To get ready to fill all your holiday needs, we’ve been reviewing our notes, conducting our research and making adjustments where needed. I do believe we’re as ready as we can be to help you put together your special celebration with family and friends.
Strike Gold with Your Mashed Potatoes
We’ve secured what we think is the best potato for mashing! Mashed potatoes are a must for this holiday, in my humble opinion. Personally, my favorite potato for mashing is the larger Northwest-grown Yukon Gold.
The large size makes them easier to peel and their creamy golden flesh makes them look buttered right off the bat! This variety has a great texture perfect for mashing. We have great recipes like Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with Olive Oil ort he aptly named Perfect Mashed Potatoes. If you want to take it up a notch or two, try our Mashed Potatoes with Gruyere and Caramelized Leeks.
If you want to try something new, look to the internet for a Celery Root and Garlic Mashed Potato recipe. There are several available – just remember to use the Yukon Gold in your recipe for best results.
Good Gravy the Sweet Potatoes are Perfect!
If you do not already have a great gravy of your own with which to smother your mashed potatoes, swing by our Deli and check out Our Own Gravy. Our recipe is scratch made with real ingredients and is ready to heat and eat. It’s awesome just as it is or you can add some freshly sautéed cremini mushrooms like I do. It’s for more than just mashed potatoes – it’s great over turkey and stuffing, as well.
And what would Thanksgiving dinner be without sweet potatoes? The red garnet sweet potato is my favorite. It’s not a yam, although it is commonly called that. The truth is that very few of us have ever actually eaten a yam, which is indigenous to Africa. And huge! What they have in common with one another is orange skin and flesh.
Although there are several varieties of orange-flesh sweet potatoes, the red garnet is the sweeter and creamier variety that customers have naturally gravitated to as their preferred choice. We also have the golden sweet potato for recipes that call for a white-flesh variety. Both are available in both conventional and organic. Speaking of organic, we also have organic purple sweet potatoes. These have a deep purple flesh and a unique flavor and texture. Worth a try if you are up for experimenting.
Satsumas Headed This Way Very Soon
Satsumas are on the way! This year we had another great season with the imported Aussie Sweet mandarin oranges. The challenge has been that they finished early this year and the California citrus season is running a bit late because of unusually warm nights in California. Citrus, like apples, needs cool nights to color and sugar up. As a general rule, we buy only tree-ripened fruit when it comes to citrus. That’s why we stayed with Australian fruit for as long as possible – early harvest in California means that fruit will meet only the minimum sugar-to-acid ratio and not be as sweet as we’d like.
The good news is that we’ll be receiving our first tree-ripened Satsumas from Family Tree Farms out of the Kettleman Hills in California – between San Francisco and Los Angeles, this Friday (Nov. 16). This area produces high-quality fruit that delivers every time. We hope to have the fruit in the markets by Monday morning, Tuesday at the latest. In my opinion, this fruit is the kickoff to the entire California 2018/2019 season!
Seedless grapes have given us a nice bonus this year. In most years, it’s a stretch to have the grapes in late November. But the quality is excellent this year, with great varieties in green and red. If nothing else, these make for an easy snack to set out for family or guests.
Brussels Sprouts in Green and Red/Purple
This year we managed to secure a great buy on fresh, green Brussel sprouts – in fact they’re on our current Big Board Buys. We also have freshly cut Brussels sprout halves, as well as freshly shredded sprouts. These can save you some precious time! I tried the shredded Brussel sprouts roasted and tossed in a little Garlic Expressions dressing and they were excellent!
I’m very excited about red/purple Brussels sprouts, too. We were disappointed to be told a couple of months ago that our usual grower didn’t plant them this year. Come to find out, however, that he actually DID plant them, but was marketing his product through another shipper. Long story short, we were able to bring them back. Personally I think the red/purple variety is a little sweeter than the traditional green.
Of course we have several other fresh side dish vegetable options to choose from like asparagus, broccolini, French beans, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower, to mention a few.
Speaking of fresh green beans, check out the Deli’s Mushroom Soup for making the traditional green bean casserole. Again, scratch made with real ingredients, this is not your average cream of mushroom soup. Adding this never-condensed soup to any green bean casserole will put it over the top. We’ve got an excellent green bean casserole made with fresh beans you might want to try with this soup, available pre-packed in bags in the Deli.
Cape Blanco Fresh Cranberries are Back
Cape Blanco fresh cranberries are back. They are possibly the highest quality fresh market cranberry grown. This is a 100 percent Northwest-grown cranberry harvested several times throughout late October and November to keep them fresh. Cape Blanco cranberries are larger, darker and sweeter. They even include a fresh cranberry sauce recipe on the inside lid of the container. We should have a good supply well into December.
Fresh herbs are a must for this holiday and our extensive records from holidays past is part of our effort to not run short on anything. But – just in case of any unforeseen supply problems – I recommend not waiting until the last minute if a particular fresh herb is a must in your recipe. Our most popular herbs for this holiday are the Herb Bird Blend, Poultry Blend, Thyme, Sage and Rosemary.
Are you making pumpkin pie from scratch? We will have Sugar Pie pumpkins, but it’s possible we may run out as we get closer to the holiday. Sterino Farms in Puyallup has been done with Sugar Pies for a couple of weeks now. There are a couple other choices of squash to use making pumpkin pie. After all, the pumpkin flavor comes from the spices and not necessarily the pumpkin itself. You can use butternut squash or, better yet, the Long Island cheese pumpkin or – even better – butterkin squash. This member of the butternut family of squashes is shaped like a pumpkin and has a rich, orange flesh.
Last of all I would like to say THANK YOU! For all your support, all year long. We so appreciate the honor of serving your fresh needs every day. Have a great holiday with family and friends and anyone you choose to spend it with.
I’ll post an update in early December to check in on the December holiday season.
Until next time, Joe