Celebrate Easter Traditions…Just A Bit Differently

Maureen Rowan Murphy

Manager Consumer Trends, Nutrition, and Lifestyles

Viewed as the most important religious feast for Christians, Easter is a time of rejoicing and rebirth. On Easter Sunday, many families attend religious services, gather for Easter egg hunts and sit down together to enjoy a special meal. This year we’ll all be home adhering to local, state and federal guidelines in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. During these challenging times it’s more important than ever to have some sense of normalcy, and treasured traditions can provide that especially for children. While unable to be physically together with some of our loved ones we can still connect thanks to Zoom, Skype, etc…  Many churches will be offering virtual religious services, and families can have a virtual celebration so that grandparents and others can join in the fun.

We are all in this together, and we’re here to help you in planning your family’s Easter by providing recipes, fun activities and games for all to enjoy whether together or virtually!

Ham takes center stage at Easter, and we have a variety of hams to help you find one that best meet your family’s needs. Choose from butt or shank portion hams, boneless, spiral and canned hams, and flavored ham steaks for those looking for something small.

Brunch is an Easter tradition for many, whether enjoyed at home or restaurant. Although dining out for brunch isn’t an option this year, dining home is easy with a Smithfield Flavored or Cure 81 Vermont Maple Spiral Ham or this delicious Make-Ahead Hash Brown Egg Bake Make-Ahead Hash Brown Egg Bake . Serve with your favorite fresh fruit or this Citrus-Glazed Fruit Salad, full of flavor and packed with nutrients!

Pick up your favorite muffins from our bakery department or you can bake these Berry-licious Muffins, bursting with colorful berries.

For many Italians, (and non-Italians too) a time-honored Easter tradition is Italian Easter Pie. While not as quick to prepare as the other dishes, you’ll discover this meat and cheese pie is worth the extra effort once you taste it!

Dinner tends not to be as popular as Easter brunch, but for those who prefer it Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus and Mini Croissants (available in the bakery department) is a simple, but delicious menu. If you’ve never prepared scalloped potatoes, you’ll be surprised how easy they are to make!

Scalloped Potatoes

1 medium onion, chopped

4 T. PICS butter

4 T. PICS flour

Salt and pepper to taste

2 1/2 cups PICS whole milk

6 medium potatoes, thinly sliced

Cook onion in butter until tender, but not browned.  Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned.  Add salt and pepper.  Add milk and cook, stirring until slightly thickened.  Place one quarter of potatoes in greased 3-quart casserole; pour ¼ of sauce over potatoes.  Continue layers ending with sauce.  Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour or until browned on top and potatoes test tender.  Serves 8-10.

Egg Decorating

Children love coloring and decorating eggs for Easter, and it’s fun to see just how creative they can be!

If you are dyeing eggs for fun or for an egg hunt keep in mind these basics for safety: 

  1. Wash hands following the recommended CDC guidelines
  2. Use only eggs that have been refrigerated and discard eggs that are cracked or dirty
  3. After hard cooking eggs, dye them with food-safe coloring and return them to the refrigerator within 2 hours
  4. For an egg hunt, eggs should be hidden in places that are protected from dirt, moisture, pets, and other sources of bacteria
  5. Total time for hiding and hunting eggs should not exceed 2 hours
  6. “Found” eggs must be washed, re-refrigerated and should be eaten within a week.

There are so many ways they (and you) can decorate Easter eggs. Choose what works best for your family. You can check out our Kids Cooking Club egg decorating video below.

Purchase a kit – Today egg decorating kits come with stickers, holders, etc., holders etc.

Make your own food color dyes – Using a container deep enough to hold the eggs,  combine ½ to 1 Tbs. of food coloring with 2 tsp. vinegar, and fill half way with water. Carefully place eggs in the container. The longer they are left in the dye, the darker the color shade. Remove eggs from the dye, pat dry with a paper towel and place in a holder.

*Eggs may also be colored on before placing in the dye with swirls, shapes, etc. The wax will resist the dye and the colored design will show through.

Make your own natural dyes –Combine one of the following dye sources from the color chart below with ½ Tbs. vinegar with some cold water in a saucepan. Add raw eggs (make sure there’s enough water to cover the eggs) and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. The longer you simmer, the darker the color will be, but simmer at least 8 minutes so that the eggs cook thoroughly.

Color chart

Yellow – turmeric or saffron 
Red – cranberries 
Purple – beets, red onion skin
Green – spinach 
Blue – blueberries 

Color with crayons – This may be a perfect option for little ones since they can simply color the eggs with crayons.

Paint – Undiluted food coloring and a cotton swab can be used to paint on hard boiled eggs.

Chocolate Easter Egg Nests – Delight the kids with this easy DIY for their Easter baskets!

Easter Games – Fun for mom, dad and kids!

Easter Egg Roll

You will need:

Large area either inside or outside with a slight slope or incline

Big spoons

Start and finish lines

How to play:

  1. Each player gets a decorated Easter egg and a spoon
  2. Players place the egg in front of them and position spoon behind it
  3. When told to begin players use the spoon to move their egg down the grass towards the finish line
  4. The winner is the first person to cross the finish line with their egg

Easter Egg Toss

You will need:

One empty decorated Easter egg for each team of two playing (or uncooked eggs – with care!)

