a neighborhood food bank was robbed of its Thanksgiving dinner fixings? Why, mobilize, of course!
Fresh, wholesome, organic produce destined for hungry families (photos courtesy Tom Monahan)
Our head honchos put the wheels in motion from the moment we heard of Rainier Valley Food Bank's misfortune (in Thursday's Seattle Times). Roxanne, one of our community relations miracle workers, contacted RVFB to find out exactly what they most needed to complete their meals. Their answer: produce.
Today (Nov. 20) our produce suppliers, Organically Grown Company and Peterson Fruit Company, delivered $1,000 worth of fresh, organic produce including celery, yams, kale, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower and apples. That's $1,000 at wholesale prices, which means that money stretched even farther.
Fresh, organic, nutrient-rich cauliflower
PCC Community Relations Specialist Roxanne Winship with Sam Osborne, executive director of the food bank
We already donate thousands of pounds of staples (beans, grains and more) to Seattle-area foodbanks each month. It feels great to be able to help one more in such a time of need. Especially when we celebrated with such bounty earlier this week at our PCC Thanksgiving.
Cozy up with fellow local farming fans and catch two fun, informative flicks 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9. The Phinney Neighborhood Association and PCC Farmland Trust are teaming up to screen "King Corn" and its sequel,"Big River."
"King Corn" follows two young men along their whimsical quest to understand the farm subsidy system (and, industrialized agriculture) via growing their own acre of corn. In "Big River" they explore whom they've affected downstream from that acre. Visit www.bigriverfilm.com to see the trailer.
The fun happens at 6532 Phinney Ave. N. in Seattle. Admission is a donation (shared by PNA and the Trust). Call 206-783-2244 for more information.
I'd heard rumblings of the Thanksgiving potluck from the moment I started working at PCC Natural Markets.
Goldie, founder of our PCC Cooks program, churning out one of her dozen or so wholesome, delicious dishes.
"Goldie gets here at 6 a.m. to start cooking. Six A-M!"
"Last year, there were so many people we had to eat in shifts!"
"We could barely walk afterward."
Man, I couldn't wait. I also got nervous about what to bring. I turned to a tried-and-true recipe -- the Pear Cranberry Cake from the final issue of "Gourmet" magazine.
Packed with organic and local pears and cranberries, free-range eggs, and organic cream for the icing.
Plenty of fresh fruit keeps the cake super moist and flavorful.
But enough about me. On with the show!
Breakfast bar with French toast squares, meat/veg sausage, fresh OJ, hot coffee, fresh-baked scones.
Just some of the organic produce for the meal!
Root vegetables a-roasting
Cauldrons and pots a-bubbling
Biggest cast-iron skillet I've ever seen (more than 1.5 feet in diameter!). Goldie has many in her collection.
Quinoa-stuffed kabocha a-cooking.
Lining up for dinner! Felt like summer camp -- albeit, gourmet summer camp!
Et, voila! So many great offerings from throughout the office.
This beet and pear salad was so fresh and satisfying.
Can you believe I forgot to photograph the desserts?! Oh well. I was too busy feasting :)
Hope your Thanksgiving plans are shaping up nicely, wherever home is for you. If it happens to be in greater Puget Sound, stop by our stores for any of your T-Day needs, or, order an entire holiday dinner from our deli and spend your day relaxing with friends and family. If you're anything like me, though, the cooking is half the fun :)
I first met Chef Olaiya Land at her PCC Cooks Autumn Soup Making class at PCC Greenlake. She taught us how to properly (and speedily) chop an onion. She taught us how to build layers of flavor within our soups. She taught us how our pantries already hold many of the ingredients we'd need to create simple, elegant garnishes that can elevate our creations from great to sublime. Delish!
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I hope you'll enjoy getting to know her and her passion for food and cooking as much as I have. I especially enjoyed her salt and cookbook recommendations, her stories of cooking with her grandmother growing up in Illinois and why so many of us could benefit from a knife skills class.
You already eat local and shop local. Why not help preserve local farmland, forever?
Ames Creek Farm in Carnation, one of three land parcels preserved for agricultural use by PCC Farmland Trust
A donation to the PCC Farmland Trust does just that. The independent, community-supported (thanks to you!), non-profit land trust keeps local farmers farming using sustainable, organic growing methods. Through the end of this year, one generous donor has pledged to donate $5 to the trust for every new donor -- up to $15,000. This is a thoughtful gift for the person who has everything, for someone in your life who cares about preserving land for agricultural use or for anyone who wants to make a difference in our community but isn't sure where to start.
So far, the trust has preserved three Northwest farms for future agricultural use, including:
- The 97-acre Delta Farm in Sequim, farmed by Nash's Organic Produce
- The 174-acre Bennington Place Farm in Walla Walla, farmed by Thundering Hooves, a grass-fed meat operation
- The 178-acre Ames Creek farm in Carnation, farmed by Full Circle Farm, Growing Things Farm and Children's Garden Farm.
Stay tuned for exciting news about a fourth farm saved. And click here to donate!
This just in: Those of you who took home our special PCC Halloween Mix to hand out to trick-or-treaters (or snack on yourselves) helped raise more than $5,000 for Woodland Park Zoo's conservation and education efforts! Thank you for supporting an important organization!
In the bag this year: Fair-trade chocolates from Green & Black and Equal Exchange and delicious energy bar bites from Lärabar. We'll carry on the tradition, started in 2005, again next Halloween!
Happy Halloween everyone! Stay warm and dry this weekend. Thank goodness we're not in Denver, where they'll be trick-or-treating on snow, though it'd be a great excuse to dress as the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot or Santa Claus. But back to what's going on right here in our neck of the woods...
KING CORN is this week's free movie at PCC Redmond. Join us by 5 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1 for non-GMO popcorn, beverages and a lively discussion following the film, which follows two young men along their whimsical quest to understand the farm subsidy system (and, industrialized agriculture). Read more about Movies With a Message.
SUPPORT THE TIBETAN HEALING FUND, and PCC's nine Tibetan-American staffers and their homeland, by coming out to a benefit dinner 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 at 3902 Woodland Park Ave. N. in Seattle, or a slide show from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8 at the PCC Office, 4201 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle. Saturday's dinner includes a presentation on improving health care in rural Tibet and tickets are $40. The Sunday slide show is free and explores cultural features. Visit tibetanhealingfund.org for details.
TAKE THE PLEDGE to include at least one locally-grown food on your Thanksgiving table and support local, organic agriculture. Visit our Eat Local For Thanksgiving page to learn more and find great holiday recipes from PCC Cooks instructor Lynne Vea.
SIP ON A NEW FAVORITE at $5 PCC wine tastings this week. Thursday, Nov. 5 at PCC Fremont try great wines for everyday pleasure 6:30 to 8 p.m. At PCC Edmonds, Greenlake and Redmond that night at the same time you can sample wines that pair well with holiday meals. Saturday, Nov. 7 at PCC Fremont try Spanish wines from 2 to 4 p.m. Visit our PCC Wine & Beer Tastings page for more details. RSVP at email@example.com or 206-547-2221.
GREEN POWER is now available to customers of Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy. PCC has teamed up with both utilities to spread the word to our members and customers and support the expansion of renewable energy. Visit our green power page to learn more!