Chestnut Crab Apples

What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say “crap apple”? Do you think of some tree growing in our yard, your neighbor’s yard, or your favorite park? Do you have childhood memories of deciding that throwing a crab apple at someone was much more fun than actually eating one?

As we grow older our palates become more sophisticated – hopefully, at least mine did. Maybe you have grown to show some appreciate for crap apples. Apple jelly anyone? Just grabbing one and eating then out of hand? Probably not. Are crab apples just not worthy of eating out of hand? Or have you just not found the right crab apple. Let me introduce to you the Chestnut Crab – the apples I am munching on as I write this post.

I have more surprises up my sleeve – the Chestnut Crab was developed by the same people that brought the world the Honeycrisp – the University of Minnesota. It was developed back in 1946. You can buy your very own tree from the famous Stark Bros Nursery.

My Experience with this Apple (Rating Scale 1-10)

Aspect Score
Crispiness 8
Tartness 6
Apple Flavor 8
Sweetness 7
Juiciness 7
Where I Bought Them Tree-Mendus (Eau Claire MI)

Overall Feeling:
Wow, wow, wow, and wow so more. I love this apple. In my opinion – Best Crab apple EVER. Snack size mall, yet so flavorful. It packs the right amount of sweetness in perfect melody with it’s tart side. The flavor is rich and slightly nutty. My wife’s favorite part is the skin. We both think apples that have brown or russetting on them make for the best skin. If I wasn’t having so much fun eating them, I know they would make an excellent apple jelly or butter.

I made the mistake in 2013, of only tasting the Chestnut Crab at Whole Foods and not buying a bag. The moment they were available this year, I made sure to get myself a full bag of them. If you find them as your produce worker for a sample, do not just pass them by. They are a hard to find variety so your best bet is stores that carry more unique and heirloom apples as well as visiting a farmer’s market.

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Witch Finger Grapes 2014

Ladies and gentlemen – it’s time! All grapes lovers get ready to run to your local store to pick up some of the world’s tastiest and unique grapes, offered by the Grapery – in my opinion the premier grape grower in the country. Their Witch Finger grapes are now beginning to pop up in stores across the country. These grapes are red in color, look like long fingers, and have an amazing crisp bite and flavor. The season runs from July 20th to September 20th. The actual harvest began on July 8th, 2014.

My Journey to Find Witch Finger in 2014
My own personal journey to seek out these grapes in 2014

Here in Michigan I have two potential sources – Kroger and Rocky Produce (which is a distribuitor out of Detroit, Michigan). They supplied the Hiller’s store I bought them at last season. I first checked on Friday, July 18th at Hillers – no grapes – but I did find these cool Saskatoon Berries. Monday, July 21st, I walked out of Kroger with some Salted Caramel Ice Cream and milk, but no grapes yet.

Witch Finger Grapes

Where to Buy Them

This page is your source for where to find these grapes. I will be updating with confirmed locations as the season progresses. I hope I can successfully guide to grape bliss! You will find a basic store listings below and where you see a particular city that is a location that has been confirmed to have them.

Store Listings by State

Alabama
Publix
Rouses
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Alaska
None

Arizona
AJs
Sprouts
Sam’s Club

Arkansas
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

California
Sam’s Club
Sprouts
Raley’s
Gelson’s
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods
Sequoia Sandwich Shop (Bakersfield, CA)
Sully’s (Bakersfield, CA)

Colorado
King Soopers
Sprouts

Connecticut
Fresh Direct
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods

Delaware
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Florida
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Georgia
Sprouts
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Hawaii
None

Idaho
Yokes Fresh Market
Pacific Coast Fruit Company

Illinois
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
Target
Treasure Island Foods
Hy-Vee
Niemanns

Indiana
Kroger
Schnucks
The Fresh Market

Iowa
Hy-Vee
Niemanns
Schnucks
Sam’s Club

Kansas
The Fresh Market
Sprouts
Hy-Vee
Sam’s Club

Kentucky
The Fresh Market

Louisiana
Rouses
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Maine
None

Maryland
Wegmans
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Massachusetts
Wegmans
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods

Michigan
The Produce Station (Ann Arbor, MI)
Kroger

Minnesota
Lunds/Byerlys
H Brooks
Hy-Vee
Target

Mississippi
Rouses
Sam’s Club

Missouri
Hy-Vee
Niemanns
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Montana
None

