Think back to school lunch. Did you bring yours in a brown bag? A shiny lunchbox? Or, did you buy hot lunch? I used to love the tink sound when I dropped my quarter into an old coffee can to buy a pint of milk in our cafeteria. I didn't love the nauseating aroma of fishsticks whenever they came up on the menu.
(found an image of one of my first lunchboxes! I also had a pink plastic Smurfette lunchbox back in the day).
I remembered all this while reading our latest e-newsletter, PCC Advocates, written by Trudy and Eli, the women behind each month's Sound Consumer. If you like staying in the know about national food and environmental policy and helping to make a difference, you should subscribe.
There are several ways you can help improve lunchtime options for kids, as this month's issue details:
- You can ask Congress to support healthy, sustainable school food policies by supporting Slow Food's Time for Lunch initiative
- Sign the Center for Science in the Public Interest's petition
- Join Food & Water Watch's campaign to rid school milk of rBGH
Now is a prime time to act, since the the Child Nutrition Act expires Sept. 30 and is up for review and reauthorization for the first time in five years. Locally, the Seattle School District has a food policy that bans soda and junk food sales and makes fresh, local, organic, non-genetically-modified, non-irradiated, unprocessed food a priority. Trudy and Eli will help connect parents who would like to take charge and work with local schools to make sure these policies are enacted. Email eli.penberthy (at) pcc.sea (dot) com, and they'll connect you.
Have you grilled and chilled with us this summer at PCC Redmond or Edmonds? This is the final weekend.
Those of you who have, thank you for supporting your community! We donate $3 of each $7 meal (as well as the total from each $3 kids meal) to charity. Here's how it's added up so far this summer:
- June: You raised $2,022 for An Edmonds Kind of 4th and $1,824 for the Hopelink Redmond Food Bank.
- July: You raised $1,890 for the YWCA Trinity Place Apartments and $1,790 for Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
- August: Here's hoping we match or beat those totals for The Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation and Friends of Youth
Here's Roxanne, the organizational powerhouse behind all those great in-store demos, at Edmonds with the July menu:
I attended my first PCC Healthy Living Fair at PCC Edmonds over the weekend. What fun it was!
Kim and Thom, sharing the wealth at the Kid Picks Mobile
Theo Chocolate plying their chocolately goodness
Plenty of organic goodness on the PCC grill
Thanks to everyone who came out! It was fun putting faces to some names and getting to know more of our community, especially beneath such gorgeous skies.
This being a fair with so many dozens of samples, I made some new discoveries.
- I really like Odwalla's Carrot Juice.
- My freezer will soon be stocked with The Greek Gods ice cream (a.k.a. Pagoto Ice Krema).
- Our new PCC Organic Beef is mighty fine. The bottom sirloin I tried yesterday was seasoned only with salt and pepper yet was super flavorful.
- Why have I never tried Emerald Valley's salsa? So fresh, with a pleasant kick.
- Cassava chips are really good! I like how light they are compared to potato chips, and they're gluten-free to boot.
What were some of your discoveries?
In elementary school, there's always that kid whose lunches inspire envy. As an adult, my colleague Jackie, PCC Cooks writer, is one of those kids. I love to peek over her shoulder to see what loveliness she's pulled together on her plate (and lately, I've been documenting it for fun). Here's your chance to peek over her shoulder at some of her prettiest lunches of the past few weeks.
Steamed golden and red beets with dill vinaigrette, fresh arugula salad, English muffin.
Steak salad topped with steamed crookneck squash and tomatoes; crostini with fromage blanc and dill.
Pasta salad with fresh arugula, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella, plus a side of organic peaches.
Vietnamese sandwich gussied up with fresh radishes and arugula and a side of cucumber and tomato
Open-faced ham and fromage blanc sandwich with heirloom tomatoes with a side of steamed heirloom carrots, topped with dill (someone loves dill!).
Cajun-spiced pork ribs with pasta salad and a side of cantaloupe with organic, local blueberries (dang!)
