West Seattle Thriftway - Our Blog
Halibut, a fish story!
May 2, 2013
Halibut reminds me of my grandfather. Not because he's tall, stark white or skinny, it's actually the contrary. He's short and kinda surly, maybe even a little gritty and rough around the edges. He's a hard core fisherman and would go everyday and all day if grandma would let him.
Metlaketla is an itty-bitty town of about 1,000 people located in the bottom corner of Alaska, I was lucky enough to visit several times in my youth because my grandfather worked for NOAA up there. There isn't much to do there except explore the terrain or go fishing so that's what he did. Every fisherman has their fish story and most are about the one that got away, but his isn't.
Even though "June Bug" his deep sea boat was out of commission Grandpa and my uncle were determined to get away from the women and their honey-do lists so they took the bass boat out on the open ocean. "How many times do I have to tell you - you'll die out there in that bass boat Darrell Alan!" To this day, it's probably one of the only things he'll admit she was ever right right about. (We are a wonderfully stubborn bunch.) Considering the conditions they really should have died out there, but as luck would have it...they didn't. The last thing they expected to catch aside from a few rockfish that day was a 260lb halibut. After hours of fighting it to the surface, nearly capsizing twice and six shots to the head they finally had their prize - they even got thier picture in the paper. We went up for a visit from Port Orchard just to see this "fish story" in person. I remember my dad lifting me up to look inside the body and I thought it was the grossest thing I ever saw.
To think that I actually muttered the words: "Do we really have to have halibut again, mom?" is so funny to me as an adult. Considering I ate halibut nearly every day for six months that year I still havent lost my love for this amazing fish, I respect them even more seeing one up close and personal like that. They are really amazing creatures that withstand extreme conditions and evolve in accordance with their enviroment, kinda like how gramps was able to survive that fishing trip. I believe it was the last time he went out on the ocean without June Bug.
DIY Mother's Day Gift Idea
April 19th, 2013
March 30th, 2013
Easter is kind of a phenomenon here at West Seattle Thriftway. You would think that Thanksgiving or Christmas would be the busiest day of the year, but for a mere hour and a half each Saturday before Easter we open our doors to the most fabulous organized chaos you have ever seen.
Our owners have been hosting a community Easter egg hunt for 25 years and have put smiles on so many faces with their kindness and generosity.
Join me in a thank you to Paul and Connie! Making Easter in West Seattle a bigger deal than it was for 25 years and counting!
Celebrating 25 years!
March 16th, 2013
I began working at West Seattle Thriftway in 1999, one year after the store was rebuilt. (For those of you that do not know, a fire completely destroyed the store in 1997 - that was a sad day for many folks in West Seattle.) Anyhow, I made my way out of high school and moved to "the big city" to go to college and begin my adult life. West Seattle Thriftway was the first independent grocery store off the Fauntleroy Ferry and I there I persued a job.
This may sound strange, but it's one of the best decisions I have made. I met my husband here, my sister met hers here too! I have never worked anywhere that has felt so closely connected to it's community, or has had such a sincere regard for it. It's not often that one can express love for a grocery store, but, we hear it a lot. "We moved away and I missed my Thriftway!" Our owners are like family and have built something that is truly special - not only for the staff, but for the community as well.
Please join us in celebration of all that is West Seattle Thriftway - the store with soul. It has been 25 wonderful years of serving you!
Valentine's Day isn't only for lovers!
February 13th, 2013
Almost everyone knows about "the Charlie Brown effect" on Valentine's Day. For the younger kids who may not be in the know... Charlie Brown was the only kid in class to open his mailbox and not find a single valentine inside. Doesn't that break your heart?
Granted I'm not that old, but when I was a tike we handed out Valentines in class, but on one condition - we had to have one for EVERYONE in the class in order to participate. Just because we are all grown up now, the "Charlie Brown effect" is still valid. Who wants to be the only person to not get a valentine? Everyone, no matter how grumpy or ornery wants to be liked.
You don't have to be sweet on someone or spend a bunch of money to say "Hey! I care." Spread the love this Valentine's Day, it's easy and most of all... you could be the difference between tears and a smile.