Nebraska
Hy-Vee
Sam’s Club

Nevada
Sprouts
Raley’s

New Hampshire
The Fresh Market

New Jersey
Wegmans
Sonoma Produce
Baldor
The Fresh Market
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
TMK Produce (Distributor)

New Mexico
Sprouts
Sam’s Club

New York
Fresh Direct
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
Baldor
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Whole Foods

North Carolina
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

North Dakota
None

Ohio
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Oklahoma
Sprouts
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Oregon
Roth’s Fresh Markets
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
QFC

Pennsylvania
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Sonoma Produce
Sam’s Club
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Rhode Island
None

South Carolina
The Fresh Market
Publix

South Dakota
Hy-Vee

Tennessee
The Fresh Market
Publix (confirmed in Chattanooga, TN)
Sam’s Club

Texas
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club
Publix
Whole Foods
Green & Fresh
HEB

Utah
Sprouts

Vermont
None

Virginia
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Sam’s Club
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Washington
Town and Country Markets
Yoke’s Fresh Markets
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
QFC

West Virginia
None

Wisconsin
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
H Brooks

Wyoming
None

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Angelcots

For years I let the apricot be an afterthought in my life. I know it’s sad. I think it may have been from some jam I had years ago that I didn’t care for. I can’t remember ever having a fresh apricot growing up. A few years ago I start expanding my horizons in the stone fruit world to go beyond peaches and nectarines, and now apricots do have a place in my household. A well deserved place at that.

Not all apricots are the same. In recent years new exciting varieties have been released – one of them being the Angelcot® from Frieda’s Produce. These I recently got to try out. Right away you will notice a different – the skin is much lighter in color, almost white – not the usual orange hue. They come packaged in 1 lb clamshells, where they are referred to as “Mother Nature’s Juiciest Apricot” and “Heavenly White Apricots”. They are grown by F. A. Maggiore & Sons in Brentwood, California and distributed by Frieda’s. The variety was developed by Ross Sanborn from Iranian and Moroccan seeds.

Angelcots

What do they taste like? They are super sweet with a honey like taste. They are quite juicy and aren’t measly like a lot of the large apricot varieties you find in most stores. I think that is what turns people off to apricots. That and the flavor not being what it was. A move to San Joaquin Valley for cheaper land to grow on has caused varieties such as the Blenheim, that were flavorful to be replaced by varieties that could stand up to the heat in that area. These varieties don’t match up in the flavor department (read more about this in this New York Times article).

Angelcots are great to enjoy right out of hand or…

Angelcots in Ice Cream

Slice them up and mix them with vanilla bean ice cream with a good wildflower honey drizzled on top! Now that is what I call a summer time treat.

Where to Find Angelcots®
Angelcots are available at Trader Joe’s stores nationwide. They are also available at these locations while supplies last. The season runs from mid-June to beginning of July. Get to the store fast!

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Safeway
Whole Foods
Mollie Stone’s

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Ralphs

COLORADO
City Market
King Soopers

KENTUCKY
Kroger Louisville
Kroger Shelbyville

ILLINOIS
Mariano’s
Whole Foods

INDIANA
Kroger
Whole Foods

IOWA
Whole Foods

MICHIGAN
Whole Foods (confirmed in Ann Arbor, Michigan)

MINNESOTA
Rainbow
Whole Foods

MISSOURI
Schnucks
Whole Foods

NEBRASKA
Whole Foods

NEW MEXICO
City Market

NORTH CAROLINA
Lowe’s Food

OHIO
Kroger Cincinnati
Kroger Columbus
Kroger Shelbyville

PENNSYLVANIA
Shop N Save

SOUTH CAROLINA
Lowe’s Food Stores

TEXAS
HEB
Central Market San Antonio
Central Market Houston
Kroger Dallas
Kroger Houston

TENNESSEE
Kroger Memphis
Kroger Nashville

UTAH
AF Fresh Market
Salt Lake City
City Market

WISCONSIN
Copps
Metro Market
Pick N Save
Whole Foods

WYOMING
City Market

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When Cherries Get Cheaper

If you are anything like me, you love cherries. I can just spend an afternoon tackling an entire bag. It’s always exciting when you see the first bag of cherries show up each year after a long wait. You reach for the bag and then you notice the price sign. Sticker shock! The first cherries, typically the Brook or Chealean variety can range from $7 to $12 per pound, generally around $8.99 is the starting point (at least it was this year at Whole Foods Market). When you grab a two pound bag you have just added $17.98 to your grocery bill. In your excitement over having cherries they will probably be gone in one day. Even thought I love my fruit, if I am going to spend $17.98 at the store I something that will be gone in a day, I opting for a nice steak.