  1. Each team member stands approximately 15 feet apart from each other
  2. One person tosses the egg to their partner. If they catch the egg and it doesn’t break, they move a few feet further apart and the partner tosses the egg back
  3. If an egg breaks, then the pair is out of the game
  4. Each team keeps moving further and further apart until all eggs are broken
  5. The team left with an unbroken egg is the winning team

While it is difficult for all of us not to gather, we need to be safe and keep our loved ones safe so that we can be together again soon. We wish you and your family a Safe and Happy Easter!

Looking for more Easter inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board here for a basketful!

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Hot off the presses, and sketched by Mark D. in our Advertising Department!

To print these, just save each image to your desktop and print.

Happy coloring! Be on the lookout for more activities in the coming weeks.

Check out our 2 photos below. There are ten differences between these: can you spot the differences?

Share your marked photo (mark the photo on the bottom) in the comments on our Facebook post.

Stay well!

Our Favorite April Fools Pranks Over The Years

April Fools’ Day is one of our favorite days of the year. We’ve been celebrating it on social media for a decade! Since we’re in the middle of unprecedented times in our world, rather than prank our audience we decided to revisit some of our previous pranks.

Have a look back at some of our favorites. We hope it brings a smile to your face on this April Fools’ Day.

Be well, and remember, we’re all in this together!

2013: Vintage Teammate Uniforms

In 2013 we brought about feelings of nostalgia when we unveiled our new, but also old, teammate uniforms! These stylish fits made us look like we just stepped out of a time machine arriving from the 80s, and your genuine concern for our younger teammates wearing them was amazing. We still think they’re kinda cool!

uniforms prank

2014: We’re No Longer Accepting Pennies

One year later, we put out a message on our Facebook explaining that we were no longer accepting pennies. No one wants to carry around all that change! Of course, this was never going to be true, but either way it was one of our favorite pranks!

2018: Limited Edition PICS Ice Cream Flavors

Burnt Dinner Roll PICS Ice Cream? Only available for a limited time! The excitement over this mouthwatering flavor was overwhelming. Just kidding! In 2018, we lined up our prank with Easter, introducing other fake PICS Ice Cream flavors like Ham & Pineapple and Asparagus & Hollandaise. Yum!

burnt dinner roll

2019: How to Make Ice Video

Last year, we returned with a satirical version of one our Facebook recipe videos. We wanted to offer up a video of something that obviously doesn’t require a recipe, like ice, and take it to excessive levels of detail. We think it turned out nicely! Check it out here

Happy April Fools’ Day!

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Brighten Up With Our Floral Department!

Plants are essential to the world we live in. It’s been proven that plants and nature help us maintain a positive mood. They’ve been known to relieve stress and create a calming atmosphere. Whether they’re prettying up a home office or bringing your kitchen space to life, plants can play an important role in brightening up everyday life!

The relaxing aura of ornamental plants is great for a work environment, as they allow for sharper focus and more productivity when compared to an environment devoid of these influences. Working around flowers and plants can lead to a more efficient performance completed with greater accuracy.

Not only can ornamental plants lead to better workers, they can also increase energy and are great for a dose of natural endurance. When people feel livelier, their mood and performance will be elevated. With this improved state of mind, the task at hand receives stronger energy and greater thought, which can create a higher-quality finished product. 

Along with their ability to increase one’s mood, plants are also aesthetically pleasing. We love to light up the indoors with flowers! Items such as fresh bouquets, roses, daises, poms, carnations, gerbera daisies, and lilies are some of our favorites. They’re perfect for brightening up any countertop or table space. If you’re working from home during this time, we suggest some yellow daisies on your newly designated work desk!

Plants can help us see the brighter side. Our Floral Department is a big believer in this! Grab some flowers next time you stop in to see us, and check out our fresh Pinterest board Pinterest board for some flower-y inspiration.

Be well!

Source: ellisonchair.tamu.edu/health-and-well-being-benefits-of-plants/
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5 Price Chopper Pantry Favorites

If you’re staying in like many folks are during this time, you’re probably becoming better friends with your pantry or food storage drawers. We’re in the same boat! With this in mind, we’ve assembled a list of some products that are staples in our pantry. Check it out below. Maybe some of these will find a place in your pantry!

PICS Spaghetti: We love spaghetti! Use it for your spaghetti and meatballs fix or try our Mexican Style Baked Pasta recipe. Delicious!

Nutella: Nutella is a snacking superstar! It satisfies your need for something sweet, and there are countless ways to enjoy it. Spread it between two slices of bread, enjoy it with apple slices, or simply eat it with a spoon. There’s no wrong way to love Nutella!

PICS Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce can prove itself very handy. It’s useful in many tasty ways. Simmer your morning eggs in it until they set for a healthy breakfast or elevate your grilled cheese sandwich by spreading tomato sauce inside.

