Stir-fry blog

Former President Jimmy Carter ate here

I'm talking about KUOW 94.9 FM, one of our local NPR affiliates here in the Seattle area and a radio station we support -- financially and culinarily.

We're told former President Carter AND his Secret Service entourage were fans of our deli sandwiches when they visited the station earlier this year.

This morning a trio of us met with fellow KUOW underwriters (financial supporters) including Seattle University, the Seahawks/Sounders, EMP/SFM and Blink Interactive to mingle, tour the station, discuss the economy and, of course, eat! On the menu: fresh scones and muffins from our bakery, fresh fruit (I'm a huge pineapple fan), a variety of cheeses, fresh coffee. 

As an avid radio listener I especially enjoyed their radio collection. 

And yes, all those phones you hear ringing during pledge drives really *are* sitting all over the office. 

On KUOW I enjoy listening to "The Splendid Table" on Saturdays at 2 p.m. It's also fun hearing all the last-minute Thanksgiving disaster prep advice on Morning Edition during the holidays. 

More about: community, PCC Deli

Out and About: Soapmaking

After two months with PCC I can say with authority that no two days are the same. Take Monday for example. I teamed up with Ricardo (our multimedia guru) and Diana (our sustainability chief) for a visit to Ballard Organics, the local soap company that supplies great-smelling foaming hand soaps and more to our stores (note to those with sensitive noses and skin: yes, they carry unscented options). Ben, the owner, walked us through soap making from start to finish. Stay tuned for a video of our adventure! For now, here are some tidbits. 

 

 The soap kitchen, where the magic happens (thanks Ricardo, for these pix!).

Soap loaves, anyone? They resemble giant erasers in this shot. They cure them for at least one month to give the bars staying power. Did I mention they are a certified-organic soapmaker by the Washington Department of Agriculture? 

And voila! Soap! 

 

More about: soap

A look at what we're reading in the PCC office

 

There are plenty of great cooks here, as you might imagine.

This is the first place I've worked where omnivores are a definite minority. It's been great learning more about all the different dietary choices that exist, as well as how those with dietary challenges make the most of eating. 

Speaking of dietary challenges, I'm thankful that food companies are responding to the growing number of folks who struggle with this particular dietary challenge

One of the many cookbooks we carry in our stores. I'm interested to know just how many cookbooks are in print around the world right now, or even just by Northwest-based authors. 

Other titles that came up: 

  • "Bottom Feeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood" by Taras Grescoe
  • "Not For Bread Alone: Twenty-two acclaimed Writers Celebrate the Art of Eating" by Dan Halpern 
  • "Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America" by Linda Furiya (that's from me)

What are some of your favorites? What's on your nightstand? 

More about: books, gluten free, vegan

What powers PCC? (a welcome note)

It's the people. And by that, I mean the people who grow and raise the food we sell at our stores, those who deliver it, stock it, bake it, arrange it, wrap it, sell it. Those at the main office who spend months analyzing and debating what should go on the shelves and in the bins and how to better serve the various dietary needs and desires of you, our customers and members.

I joined this team two months ago, fresh from a decade as a working journalist. I've been interested in food all my life but really started paying closer attention to organics, sustainability, local agriculture and all those other big buzzwords about three years ago, when I began covering food for The Seattle Times. It was startling to realize my smallest choices, as simple as selecting one apple over another, could ultimately guide how food is grown in this country when magnified by the "smallest choices" of millions of others. 

For years at PCC we've connected with you through Sound Consumer, our monthly newspaper, through our Web site, over the phone (I know this for a fact, because I sit right by the reception desk!) and, most recently, via Facebook and Twitter. We're keeping this blog to provide even greater insight into the people behind the co-op, how we make decisions (from what we carry all the way to how we'll display it), how we weigh in on the important issues of the day and yes, the adventures we have in the wide world of food. 

My goal is to create a space where you feel welcome to share your thoughts and views, that you'll want to revisit to discuss everything from recipes to reading lists. Be on the lookout for profiles of the unique personalities behind the counter at our stores. And above all, let's celebrate the bounty of the Pacific Northwest! 

More about: sustainability

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