Why Are They So Expensive?
Simple supply and demand. People want cherries but there isn’t much to meet up with the demand. California cherries are first on the market. Their crop doesn’t come close to the volume that comes out of Washington – the state. Reason being cherries need a certain number of chill hours where the plants go dormant. It’s hard for parts of California to meet that requirement, hence why it cannot compete with Washington. Being further south they are able to produce a crop earlier in the year. California cherry prices remain sky high until they get into the Bing variety (around mid to late May), and then you start seeing prices go down a bit, but still remain on the high side as store sales are hard to come by.

When Will The Prices of Cherries Get Cheaper?
Once Washington cherries come into season around early to mid June, you will start seeing the prices decline. California will finish up. When Washington arrive you will start seeing prices around $4.99 per pound or less. Around 4th of July when the Washington Bing cherries come out is when the buying will be at the best for the consumer. Bing cherries are the most grown sweet cherry variety and for a good reason, they are one of the best – flavor and texture. Combine that will a holiday and you can find awesome sales of even $1.99/pound during the time period. Prices go up as Bings are done but never go as high as they were at the start of the season.

Leave a comment below, let us know what prices you have seen for cherries this year.

Want to learn more about the cherry season? Check out my article on When Does Cherry Season Begin (and End)?

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Maple Vinegar

All like something new, now and again, right? I have been focusing more about shopping for food here at Eat Like No One Else, as those kinds of topics have been my most popular. So I am starting up a new weekly series on the blog talking about some of the best things that I have found at one of my favorite stores to shop at, Whole Foods Market. If you take some time to look around you may find some things you never knew where there. I am finding items all the time that I have never seen elsewhere. Whole Foods does sell many produce exclusive at their stores, such as Three Sisters cereal.

For the series, each week I will highlight something you is unique, tasty, a great value, etc. Let’s get right into the first selection. What happens when you take maple syrup and combine with a vinegar made from the same thing? The perfect combination of sweet rich maple syrup with the acidity of vinegar. What a brilliant idea! I love how you think at first you are just having maple syrup and that acidic bite of the vinegar hits your tongue and you realize you have met your match. I was glad to grab a bottle while it was on sale.

This vinegar is made by PurNatur, a member of the Citadelle Maple Syrup Producers’ Cooperative. Not a whole lot of information about them.

What to Use Maple Vinegar For?
If you are in a rush and need a salad dressing (I am sure that is your worst nightmare) you can just pour on a little bit of the maple vinegar and your ready to go. Got to love a vinegar that you can use as a salad dressing all by itself. Of course you can add oil, and some salt and create for yourself a simply vinaigrette (exactly what I ate tonight). Besides dressings you can use at as a part of a marinade. Or next time you bake a ham you can use it as part of a glaze. Just add your favorite mustard. Might be the best ham you ever had! What do you think might be a good use of this vinegar?

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Goat Muenster Cheese

When somehow ask whether you like goat cheese, do you a) smile and say yes please! or b) run for the nearest exit. People seem to have a strong opinion on goat cheese. It’s a love/hate thing, with not a lot of people in the middle. A lot of people assume that all goat cheese has this strong, earthy, tangy flavor. I am here to say that this isn’t true. You need to look for mild goat cheese and that can start by looking for typical cow’s milk cheese made from goat’s milk. Here are a few examples:

Goat Milk Muenster
This is one I found recently. Pasture Pride Cheese makes a goat milk muenster. Now I am not talking about the French version which is a strong stinky cheese, but the traditional American muenster that is white with orange around the edges. It is a mild cheese that one of my favorite melters. The goat milk version had the same feel as a muenster, a little extra kick, almost fresher taste. I picked up this cheese at Holiday Market in Canton, Michigan.

Goat Milk Cheddar
Trader Joe’s sells a 5 month old goat milk cheddar. It is a mild cheddar that is flavorful and not overly “goat”. This cheese is extremely white in color.

Goat Milk Gouda
Whole Foods Market sells Yodeling Goat Gouda. I picked it up once on one of their 3 day weekend sales. In a blind taste test I probably wouldn’t have assumed this is made from goat’s milk. It is a milder gouda with a tame flavor.