PICS Pure Maple Syrup: It’s maple sugaring season here in the Northeast and if you’re looking for tasty ways to use maple syrup check out our Maple Syrup Beyond Your Pancake Stack blog. You’ll never view maple syrup the same way again!

Crackers of Choice: There are endless varieties of crackers available in our stores, and regardless of your crackers of choice they all make for a great snack. Cheese and crackers are a classic, and soup always benefits from a crunchy addition. Crackers are a pantry essential!

There you have it! Some of our personal pantry favorites. Be creative: each of these are versatile foods. For everything you need to reach your pantry goals, check out our online pantry aisle!

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Our Frozen Favorites

March is Frozen Foods Month and we’re putting some of our favorite freezer bites in the spotlight. A combination of reliable easy meals, snacks, and desserts: there’s something in our freezer section for what you’re craving. Check out our list and add a new frozen item or two to your cart!

PICS Rising Crust Pizza: There’s no basketball this month, but that doesn’t stop frozen pizza from being a gamechanger. Throw it in the oven and you’re set for dinner. With so much variety in our frozen pizza section there’s something for everyone. We prefer our PICS brand, of course!

Pillsbury Toaster Strudel: Not only will Pillsbury Toaster Strudel get you ready for the day ahead, they also encourage you to express your artsy side with their icing packs.  Create your own masterpiece and fall in love with the delicious taste.

SuperPretzel Soft Pretzel Bites: Looking for that yummy appetizer feel from home? Look no further than SuperPretzel Soft Pretzel Bites. Dip into mustard, salsa, or cover in cheese and you’ll experience the bliss of a perfect meal starter.

Birds Eye Brussels Sprouts: Can’t forget veggies on our frozen menu. We recommend Birds Eye Brussels Sprouts. A super easy frozen vegetable option!

Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese: Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese is a staple in the frozen meals game. Quality comfort food from right out of your freezer. We’ll take two, please.

Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breasts: Barber Foods offers a fulfilling meal with their stuffed chicken breasts. Try them with a rice or frozen vegetables on the side and you’re good to go!  

Pepperidge Farm Layer Cake: A fluffy, sweet tooth satisfying dessert. This one’s a classic. You’ll be dreaming of these Pepperidge Farm layer cakes!

Focus on your freezer this month. There are many tasty and reliable food options in the frozen section. Try a few of these items or explore for yourself on our website. We have everything you need for your freezer to reach its maximum potential. Visit your local store or shop online today! Don’t forget to check out our delivery and pickup options.

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It’s maple sugaring season in the Northeast, and we’re all amped up for local maple.

Today’s lesson: Maple Syrup Beyond the Stack of Pancakes!

Each winter as the weather starts to warm up, maple trees in our region produce sweet sap that contains a small amount of sugar and a large amount of water. By boiling off the water from sap, a 100% pure sugar substance is created: maple syrup. The almighty nectar of the maple tree!

We live in one of the only regions in the world with the ideal climate for maple agriculture, and we’re proud to partner with a wide variety of local maple farmers and producers here in the Northeast, who are currently hard at work in the midst of this year’s maple sugaring season.

A lot of folks love pouring maple syrup on their pancakes and waffles, which is certainly delicious, but maple has so much more to offer. Maple syrup is a versatile ingredient and can be used in baked goods, savory dinner entrées and more!

Bring maple syrup to life beyond your pancakes by…

Stirring it into your morning (or afternoon, or evening) coffee: Maple syrup is a 100% pure and natural sweetener: it’ll add a delicious flavor to your cup of coffee.

Pouring it over ice cream: Take a bowl of your favorite ice cream (we like vanilla the best) and drizzle some maple syrup over it, with a blanket of whipped cream: this is what dreams are made of. Our New Hampshire pals at Ben’s Sugar Shack are big fans of this treat.

Making maple garlic salmon: Mix maple syrup with minced garlic and a pinch of salt and glaze salmon with it. It’s a game changer.

Making maple mustard: Chances are you’ve had honey mustard more than once in your life. Maple mustard is a similar (but incredible) spin on the classic yellow condiment. Just whisk a bit of maple syrup into some Dijon mustard and you’ve got yourself a new favorite salad dressing, sandwich spread and more. Sweet.

Making salted maple pie: This one takes a little effort, but the results will have you shedding tears of joy. Vermont’s famous Butternut Mountain Farm offers this awesome recipe that’ll satisfy your sweet tooth and your savory tooth.

There you have it: maple syrup doesn’t have to live exclusively in breakfast land. Looking for more maple-spiration? Check out our home.grown. maple Pinterest board for a collection of recipes from our local maple partners!

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Much like our Supermarket Word Find, our coloring sheets are fun for everyone!

To print these, just save each image to your desktop and print.

Happy coloring! Be on the look out for more activities in the coming weeks.

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If you’re staying in, here’s a fun activity for both kids and adults. We’ve taken a few of our store departments and turned them into word finds. We’ve hidden words like FLORIST and TOMATO in these: can you find them?

To print these, just save each image to your desktop and print.

Be well, and stay tuned for more activities in the coming weeks!

 

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