The beans and grains meal! (that's my homemade chicken fried rice on the left, with fellow PCC Cooks whiz Rachel's curried beans with yogurt and Jackie's tabbouleh).
Leftover tabbouleh with homegrown cucumber, black and red radishes from PCC and halibut with salsa and cilantro a-plenty.
What are some of your favorite lunchtime creations? Send me a pic of your best lunch at karen.gaudette (at) pccsea (dot)com and maybe you'll see it on this blog!
I couldn't get enough pineapple on my last trip to Hawai'i, and I'm sure a lot of you feel the same:
So what a treat it's been to find fresh, organic pineapple in our stores this summer! A word of caution: Cut it small, wear an apron or be near a source of water for cleanup. It's super juicy, and I've spent the past 10 minutes cleaning my keyboard after every bite sent pineapple juice airborne. YUM!
Here's what else you'll find this week at PCC:
- Organic tomatoes from the Walker family in Roseburg, Ore. They're under the LADYBUG label.
- Organic corn from Scio, Ore. (yellow and bicolor, just right for this recipe)
- The very first local organic apples from around the state (Galas, likely to come into stores this weekend)
- Organic Bartlett pears from Scott Leach Orchards
- Organic Nash's carrots from Sequim, Wash.
- Organic Black Mission and Adriatic Green figs from California (the latter taste as though they're filled with raspberry jam, says Joe, our produce guru)
Coming in September: Local and organic pluots (in Flavor King and Dapple Dandy varieties, love those names!).
I know where I'll be this weekend:
It'll be my first Healthy Living Fair and I'm bringing my appetite. More than 100 vendors will hand out free samples of more than 600 products that span nearly every department in our stores, from produce and our beloved deli to our health and beauty department. Have you seen all the fresh produce rolling into our stores this time of year? My mouth waters just thinking about it.
Click here for a full list of vendors (here's a sneak peek: 18 Rabbits, Ito En, Napoleon Sunshine Burger, Oregon Ice Cream, Robert's Pirate's Booty, Raw Revolution, High Country Kombucha, Evergreen Pet Supply, Bodyceuticals, BumbleBar). Did I mention recipe demonstrations by PCC Cooks instructors and a chance to meet our board? And the Kid Picks Mobile parked nearby offering free, kid-friendly samples?
The fun runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22 and Sunday, Aug. 23 at PCC Edmonds. Ricardo, our social media guy, and I will be roaming around interviewing vendors and hopefully some of you! Come say hello!
My mom makes her own plum liqueur, which is divine on the rocks with a dash of club soda. Her eldest sister makes great pickles (and when I think back hard enough to when I was six, I still can remember the tangy scent permeating the air as she processed them). Other aunts make luscious jams and jellies. Me? I lack any of these skills, mainly because it wasn't cool to can, pickle or jam when I was growing up.
Boy, did I miss out.
Thankfully, a group of food lovers up and down the West Coast has set out to change that. They've organized a series of events this month and next they've dubbed Canvolution, in hopes of inspiring fellow food lovers, home gardeners, fresh produce fans and others to try their hand at the delicious art of putting up food (I bet these organic blueberries I'm eating right now would make delicious syrup).
The main weekend is Aug. 29-30, when the Canning Across America group aims to get people preserving from coast to coast. But events abound around town before then. Click here for a list of free classes and demonstrations. Popular blogger Gluten-Free Girl celebrates blackberry season here. Click here for PCC's recipe for no-cook freezer jam, and here to watch PCC Cooks instructor Lynne Vea put up her own raspberry jam.
Maybe you'll get good enough to try your hand at preserving these. Sure would be a treat to pop open this jarful of summer during those dark days of winter.
Photos from the Canning Across America Flickr stream
This week at PCC: A Taste of Edmonds, Grillin' & Chillin' and Healthy Living Fair just around the corner!August 14, 2009 at 10:30 AM — foodette
Summer may be winding down but fun events are still going strong at our stores and in our communities. Come out and play if you haven't already!