Lactose and Goat Cheese
People that have problem digesting the lactose in cow’s milk cheeses, may be better off with goat cheese. Goat cheese does still contain lactose however the fat globules in goat’s milk are smaller and do not separate in the milk. Goat’s milk is naturally homogenized. Some people may be able to do ok with goat’s cheese because of this, but still depends on the person. If you are someone that wants to try this and has been turned off by the taste of goat cheese in the past, might want to try one of the milder “cow-type” cheeses mentioned above.

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Ojai Pixie Tangerines 2014

Shopping in the produce department can be depressing in the winter when you live in a northern climate. Local fresh produce is long gone. Which is why I am so thankful that I have citrus season to help me deal with the winter time blues. As we head deeper into spring, it means that citrus season is coming to a close. While that is disappointing, the good news is that one of the best tasting pieces of citrus is one that you will find right at the end of the year. For the last several years, I have enjoyed the Pixie tangerine as the last piece of citrus I will have until the cold weather returns. Talk about going out with a bang, these are so rich in flavor, and sweet on the tongue. If you have not tried them before you really need to seek them out.

The 2014 crop wasn’t the largest. There was some damage due to December freezes and California experienced a drought in January. While the size is mammoth this year, the availability and prices are not as good (I paid $2.69/pound without no chance of any sale prices this year). That is why it’s even more important for me to share with you where you can find these tangerines. Lucky for us the Ojai Pixie Growers Association posted the stores where you can find their Pixies this year on their website. For your convenience I have re-posted the list below. I buy mine at Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For the first couple weeks they were only getting them on the weekends, however now the supply has improved. Don’t hesitate to pick them up in bunches if you see them as there are no promises you will be able to get more.

Here are some grocery outlets that carry Ojai Pixie Tangerines:

Southern California

Ojai:
Rainbow Bridge, 211 E. Matilija, 805-646-4017 www.rainbowbridgeojai.com
Starr Market, 131 West Ojai Avenue, 805-646-4082
Westridge Market, 802 E. Ojai Ave. 805-646-2762.

Santa Barbara:
Lane Farms, 5091 Hollister Avenue, 805-964-3773
Lazy Acres, 302 Meigs Road, 805-564-4410 www.lazyacres.com
Tri-County Produce, 335 South Milpas Street, 805-965-4558 www.tri-countyproduce.com

New Frontiers Natural Marketplace
1531 Froom Ranch Way San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
1984 Old Mission Dr Solvang, CA 93463

Malibu
Vintage Grocer

San Gabriel
Howie’s Ranch Market

Orange
Pacific Ranch Market

Northgate Markets

http://www.northgatemarkets.com/

Gelson’s Markets – 18 Southern California stores

http://www.gelsons.com/

Bristol Farms – 13 Southern California stores

http://www.bristolfarms.com/

Northern California

Berkeley:
Monterey Market, 1550 Hopkins Street, 510-526-6042 www.montereymarket.com
The Berkeley Bowl, 510-843-6929 www.berkeleybowl.com

Alameda
Dan’s Fresh Produce, 2300 Central Avenue www.dansfreshproduce.com

Draeger’s Gourmet Food & Wine www.draegers.com
Los Altos, 342 First St., 650-948-1563
Menlo Park, 1010 University Dr., 650-324-7700
San Mateo, 222 4th Ave., 650-685-3700

Lunardi’s www.lunardis.com
Los Gatos, 720 Blossom Hill Road, 408-358-1731
San Jose, 4650 Meridian Ave., 408-265-9101
San Jose, 4055 Evergreen Village Square, Suite 140; 408-528-6940
San Bruno, 100 Skycrest Center, 650-952-2851
Belmont, 1085 Alameda de las Pulgas, 650-591-5768
Walnut Creek, 1600 Palos Verdes Mall, 925-939-6477
Burlingame, 1825 El Camino Real, 650-697-5306

Other Bay Area:
Sigona’s: Redwood City and Palo Alto
Rockridge Market Hall: Rockridge
The Wharf Marketplace

Outside California

Whole Foods Market stores across the country (Check store for availability)

Central Market www.centralmarket.com
Austin, TX – Central, 4001 North Lamar
Austin, TX – Westgate, 4477 South Lamar
Dallas, TX – 5750 E. Lovers Lane
Fort Worth, TX – 4651 West Freeway
Houston, TX – 3815 Westheimer
Plano, TX – 320 Coit Road
San Antonio, TX – 4821 Broadway
Eastern US

