It's my second year at PCC, but I had yet to attend one of Chef Lynne Vea's PCC Cooks classes. Now I can't believe I waited so long.
Let's start with dessert, shall we? Paired with J.K.'s Scrumpy Hard Cider. Sigh.
That Upside Down Praline Apple Tart with Cointreau Creme was the grand finale of her Northwest Harvest Celebration class last night at West Seattle PCC. The new, daylight-filled classroom in the front of the remodeled store sparkles in the sun. I'm excited to see the entire store when the remodel is complete this winter. But first, back to dinner!
Lynne, demonstrating how to flip the apple tart.
She served this lovely bite with a crisp, vibrant, non-oaky Chardonnay from Powers Winery.
She paired this spicy, creamy delight with a rose' from Lachini Vineyards.
This was superb. That sliver of skin-on duck breast was tender, meaty, fatty and crispy all at once. I can't eat enough figs, especially when they're stuffed with Gorgonzola. And that Rosemary Polenta Souffle' up top just rounded this out perfectly. She paired this with Maryhill Cellars' Winemaker's red.
Meet 5-day-old baby Sabine on her first visit to PCC Fremont with proud parents Natalie and Ross. Thanks for the photo, Janice!
Congratulations Mom and Dad!
Sabine's not ready for this quite yet, but parents and caregivers, remember that children get a free piece of fruit on each visit to our stores as part of our Kid Picks program. Just ask!
Congratulations to Fabian of PCC Redmond who bagged first place in PCC's first-ever co-op wide bagging contest! Saturday marked the high-energy conclusion to a summer that saw 80 competitors throughout PCC's nine locations battle to represent their store at the finals.
From left to right: Marisa of Edmonds (2nd place), Fabian of Redmond (1st place) and Jennifer of Fremont (3rd place). Each went home with a PCC gift card, ranging from $300 for 3rd place and $500 for first! Thanks to Mimi, Janice and Johnnie for the great photos.
Baggers were judged on proper bagging technique, speed, distribution of weight between two bags (one paper, one reusable PCC bag), as well as the contestant's style, attitude and appearance. It's great fun (think of it as three-dimensional Tetris) and a great way for all of us at PCC to brush up on our bagging technique so your groceries get home in the best shape possible.
Fabian will represent PCC at the state bagging championships (yes, there is such a thing!) in Seattle in October. If he bests the best of the rest of the state, he'll win $1,500 and an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas for the national contest in February! You know who we're rooting for...
Embrace fall with a visit to a local farm. Orting Valley Farms, the latest organic farmland preserved in perpetuity by the PCC Farmland Trust, is a stop on this year's Pierce County HarvestFest farm tour. The free fun runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at 21108 Orville Rd. E. in Orting, Wash. Enjoy live music, a pumpkin patch, farm tours, a farmstand and more!
There can be only one -- one supreme grocery-bagging champion of the group of winners that hails from each of our nine PCC locations, that is. The showdown is 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 at PCC Edmonds. The best of our best will represent PCC at the state contest in Seattle come October for cash prizes and, more importantly, bragging rights (thanks to Mimi, Janice, Johnnie and Nancy for all the great photos!).
Will it be Alicia of PCC Greenlake?
Someone from PCC Redmond's formiddable crew?
Or the mighty team from Issaquah?
Perhaps James from View Ridge?
Hope we see you at the championship Saturday! Surely it will be just as festive as Issaquah's faceoff earlier this summer.
On an autumnal Seattle night, what to do with:
Dragon's tongue beans from Redmond PCC
Crunchy and gorgeous sweet peppers
Plump heirloom tomatoes
plus sunny zucchini, sunburst squash and shiny, regal eggplant?
Make ratatouille, of course!
Mixing together all that lovely produce, plus generous amounts of dried oregano, marjoram and a pinch of chili flakes.
This recipe for Express Ratatouille by PCC Cooks instructor Lesa Sullivan is a cinch. Save time by enlisting a friend to help you chop all that produce. I subbed a can of Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes since I forgot to pick up heirlooms and added some local, organic corn that I shaved from the cob. The house smelled wonderful as all those seasonings simmered and commingled on the stove. Even my meat-loving husband was happy due to the wealth of flavor within, though we think this would be marvelous with a side of grilled pork loin or a slab of baked halibut.
At the request of the Organic Trade Association, PCC played host last week to nine international food writers who traveled here to learn about organic food and the organic certification process in our country. The group hailed predmoninantly from Korea and China, and represented food and lifestyle publications that ranged from Marie Claire and Epicure to the Korea Daily and Kyunghyang Daily newspapers.
Our organic produce is ready for its close-up.
They also enjoyed a killer lunch from the Edmonds PCC deli! Here's the menu, just for fun:
- Roasted Thundering Hooves Grass-fed Top Sirloin With Chanterelle Bordelaise
- Pan Roasted Fraser River Sockeye with Thai Glaze and Spicy Cucumber Salad
- Grilled Local Sunburst Squash with Mint
- Local Organic Cheeses with Fig Balsamic Confiture
- Washington Riesling Poached Peaches with House-made Ginger Cookies
Yum! The deli even made the garnish: Those lacy, chocolate swirls!
Believe it or not, it's still summer until Sept. 23 this year. Thankfully, summer's bounty -- our autumn harvest -- will linger long into the darker days. Make the most of our remaining daylight with tender, organic summer squash, tomatoes and other treats on the grill! I go the simple route by lightly coating my veggies with oil and dusting them with a pinch of salt before grilling them quickly over high heat. How do you like to grill your produce?
After: Grilled tomatoes explode with flavor. This organic sunburst squash was mellow and lovely.
How to round out this meal? I just grill some wild salmon from our sustainable seafood department. Did you know PCC was the first full retail partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program? Pretty amazing.
Back to my grill I go! Grilled vegetables also add a wonderful flavor boost to salads and serve as a great appetizer alongside some good bread and some of our dips and spreads.
Co-op members: We're shifting our Fall Member Meeting one day forward to Wednesday, Oct. 27 at St. Demetrios Hall in Seattle's Montlake neighborhood. That's one extra day to whet your appetite for a sustainable, seasonal meal (served promptly at 5:30 p.m.), for conversation with fellow members and for interesting talks from representatives of three of our favorite producers: Theo Chocolate, Fidalgo Bay Coffee and Alaffia Sustainable Skincare, all based here in Washington. Reserve your spot by Oct. 19.
Last year's meeting in full swing.
Read even more details about the meeting here. It's going to be a great night!
Click here to learn more about how our member meetings work.
Not a co-op member? Here are some reasons you should really consider joining.