Just as Memorial Day weekend is considered the beginning of grilling season, some consider Labor Day weekend the end of it. But that simply isn’t the case for a lot of folks around these parts! Many of us like to keep that sizzle going.
For sure this is the last long weekend of the summer, so here are some suggestions for your Labor Day barbecue.
Grass-Fed Beef from the Montana Prairies
If steak or burgers are on the menu, try our free-raised, grass-fed and -finished beef from Strauss family farmers. We love this beef for its rich, beefy flavor; and for the ranchers’ commitment to sustainable agriculture and animal welfare. In fact, our meat specialist said this is the only grass-fed beef he’ll eat.
Strauss cattle graze open prairies in Montana, on the amazing American Prairie Reserve, with whom they have forged a partnership. The ranchers practice regenerative agriculture, a method that allows the herd to fertilize the soil and prevent erosion. Thanks to their slow-raising methods of heritage breeds, this is beef that’s as good for your meat-loving palate as it is for the environment. The story behind this brand is also compelling.
Strauss leanest ground beef is on Big Board Buys this week (and as always, ground fresh in our Meat Markets every day). It’s a great deal—make burgers this weekend and stock your freezer for fall recipes.
This Tops Everything (with Southern Flavor)
When you invest the time to barbecue a whole chicken, ribs or pork shoulder, you deserve a top-notch sauce like one from Lillie’s Q.
Each distinctive flavor is inspired by regional traditions from the South, including Carolina, a North Carolina-inspired tomato-based sauce; or the sweet and mild Memphis-style barbecue sauce they’ve named Smoky. I smoked a pork shoulder earlier this summer and served pulled-pork sandwiches with Lillie’s Q Gold, a tangy South Carolina mustard sauce. It was a match made in pork butt heaven!
I also added some to my coleslaw—the best coleslaw I’ve ever made, if I do say so myself. They’re a smokin’ hot deal on our Biweekly Buys right now, as are Lillie’s Q Kettle Chips (the Hot Pepper Vinegar kettle chips are the bomb).
And Don’t Forget the Fruit Pie!
Before you wrap up your barbecue shopping list, I have one more recommendation—serve up a handmade fruit pie. Oh good heavens, I’m not suggesting you make it! Cherry Crunch, Marionberry Crunch, American Apple and Peach Raspberry pies from Willamette Valley Pie Company are all on Big Board for $9.98 each.
They’re made like you’d make a pie at home, from scratch with wholesome ingredients, and they really are amazingly good. The company was started by the Roth family, who had been growing berries in Oregon for three generations. When a neighbor of theirs decided to sell their pie business in 1999, the Roths jumped at the opportunity—it seemed like a perfect fit. They kept using the original recipes so loved by locals. They’re now one of our favorite bakery partners and make some of our customers’ favorite pies. Enjoy!
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
Laura Chenel makes a fresh goat cheese with orange blossom honey, and it’s one of my favorite, most versatile cheeses. I love this little log! With just a hint of honey complementing the gentle tang of goat cheese, it’s wonderful with fruit. Spread on halved figs, in a crepe with berries, or on a cracker with juicy peach slices. Mix with a dash of heavy cream to thin it, and it's a perfect topper for muffins and carrot cake.
Marketing Manager Sue Transeaux joined Town & Country Markets 23 years ago, working in Bulk Foods at the market on Bainbridge Island. She’s always watching for what’s fresh, delicious and inspiring in our markets.