Wegman’s Markets – 80 stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland
www.wegmans.com

The Orchard, 1367 Coney Island Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 718-377-0800, www.orchardfruit.com

Mail Order Sources

Directly from the farmer, at Friend’s Ranches:
www.friendsranches.com, 805-646-2871

Farm-direct certified organic Ojai Pixies from Churchill Orchard:
www.tangerineman.com, 805-646-4212

From Melissa’s World Variety, at
www.melissas.com, 800-468-7111

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Whole-Foods-Market-Shopping-Guide Looking to buy that perfect ham to complete your Christmas meal? If you have a Whole Foods Market nearby here are some options that are available for you.

Selection and prices are based on what I found in the Ann Arbor, Michigan store in December 2013

Wellshire Farms

Type Price
Semi Boneless Half Ham $6.99/lb
Spiral Cut Half Ham $4.99/lb
Spiral Sliced Boneless Half Ham $7.99/lb
Black Forest or Virginia Ham Nugget $12.99 for 28 oz
Boneless Black Forest Half Ham $7.99/lb
Virginia Boneless Half Ham. $7.99/lb

Wellshire Farms is based out of Swedesboro,NJ. The entire line of products are free of nitrates and nitrites and never contain artificial ingredients or preservatives. You will see their meats labeled as “uncured” because they do not have any added nitrates or nitrites. All of their hams are fully cooked and come from pigs fed a vegetarian diet that is free of any added antibiotics or hormones.

The company began in 1993 under the name Yorkshire Farms. They changed the name to Wellshire in 2003. They began selling their products exclusively to Whole Foods Market in 2008.

What is a Black Forest Ham
One of their offerings is a Black Forest Ham. Originally Black Forest Ham come from Germany. It contains certain spices that give it it’s unique flavor. Ones made in the United States are not officially defined so it may vary from company to company. They should be flavored in the Germany fashion as well as a similar process of a long cold smoking that gives the ham a black coloring on the outside.

What is a Virginia Ham
Like the Black Forest, this is a type of ham that is based on the seasonings and curing process of hams in Virginia. A Virginia style ham very well may be a country ham. These hams in hung to age in a smokehouse. They tend to be more salty than city hams, which is the ham style most of us are accustomed to. Again the name is not necessarily regulated, so you might find a Virginia ham to be seasoned but not necessarily cured like a country ham.

Pederson’s

Type Price
Organic Uncured $7.99/lb
Organic Uncured Petite $10.99/lb

Pederson’s Natural Farms is based out of Hamilton, Texas. They have been around since 1992. They do not use any artificial ingredients or preservatives in their products. To read more about how they treat their animals, check out their website.

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Whole-Foods-Market-Shopping-Guide
One thing that I have learned to love on my blog is preparing people for the biggest culinary day of the year – Thanksgiving. It can be overwhelming. But it should be the funniest time you have in the kitchen all year. There is not a holiday that is more about food than Thanksgiving. It’s all about the turkey, the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, the sides, the cranberry sauce, etc. I want to help you with your turkey day shopping by guiding you through some of the options you might find at your local grocery store. In this post we will be discussing the Thanksgiving wares available at Whole Foods Market.

*The prices listed in this post are from the Ann Arbor, Michigan store. Prices and product availability may vary by store and region.

The Turkey

This guide could not get started without the turkey. You can pre-order a fresh turkey right now at your store holiday order table. If you are looking for the dirt cheap frozen turkey this is not the place to go. Whole Foods only offers turkeys that fit their series of quality standards. You do get what you pay for.
1. No antibiotics ever
2. No added hormones
3. Vegetarian diet
4. No added solutions
5. Complete trace ability to farm
6. Global Animal Partnership Step Rated

Here are the turkeys that are available at Whole Foods:
Nature’s Rancher Fresh Turkey | $2.49/lb
Larry Schultz Organic Turkey | $3.99/lb
Valerie’s Family Organic Brined Whole Turkey | $2.49/lb
Bone-in Turkey Breast | $4.99/lb
Boneless Turkey Breast | $6.99/lb
Organic Bone-In Turkey Breast | $6.99/lb
Whole Kosher Turkey | $2.99/lb

Nature's Rancher Turkeys

As for value, the Nature’s Rancher Fresh Turkey is a good price for a turkey that meets the standards Whole Foods has established. Nature’s Rancher products are exclusive to Whole Foods. Check their website to learn more about the company.