Teaching Healthy Habits
January 19th, 2013
My mom was a nurse for over 20 years so needless to say when my sister and I were growing up we didn't get to eat a bunch of "junk" as she called it. Candy was never in the house unless it was a Snickers bar Dad would smuggle in and frozen dinners never (ever) graced our table. I thought we were being abused, but now as an adult I'm pretty healthy, and have very good understanding of proper nutrition. I never thought I'd say this... but thanks for being so stubborn, mom.
Making healthy choices about food and teaching your child proper nutrition is another way that you can protect them. They will take what they have learned from you into adulthood and will have built a solid understanding of nutrition so that they can make healthy decisions for their family.
Introducing Peare's Pals Kids Club... "Having fun while educating kids and families about heathy eating and good nutrition!"
Peare is here to help your kids learn about healthy eating. Join our kid's club and join the fun!
December 5th, 2012
Who knew that Brussel Sprouts grew on trees? I've been working in the grocery industry since I was 16 and these trees seem to be a relatively new way to sell them. I saw my first brussel sprout tree about three years ago growing in the Gatewood Pea Patch by the tennis courts and thought "How cool!". And honestly, they are kinda cool. They look neat, they last for a while out of refrigeration and usually cost less to purchase on the tree compared to the per pound. They are rather difficult to bag, though.
Brussel sprout are delicious, regardless of what you hear anyone say - you just have to know what to do with them. If you are used to boiled sprouts with butter, salt and pepper... it's no wonder you don't like them. So the next time you pass by the brussel sprout trees pick one up and try something new! They are extremley simple to cook, AND will taste great!
1. Clean your sprouts by slicing a small amout off the bottom (where you cut the little guy from the tree) and peel back several of the outermost leaves. Slice lengthwise and wash.
2. Gently shake them dry and coat with olive oil, a few cloves of crushed garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast them for about 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven,or until the outside leaves are dark brown (whichever happens first, larger sprouts take longer than the little ones).
4. Viola! This is a base for any great sauce you want to use. I like to saute wild mushrooms with white wine and butter, you could also use butter, bacon and onions, you can't go wrong with bacon.
The Anatomy of a Cheese Platter
If you have ever been one of those people that go all out on appetizers for a gathering but bite off more than you can chew, next time try a cheese platter. They are elegant and realtively easy to put together. Pick a few from each category and pair with a selection of suggested pairings and your all set! Try using a slab of broken marble as a platter, it's elegant and can be picked up relatively cheap at a hardware store.
Three Cheers for Pumpkin Beers
September 20th, 2012
Every Autumn beer lovers anticipate the release of thier favorite pumpkin and spice inspired beverages, and they are here! Check out some of these sensational seasonal selections soon, all pumpkin beers are while supplies last.
A very drinkable pumpkin ale—brewed with seven and a half pounds of pumpkin per barrel and spiced in conditioning with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
Dark O' the Moon Pumpkin Stout
Stout brewed with pumpkin, and pumpkin seeds with cinnamon added. Spookily smooth and chocolatey with a hint of cinnamon - brewed annually for Elysian's Great Pumpkin Beer Festival.
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. We brew our Punkin Ale with pumpkin meat, organic brown sugar and spices.
Pike Brewing Co.
Harlot's Harvest is brewed with the finest Yakima Valley hops, including Nugget for both bitterness and aroma, and Mt. Hood for aroma; and organic pumpkin puree from Stahlbush Island Farms, Corvalis, Oregon and organic brown sugar. It is sensuously seasoned with cassia bark, allspice, vanilla bean, nutmeg, ginger and clove.
Southern Tier Pumking
This beer gives off hints of pumpkin pie and spice aromas on the nose. Huge flavors of genuine pumpkin pie, nutmeg, and cinnamon come through. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy, yet crisp.
August 16, 2012
Figs are one of my favorite fruits, they are truly something special. Their skin is soft and supple and everything about them just seems blissfully decadent. To learn more about these wonderful fruits read on...
Pictured is a Black Mission fig, these are the sweetest of the family. Other varieties are brown Turkish Figs, which are a copper color, Calimyrna figs, which have a yellowish skin with a pale amber flesh and Kadota Figs, which are a brilliant green color with a pretty pink interior.
