We talked last week about how hard it can be to come up with that perfect last-minute sweet treat for holiday parties, and I’ve got two more solutions for you: Our Champs Elysées Brie and Danish kringle from Larsen’s Bakery in Ballard.
One of the great things about Brie is how beautifully simple and flexible it is. No matter what the food landscape you’re headed into, there’s always room on a cheeseboard or snack plate for this cute little mini Brie. Fruit spreads, charcuterie or holiday wines — Brie pairs with all of it. And at just $4.98 each, this is one of our best values of the year. Don’t be surprised if the market closest to you sells out!
Sweet and flaky, the kringle is a legend in the pastry world, and Larsen’s on 24th Avenue NW in Ballard has been perfecting their version for nearly 40 years. It’s on Big Board Buys right now for just $9.98, a steal considering how much work goes into its creation. Their kringle is made in the original Danish way, with delectable almond paste and raisins, all wrapped in layers of buttery crust and topped with sugar and sliced almonds. Finally, they twist it into a traditional pretzel shape and bake it to a golden brown.
Here’s a folk tale I found on the internet that sums up its reputation nicely…
Lars Larson was on his deathbed in an upstairs bedroom. He had only a few hours left. Lars woke from a deep sleep and sniffed. His wife had just returned from the bakery and the aroma of freshly baked kringles brought a spark to Lars. He whispered, “If I could just have a taste of kringle before I die, it would make my dying so much sweeter.”
He mustered every ounce of strength and got out of bed. Slowly he made his way downstairs and into the kitchen. There he spied two kringles on the counter. Just as he was reaching out to take a piece, his wife swatted his hand away. “Stop that,” she said. “We’re saving these for the funeral.”
Oregon Country Beef and Our 32-Year Friendship:
For more than 30 years, we’ve had a relationship with Oregon Country Beef (OCB). They started as a small operation, only processing a few heads of cattle a week. Now they’re a co-op with more than 90 ranchers across the western U.S. And sometimes with old friends, it’s nice to look back and celebrate how far you’ve come together. All through December, our Culinary Teams will be hosting demos with ranchers who’re stopping by to say hello and help us reconnect to what makes us special. For you, that means good conversation and free samples of some of the finest beef around!
“When OCB was first getting started, Stacy Davies, their former CEO who just retired, used to spend the night at our meat manager’s house on Bainbridge Island because they had no budget for a motel,” recalls Susan Allen, our Senior Director of Brand Development and a member of the Nakata family, who co-founded our company with the Loverich family on the island back in 1957. “We have always been impressed with their passion for humane treatment of their cattle and sustainable practices.”
Their beef is non-GMO and Global Animal Partnership certified. They also follow a 100% vegetarian diet and believe in regenerative agriculture, which helps rebuild the soil and preserve water sources. “When you go visit one of their ranches, the first thing they do is get down and show you the health of the grass,” says our Meat Specialist Michael Fodness. “The land is just as important as the cattle. And all these ranchers have a stake in providing the highest-quality beef.”
Be sure and keep an eye on our Idea Centers and stop by and say hello to a visiting rancher!
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
Somerdale Honey-Lemon Wensleydale: Our Cheese of Choice this month hails from England and has quickly become a staff favorite, even for those traditionalists among us. It’s hard to resist the cheery yellow wax coating, but if you are a lemon lover this will quickly become your new favorite. All it takes is one taste to seal the deal. The dessert-style cheese is loaded with lemon zest and lemon curd. Set it out for about an hour before serving and it’ll become creamy and soft enough to spread over an Anna’s Ginger Swedish Thin for the perfect dessert course. Cheers, mate!
Chris Allen is a copywriter and assistant marketer with Town & Country Markets. He’s a former contributing editor, radio anchor and producer, and an Air Force veteran. He’s also mastered the art of chopping red onions with one hand while sipping a dry Tempranillo in the other.