RELAX WITH US at A Taste of Edmonds this weekend (we're the official wine garden sponsor!). Our wine guy, Jeff Cox, has handpicked some of his favorites for the occasion. The taste runs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at 6th Street and Bell Street in Edmonds.
LEAVE THE GRILLING TO US and come on down to PCC Redmond and Edmonds for Grillin' & Chillin' community barbecues on weekends this summer (all meals include a vegetarian option). This month's proceeds benefit The Edmonds Art Festival Foundation and Friends of Youth on the Eastside.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR (and save your appetite) for the Healthy Living Fair, packed with FREE samples from more than 100 vendors handing out more than 600 samples that span nearly every department at PCC Natural Markets, including produce, our beloved deli and our healthy and beauty section (woo hoo!). And don't miss a visit to the Kid Picks Mobile for free kid-friendly samples. The fun runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22 and Sunday, Aug. 23 at PCC Edmonds. Click here for a full list of vendors (here's a sneak peek: 18 Rabbits, Ito En, Napoleon Sunshine Burger, Oregon Ice Cream, Robert's Pirate's Booty, Raw Revolution, High Country Kombucha, Evergreen Pet Supply, Bodyceuticals, BumbleBar). Did I mention recipe demonstrations by PCC Cooks instructors and a chance to meet our board? Can't wait :)
WATCH Chef Lynne Vea cook up seasonal delights on KING 5 TV’s “Gardening With Ciscoe” show Saturdays at 10 a.m. This week: Heirloom Tomato and Lime Salsa, plus Fresh Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde). And check out our new PCC video library for additional cooking inspiration.
SIP FINE WINE AND FUN BEER at various PCC stores this week. Wednesday, Aug. 19 sample Iberia On a Midsummer's Eve, 6:30 to 8 p.m. The next night, Thursday, Aug. 20, it's Beer, There and Everywhere, The Sequel from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at PCC Issaquah, PCC Fremont and PCC West Seattle. Cost is $5 per person. RSVP by calling the reservation line at 206-547-1222, ext. 191, or e-mail email@example.com. Twenty-one and over only, please. View all tasting events.
HELP THE HUNGRY. Volunteer your time to package bulk foods purchased with PCC Food Bank Program donations with fellow volunteers from PCC Greenlake and PCC Kirkland. The Kirkland event begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17 at Kirkland Food Bank 11011 120th Ave. N.E., Kirkland). The Greenlake packaging party begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19 at Greenwood Food Bank (9747 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle). Everyone is welcome. Contact Community Relations at 206-547-1222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This rainy weather may be gloomy, but it's spurring growth in lots of local gardens. Just check out this kale that Janice, our PCC Board administrator, brought in to show off this week :)
Here's a close up! It was so fragrant.
And here's something delicious you can do with it (kale with smashed potatoes and butter)
Chris, our Web developer, has hauled in a good harvest this summer
And here's where the magic happened
Email me at karen.gaudette (at) pccsea (dot) com with garden photos of your own to share!
Apparently, PCC is on the minds of many lately, whether we're talking the value of organics, PCC's forays into social media or fresh, local produce. In honor of our loquacious co-op, here's a sampling of recent appearances:
- Joe, our produce guru, explains to listeners of KUOW 94.9 FM why local produce tastes so great. Listen or read more.
- Ricardo, our social media guy, discusses the recent Twitter outage on KIRO 7 TV (Tweeps, we really missed you during those few hours of disconnection!) and his appreciation for Twitter in the Seattle P-I
- Diana, our sustainability director, gives our take on the recent organic study out of the UK
- Edmonds store director Matt on conservation efforts in our Edmonds store
- And in case you missed them, some interesting stories from the past, including how we switched to double sided receipts to reduce paper use and why we choose to sell ethical bananas (that almost sounds like a band name!)
Stay dry out there. A great day to cozy up in the kitchen, isn't it?