How to Choose and Store your Figs
From World's Healthiest Foods: "Since fresh figs are one of the most perishable fruits, they should be purchased only a day or two in advance of when you are planning on eating them. Look for figs that have a rich, deep color and are plump and tender, but not mushy. They should have firm stems and be free of bruises. Smelling figs can also give you clues into their freshness and taste. They should have a mildly sweet fragrance and should not smell sour, which is an indication that they may be spoiled.
Ripe figs should be kept in the refrigerator where they will stay fresh for about two days. Since they have a delicate nature and can easily bruise, you should store them either arranged on a paper towel-lined plate or shallow container.
Why and How we Like Them:
Figs, in general are extremely sweet which makes them a popular choice for jams and fillings for pastries or paired with savory items like tangy goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano or hams.
Figs are high in potassium, dietary fiber and are a good source of calcium. They can contribute positively to increasing bonedensity, fight against macular degeneration, and promote healthy blood pressure.
To eat raw you do not need to peel a fig, simply trim the top and bottom back slightly.
For a simple and elegant summertime dessert or breakfast halve your figs lengthwise and broil until bubbling then add to yogurt or ice cream.
The Local Taste
July 25th, 2012
Residents of the Pacific Northwest are a special bunch of people made up of a population that's as diverse as the landscape. We could be seen as eccentric by the rest of the country, but to us, things like owning 10 pairs of sunglasses, or not owning an umbrella are pretty normal. We do things like wear shorts all year and socks with sandals or sport a suit and tie during the week and tie dye on the weekends. We are a group of individuals that are very connected to our environment no matter how deep into the city we live. We are creative, crafty and love our food.
Everyone is a winner!
July 6th, 2012
Yesterday we loaded up the pickup truck that belongs to Suzanne and Ross of West Seattle with a brand new Weber BBQ and a bistro patio set. They were the winners of our 12th annual Taste of Summer Giveaway! Winning is a great feeling, and we really enjoy spoiling our customers with in-store promotions and contests. One of the best things about our contests is that when you enter into them, your odds of winning are pretty good - you're not competing with millions of other hopefuls across the nation like when you enter a chain store contest.
West Seattle is a special place, full of great people so keeping things local and rewarding the members of our community is somthing we feel strongly about! There is nothing better than seeing the smiling faces of our customers because they got a great deal, or because they won a prize!
Check out one of our most recent winners:
Welcoming some new family members...
June 1st, 2012
Welcome to Mr. Walker, Daniels and Morgan as well as many, many others. Today is the first day that grocery stores in Washington can sell spirits and we are all pretty excited about it! We have put together an extremely well thought out assortment of items, in our spirit set you will find a large selection of local, specialty and organic items, as well as what you would expect to see (and yes...we have whipped cream vodka).
As we dive into this new market head first we anticipate learning a lot and have our notebooks ready; aside from the business end of things there is an entire world of knowledge dedicated to the art of mixology. We hope to learn from you as well, if you have a great cocktail recipe you would like to share or if you would like to see something we do not have, please let us know.
And remember...we card, so please...if you want it, you gotta have it.
Seattle Beer Week 2012!
May 16th, 2012
In honor of Seattle Beer Week 2012 and the fact that we love beer our tasting this week is dedicated to some new and special releases in the world of Microbrew / craft beers. Check out the lineup for this week's tasting:
Redhook "No Equal"
As the label says: “A collaboration with the Emerald City supporters, this lager gets its color from caramel malts. The medium bitterness comes from the addition of Noble Hops. Sky of blue, sea of green, and a lager of amber.”
The Pike "Space Needle 2012 Vintage IPA"
In honor of the Space Needle’s 50th birthday, they sponsored a beer! Nice aroma of pineapple, sweet malt and herbal and piney hops. The great aroma is followed by taste, with a nice sweet malt body overlayed with aromatic herbal and piney hops, grapefruit citrus.
Elysian "Split Shot"
“Beer and coffee are Seattle siblings jealously dividing the day. Split Shot combines the talents of Elysian’s brewers with a pound per barrel of Seattle produced, Litehouse Coffee. This is the official beer of “2012 Seattle Beer Week”.
Firestone Wookey Jack
Wookey Jack is Firestone’s first foray into the dark outer world of black IPAs. Rich dark malts and spicy rye careen into bold citrus laden hops creating a new dimension in IPA flavor. This brew has been left unfiltered and unfined to retain all of its texture and character.
Batter up, baseball season is here!