The Mashed Potatoes

Whole Foods regularly stocks Russet, Red, and Yukon Gold potatoes for your mashing needs. All of these are available as organic. I have seen them on sale for $.99 cents a pound in the past, so watch for sales as the holiday approaches. This time of year you can find organic fingerling potatoes in their produce department, all of sorts of varieties and colors. My Smashed Fingerling Potatoes can be a nice alternative to the standard mashers on the Thanksgiving Day. Also if you head over to the wet display in the produce section you can find celery root. Adding this to your mashed potatoes can bring them to a whole new level of flavor.

The Sweet Potatoes

I like that Whole Foods offers selection when it comes to sweet potatoes. Most places just offer 1 single sweet potato or yam (related post: What is the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes & Yams). At Whole Foods you can find up to 4.

Stokes Purple Sweet Potato

1. Jewel – Copper colored skin with deep orange flesh. They cook up moist and tender.
2. Garnet – Are more red in color than the Jewel and said to have a richer flavor.
3. Beauregard – This is that 1 single variety that most stores carry
4. Stokes Purple – A purple sweet potato that is purple inside and out. The color does not fade when cooked, it actually improves. Excellent option for roasting or in a hash.

The Stuffing or Dressing

Every stuffing recipes begins with the bread. It’s not stuffing without bread. Whole Foods carries several stuffing mixes. Arrowhead Mills Organic Savory Herb Stuffing sales for $2.99 for an 10 oz package. Do the math that is about $4.64 a pound. I would skip the package and instead for the stuffing cubes (look for them near the meat department) that are made right in the store. They sell for $3.99 a pound and you can get the exact amount you want. I think this is a fresher option. Also make sure to check the bakery and see what bread is on sale that week that you can cut up yourself – I don’t think you are going to get cheaper per pound than the stuffing cubes.

If you are looking for a gluten free option and don’t want to bake your own bread, they do have a gluten free cornbread for stuffing made by Glutino. That sells for $4.69 for a 8 oz package.

Notes on Chicken Stock
For your stuffing recipe you are probably going to want some type of stock or broth as well as for your gravy. I cook multiple turkeys for blogging reasons each year, so I have homemade turkey stock from the bones on Thanksgiving Day, but I don’t expect other people are going to do the same. A little reminder, stock are made from bones, and broth are made from meat (and/or vegetables). Here is a list of prices I found on chicken stocks and broths.

365 Organic Chicken Broth | $1.99 for 1 qt
365 Organic Chicken Broth | $2.99 for 1.5 qt
365 Chicken Stock | $1.99 for 1 qt
Imagine Organic Chicken Stock | $4.99 for 1 qt
Imagine Organic Low Sodium Chicken Stock | $4.99 for 1 qt
Imagine Kosher Chicken Broth | $4.99 for 1 qt
Imagine Free Range Chicken Broth | $3.69 for 1 qt
Pacific Organic Free Range Chicken Broth | $3.69 for 1 qt
Pacific Organic Free Range Low Sodium Chicken Broth | $3.69 for 1 qt
365 Vegan Vegetable Broth | $2.29 fir 1 qt

The Gravy

Since we are on the topic of broth, let’s talk gravy. You will need something to thicken your gravy. And yes you can use the flour you have sitting at home, but I have some better recommendations. I like using potato starch in gravy. Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch sells for $4.39 for 24 oz. I combine it with flour in my gravy. By using two different starches you can prevent the gravy from becoming a solid mass shortly after it hits the gravy boat. Also you can use all potato starch for a gluten free, non-GMO option.

The Cranberry Sauce

Organic cranberry sauce can be a part of your Thanksgiving Day. They do carry 365 Organic Jellied Cranberry sauce ($1.99 for 14 oz can) that contains no high fructose corn syrup, which is what you get in Ocean Spray and most store brands. But if you know me, I won’t be getting anything out of a can this Thanksgiving. Head over to Produce and pick up a container of organic fresh cranberries. To make things really fun, try making your own cranberry sauce by mixing in a can of 365 Brand Ginger Ale for 99 cents.

