(Posted 2012) Wow! How time flies by. Just a few short weeks ago it was sunny and 80 degrees – then a short vacation and a busy week or two and Thanksgiving is upon us.
The markets are ready with all the traditional trimmings such as fresh cranberries, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, asparagus, fresh herbs, winter squashes, yams and sweet potatoes – in both conventional and organic, of course.
Check out the new ready-to-cook items in our cut vegetable section. We have created a few new items that are all about convenience and freshness – most of the upfront work has been done for you. Just add your favorite seasonings and bake or roast. All are cut to order, packed in oven-ready containers and delivered to the markets the very next morning by a trusted provider who is very aware of our high standards.
The choices for this week are Brussels sprout halves, two-inch cubed garnet yams, five-inch cut asparagus spears and fresh butternut squash cubes. Just splash on a little olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and you’re good to go!
A new crop of blueberries from Argentina and Chile arrived this week. I know Argentina and Chile are a long way away, but Thanksgiving without fresh blueberries would be a shame. We also took the opportunity to freeze some of the Northwest wild huckleberries ahead of time, so look for those in the cut fruit section in our Produce Markets. The supply is sadly limited so I apologize in advance if we run short (and urge you to get them while they last!).
This week we are starting to see the first arrivals of Mini Me Satsuma Mandarins from Rising C Ranch in California, a family farm with a mission statement that includes a commitment to such things as, “… the fruit we pack consistently meets the highest standard of quality, freshness and seasonality. To treat those who work with us the dignity and respect that they deserve and to provide them a safe, clean and healthy environment to work in,” as well as commitments to food safety and stewardship of the land.
These satsumas come with the leaves still attached – your assurance that they have been properly ripened on the tree. These Satsumas kick off the winter citrus season, which just gets better and better as we move through the holidays and into the new year. Early reports are for an excellent crop out of California. The one I am looking forward to is the Sumo mandarin orange, which was simply outstanding this past year. We expect this fruit to arrive in late February or early March.
Last but not least, when I last updated you, I talked about the rain boosting the supply of chanterelle mushrooms, which would give us an opportunity to pass on a great value. I guess that rain boost was too little, too late, and I was full of wishful thinking! They just never came down in cost and supply has remained limited. The later we move into November the more unlikely it becomes that the wild crop will bloom and supply improve. We do have fresh chanterelle mushrooms but we were unable to secure the value we were able to offer last year.
Have a great Thanksgiving! Enjoy your family and friends, and totally have too much pie (that’s my plan anyway)! – Joe