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.
We're always on the lookout for great new products that meet the needs of our members and shoppers. So we were thrilled to discover Pure Eire Dairy, nestled in the heart of the Columbia Basin. Jill and Richard Smith raise an all-Jersey, 100-percent grass-fed herd for luscious and nutritious milk. Find it now at PCC Redmond, Edmonds and Issaquah, with other stores soon to follow. Now, meet the herd!
The ladies go for a stroll (All photos courtesy Dani Smart, ShoptheNorthwest.com).
Pure Eire (pronounce the Eire like "era," Jill says) is the culmination of the couple's dream to create a product they'd be proud to stand behind. Both hail from farming families (Jill's parents grew "everything from corn to hay to peas" in Othello, Wash.; Richard's parents emigrated from Ireland to Florida and ran dairies, a tradition he has carried forward).
"It was always our dream to have a little thing we could probably even do together into our retirement. This is how we want our kids to grow up," Jill says. For now, every drop of milk from the 180-acre spread is spoken for. But as the herd of 35 grows in the future, the Smiths hope to add butter and farmstead cheese to their offerings.
WARNING: Cute alert.
A wee little calf.
What makes this milk special? Jersey cattle are one of the world's oldest breeds and produce a milk easily described as decadent. Dairy from grass-fed cows is high in nutrients, including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a beneficial fatty acid which has been shown to have cancer-fighting properties and helps inhibit the formation of body fat. Pure Eire's milk is free of antibiotics and added hormones, is vat pasteurized, and is non-homogenized (which helps it retain its farm-fresh creaminess). Through careful pasture management, the herd munches grass even in the winter months.
"We milk our cows just once a day," Jill says. "The lower stress our cows have, the higher quality the milk."
The herd doing what it does best.
Here's looking at you, cud.
If you've eaten fresh, organic salad mix at PCC, you've enjoyed the bounty of Full Circle Farm. Our camera crew headed east to Carnation last week to shoot a producer profile video about farmer Andrew Stout and his team and, to record a new podcast. Here's some of the beauty that we saw on that crisp and foggy (then, suddenly sunny) summer day.
A kale plant grows in Carnation.
Kevin and Ricardo work hard to get just the right shot of what will grow up to become fresh, organic salad mix!
Farmer Andrew Stout takes us on a tour of his greenhouses.
Stay tuned for our Full Circle Farm producer profile video! In the meantime, check out our collection of other PCC videos.