Related Post – How to Make Jellied Cranberry Sauce

The Sides

Whole Foods produce departments carries a wide selection of vegetables for any side you are making. Items like green beans and celery will be very well stocked and easy to find. They have a good selection of organic root vegetables ready for the roasting. They have some unique roots too like black radishes, sunchokes, scarlet turnips, etc. along with your parnsips, rutabagas, and purple top turnips. Their frozen department carries some cheap frozen vegetables with organic and non-GMO options available. You can also pick up some organic shallots, an ingredient that seems to find it’s peak usage time at Thanksgiving.

Need mushrooms for your side dish? Whole Foods is one of the best retailers for buying mushrooms. They sell them in bulk so you can get exactly what you want or make your own mushroom mix. They also sell a lot of varieties of dried mushrooms not available fresh, these should be located near the fresh mushrooms in the produce department.

Note on Spices
I think one area in which people end up wasting a lot of money on the Thanksgiving meal is with spice and dried herb purchases. They go and buy a container of something that they use for the meal and then never use again. You can save a lot of money by just buying what you need by purchasing your spices in the bulk department. They carry spices from Frontier Nature Products. The size of the bulk section depends on the size of your store, but you should be able to find anything you need.

The Cheese

I am all about cheese being a part of any special meal. It’s nice to have a cheese on hand for guests to snack on as they wait for the big meal to make it’s appearance. Whole Foods has a special cheese that fits right in with the holiday meal – Henning’s Cranberry Cheddar. It’s on sale for $7.99/pound at my store. You can also pick up a chiptole edition.

The Pie

No good Thanksgiving meal ends without a delicious slice of pie. Of course they sell a lot of already made pies, but you are going to make your own from scratch, right? You can find canned organic pumpkin and organic pie pumpkins ($1.69 a pound). The bulk section is one again your best friend when it comes to pies. You can get the flours and thickeners you need there. You can buy your pumpkin pie spices or pecans in bulk. As for apples, all stores should have organic Granny Smith and Braeburn apples as well as Honeycrisp that could work in an apple pie.

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Smashed Fingerlings

I love to be at the grocery store and be inspired by what I see. My local Whole Foods Market got some really nice looking fingerling potatoes in last week. They had 3 different varieties that all looked in peak condition. And they were on sale, so just had to bring some home. With Thanksgiving getting closer I have been looking to post more about different ways to serve potato with your holiday bird. With these fingerlings I wasn’t thinking mashed potatoes, more like smashed potatoes!

Different Varieties of Fingerling Potatoes

Here are the three different types of fingerlings I got at Whole Foods. They were grown by Klamath Basin Fresh Organics, which is a co-op of 17 shareholders, growing potatoes in the Klamath Basin of northern California and southern Oregon. This is a beautiful region of the country that was fortunate to visit 10 years ago. It’s a great place for growing potatoes. All there potatoes are organic.

Fingerling Potatoes Varieties

Russian Banana
This is the fingerling potato that you probably see most often and no wonder these are delicious! They have a buttery flavor with a light colored skin, much like a Yukon Gold. They are an heirloom variety grown by Russian settlers.

Ruby Crescent
This was the first time I have seen a fingerling quite this color. It is brown but with some pink hue in it. It’s really a pretty potato. It has a sweeter more earthy flavor than the Russian Banana, making it a nice compliment to it.

Amarosa
This fingerling was a deep red color, almost a little purple. The inside of this potato was the same color as the skin. The color is retained when cooked, making for an excellent presentation.

Smashed Fingerlings

Making this potato dish is a two part cooking process. First you boil the potatoes. Second you smash them and fry them in a bit of oil or better yet bacon fat! This second part gives the potatoes a crispy outside that just add another textural element. I am not claiming it makes them healthier just tastier! They still can be served with gravy and your Thanksgiving turkey. Or they are great as a side any time of year with some ketchup.

Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
 
Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 pounds fingerling potatoes, assorted varieties if possible
  • cooking oil or bacon fat
  • kosher salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash the potatoes, but do not peel.
  2. Place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer until fork tender.
  3. Completely drain out all the water. Lay the potatoes out to dry for 5 minutes.
  4. Slightly smash the potatoes with a meat tenderizier, a big spoon, or your hand. Just gently push down on them until they are flatten just a bit.
  5. Cover a frying pan with enough oil or fat to cover the surface. Heat the pan up over medium high heat.
  6. Add the potatoes without them touching, you'll have to work in batches. Cook until brown on one side and flip. About a couple minutes per side. You may need to add more oil or fat between batches.
  7. Salt to taste and serve hot.

 

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