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.
We're entering one of my favorite times of year in Western Washington, when produce departments, home gardens and farmers markets burst with organic, locally grown produce, from apples to zucchini. Just look at our Produce in Season chart for evidence!
Sun-dappled apples in the Yakima Valley.
Lon Inaba, enjoying some sun-drenched watermelon in one of his farm's fields. See the whole watermelon patch in this video.
Check out our Recipe Database for plenty of inspiration for all that farm-fresh produce you'll be lugging into the kitchen!
Many of us at PCC wear more than one hat. P.J. Cawley, produce coordinator at our Redmond store, is a prime example. It's not enough that he's a leader for staff and a font of knowledge for shoppers. No, now he's going to share his vast produce knowledge with all of you!
P.J. demonstrates how to look for the telltale golden spot of a melon that spent more time ripening on its vine.
Be sure to explore our whole series of fresh and easy how-to videos we've dubbed PCC Quick Bites. You'll find quick, helpful tips on topics including:
- How to select perfectly ripe watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydew and crenshaw melons
- How to know when an avocado is ripe, and, how to slice it
- The safest way to slice up watermelon for a fruit salad
- How to grind your own fresh peanut butter in our bulk department
Keep checking back, because here's a look at upcoming PCC Quick Bites!
- Which apples are best for a) eating out of hand b) cooking or c) baking?
- The right mushroom for each recipe
- How to select and slice fresh pineapple
- How to select a perfectly ripe mango
We welcome your suggestions! What would you like to learn about?
You know summer's near its glorious end when our gardens (and PCC's produce department) are overflowing with summer squash, especially our lean, green (and sometimes golden) favorite: zucchini. In this month's Sound Consumer we track down some fresh takes using this abundant, ubiquitous taste of summer. Find those great recipes here.
Put these babies to good use.
I've learned dozens of handy new cooking techniques from PCC Cooks classes I've taken, from how to make homemade ramen noodles to how to build layers of flavor within a perfect fall soup. I hope you'll treat yourself to a class this fall, whether it's learning to make holiday biscotti from scratch or any number of other delicious options. View the catalog here.
Making fresh ramen noodles from scratch.
There are too many interesting classes to list them all here, but don't miss your chance to learn:
how to maximize flavor with Cooking with Herbs and Spices
how to balance your energy through Food and Mood.
a delicious take on breakfast in Basics of Japanese Cooking
meals that will get you through these cooler months in Thai Comfort Foods
hearty, satisfying favorites sans the gluten in Gluten-free Southwest Comfort
which foods ease menopause and combat thyroid imbalance in Foods for a Healthy Hormone Balance
You can view our entire catalog of classes here. Happy cooking!
And if you can resist the urge to eat them immediately, check out this video to meet our peach grower, Bob Berryman of Twin Springs Farm, and learn a tasty new way to savor them!
Click the photo to reach our Video page.
If you're anything like me, you're hustling to make the most of these final glorious weeks of summer, cramming in a last camping trip, BBQ, picnic, bonfire, hike, sail, kayak, bike ride or open-water swim while the sun still shines. Don't forget that our Health and Body Care department offers abundant all-natural ways to keep bugs at bay during all your outdoor endeavors.
One favorite here at PCC Headquarters is All Terrain Herbal Armor, which contains five natural essential oils recognized by the EPA as repellents. It's also 100-percent DEET free (bonus!). Click here for my friend Lydia's extensive, helpful piece about all-natural repellents and the various properties of the essential oils within them. Or you can also click here to learn to mix up your own from scratch.
It's a showdown, and you're invited. At high noon Saturday, Aug. 21, bring your A game and your appetite to PCC Redmond for a watermelon eating contest! Prizes are ripe for the winning for eaters in two groups: ages 14 and up, and ages 13 and younger. The entry fee is $3 for children 13 and younger and $5 for everyone else. Contact P.J. Cawley, Celeste Coxen or Justine Busse to sign up by 11:30 a.m. Aug. 21.
Thien from the Redmond Deli and I honed our watermelon-eating skills during this PCC Quick Bites video.
Catch Fabian Morales, grocery bagging champion at PCC Redmond, take on "Evening Magazine" host Meeghan Black in a battle of the baggers 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, Aug. 3) on KING5 TV. This friendly faceoff is in honor of the Seattle screenings of the grocery bagging competition documentary "Ready, Set, Bag!". Each ticket sold at Seattle's Central Cinema will generate a $1 donation to Food Lifeline, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending hunger in Western Washington. The film is playing Aug. 6 to Aug. 12 in Seattle.
Who will win? Tune in to "Evening Magazine" tonight at 7 p.m. on KING5. Photo courtesy Diana Crane.
I bagged groceries for the first time over Thanksgiving. A lot of people compare it to playing Tetris, that great Gameboy game of yore that requires the quick and strategic stacking of blocks, and I definitely agree. One tip to make life easier for baggers at your store: Send your reusable bags down the checkout line ahead of your groceries. It will help them anticipate how best to safely and evenly distribute your purchases.
As you head out for weekend fun, remember the two PCC locations en route to many hiking trails that make for a great snack and beverage oasis: PCC Issaquah and PCC Redmond. Swing by to pick up iced tea, espresso, fresh-baked cookies, cheese, trail mix from our bulk bins, our all-natural deli salads and sandwiches or a hot slice of pizza. Or, just stretch your legs (and rest awhile).
A whole pack of hikers trekking from Seattle to Snoqualmie last weekend ambled into Redmond's classroom to do just that.
Redmond's classroom offers natural light and more importantly, a way to take a load off!
They were taking part in an event called The Long Walk, a three day urban/suburban/exurban journey that organizers call an unscripted encounter with a place we think we already know. Odwalla donated snacks and juice to the hikers and PCC Redmond served up samples of Turkish Garbanzo Bean Salad, plus slices of fresh nectarines, peaches and plums.
A snacking bonanza.
Hope your weekend includes making great use of the sun! And because I can't resist, click here for photos of some stunning oases in deserts around the globe.