April 12, 2012
There aren't too many sports that can be put into the classification of "Romantic", but, Baseball is one of those romantic sports. Sure it sounds funny, but it's true! The smell of roasting peanuts, popcorn and hot dogs mixed the sounds of cracking bats and roaring crowds illuminated by overhead lights has a way of brining you back to days of your childhood. Even just daydreaming about the sights and the sounds of the ballpark inspires antique images yeteryear of a little boy in knee shorts and suspenders at the ball park with his dad, wire rimmed cat glasses and potluck picnics.
It's the beggining of spring and one of the first few occasions you leave the winter coat at home. You sit in the stands in a crowd of your neighbors, community members, friends and family the hometeam scores a run and you all cheer together. You get goosebumps on your arms from the shared energy and it makes you feel a part of something. You are now a part of a tradition and inside a memory. You are part of a long history of people who joined together to experience the love of a game together. Even if you aren't a sports fan, there is something about going to a ballgame thats magical. And if that doesn't sound romantic, you're a goner.
Spring is in the air...literally
It's springtime! You know how I can tell? No, it's not the weather...if you're like me, you are congested and sneezing like crazy. Unfortunately the sneeze-demon is not warded off by a simple pill, they work for some people, but unfortunately, not for me once I take an allergy pill I am pretty much pointless.
This year I discovered an amazing new tool to help drive away the seasonal allergies - a new tool for me, but a tool that has been around for centuries, this being the Neti-pot.
When I first learned about nasal irrigation and how it worked, I was terrified (I have an unnatural fear of drowning) and I could not believe what came out of my nose. But hey, it works... and I was amazed at how quickly it helped my allergy symptoms. If you choose to go down the Nasal irrigation road to help with your symptoms be forwarned... special care needs to be taken in regards to use and sterilization, follow the directions carefully, and try not to panic - what comes out of your nose will shock and suprise you!
Sleepy weekends need more variety!
March 20, 2012
One of my favorite things about the weekend is a half a pot of coffee all to myself. It's like a ritual getting out the mini grinder, pouring in the beans and brewing the pot. In preparation for the weekend I did some shopping at a store which will remain nameless. I'm going to level with you - I'm the kind of girl that likes choices, the more the better! I was absolutely flabberghasted and dissappointed that this location only had big brands with just a few independent roasters (I even asked an employee if it was all they had).
I knew it...I should have just came to my Thriftway. Why? We love Coffee!
Being a staff member I get kinda spoiled because of the extremely large selection of coffees we have and just assumed that other places did too. This is soooooo not the case. If you are like me, an avid coffee lover and someone who appreciates diversity and choice (we have the big brands and OVER 20 other independent / local specialty roasters) check out our coffee set. You'll be happy you did.
When GROSS makes the news...
March 15, 2012
Everyone has to eat, right? Therefore food safety is a huge issue and is so much more than everyday standards like proper temperatures and handwashing - it's huge!! As a consumer, you want to know where your food comes from, how it's grown, how it's handled and an ever growing population of carnivores want to know how the creature that gave it's life for our nourishment was treated. In essence, we think that those are very simple demands, and demands that as a consumer, you have a right to.
If you are at all tuned into the news lately, you have probably heard about the "AG Gag Bill" in Iowa, that critics say will unfairly prosecute animal-abuse whistleblowers and the now famously nicknamed "Pink Slime". Pink Slime can be simply described as mechanically separated lean beef trimmings that have been treated with ammonia. We know what you're thinking...WTF, ammonia? That's what grandma used to clean the bathroom!
When did things get so messed up as to hide what is in a product? When someone doesn't give you full disclosure you can make a pretty safe assumption that it's becasue what you would find wouldn't be pleasing. Cutting corners to reduce costs that sacrifice quality, safety and honesty are not okay. How many unknowing individuals that visited fast food restaurants or school children ate a products as questionable as this?
Although the validity of this pink slime issue is under scrutiny from companies with extremely deep pockets, we know food safety is no joke, and in no way shape or form should corners be cut that put the end user, ie - you, me, your children etc at risk. We grind our beef from large cuts in-house everyday. Period. This is the only way that you can truley control the quality and safety standards, sure, you can call us control freaks...we won't mind, at least you know that what you are eating is safe and hasn't been treated with a bathroom cleaner.