As the seasons change, so do our meal choices. On a cold fall night, you may opt for a warm bowl of chili or a steaming plate of chicken alfredo. When you take a step back, have you ever thought of what makes comfort food, so…comforting? There have been studies on this topic that you may find quite interesting. Let’s find out more!
When people think of “comfort food,” they may think of something that is high in calories. However, what often goes unnoticed is that comfort food offers something deeper, such as nostalgia and a sense of social connection. For instance, during childhood, if your parents consistently prepared grilled cheese and tomato soup for you when you were under the weather, that combination may evoke comforting recollections of being cared for. Additionally, if you and your grandparents always made spaghetti and meatballs together on a Sunday afternoon, the taste and smell of these foods can trigger happy memories.
Like many foods, comfort meals can evoke beautiful memories. If you would like to try more comfort foods this fall and winter season, then take a look below. Price Chopper and Market 32 have what you need for a delicious meal with friends and family.
Cook with love, passion, and creativity this cold-weather season!
The fall is a beautiful time of the year in New York. The air is cooling down and the sun is shining bright through the ever changing leaves. This time of the year is perfect for getting outside to walk, run, hike, or just take in the beautiful scenery Earth has to offer. Luckily, there are so many places in Upstate and Central New York where you can get out and enjoy the trails. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at the benefits hiking has to offer.
Physical Wellness: Lace those shoes up and get going! Hiking is wonderful for endurance and building strength.
Connection with Oneself: Spending time in nature by yourself can offer numerous benefits. Not only are you reducing stress from everyday life, but it helps you to reflect on any and all thoughts and emotions.
Mental Wellness & Connection to Nature: Nature can be calming for the mind and can quite literally “clear your head.” Nature can allow for a happier mood, calmness and joy.
Social Wellness: Hiking provides an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family away from the distractions of daily life. It allows you to connect on a deeper level and strengthen your bond.
Interested in learning more about local places to spend time in nature? Let’s dive deeper.
Buck Mountain – Lake George, NY
Prospect Mountain – Lake George, NY
Sleeping Beauty Mountain – Fort Ann, NY
Hadley Mountain – Hadley, NY
Mount Marcy – Lake Placid, NY
Blue Mountain – Indian Lake, NY
Vroman’s Nose – Middleburgh, NY
Luther Forest – Malta, NY
Kinns Road Park – Clifton Park, NY
Indian Kill Nature Preserve – Glenville, NY
Normanskill Preserves – Albany, NY
Geyser Creek Trail – Saratoga, NY
Buttermilk Falls – Ithaca, NY
Robert H. Treman State Park – Ithaca, NY
Lime Hollow Nature Preserve – Cortland, NY
Binghamton Trail Head – Binghamton, NY
No matter where you decide to hike this fall, remember that hiking is not always about conquering mountains; Sometimes it is about connecting with ourselves and nature.
Fall is officially in full swing and mums is the word! Hardy mums that is.
Unlike most flowers, mums are ideal for fall. They bring a classic colorfulness and a fitting liveliness perfect for the season. Known by their botanical name, Chrysanthemums, these flowers are built to withstand winter’s toughest temperatures. Mums are one of our favorite items to partner with local growers for sourcing – summer is great but we get excited when cooler weather approaches!
Mums have many variations of sizes and colors. A full day of sun is preferred for mums to have a good bloom, but they can get by with at least half a day’s worth of sun. Maximize the blooms longer by watering them directly at soil level. As blossoms die off, cut the blossom and the stem beneath it down to the next leaf on the stem. This simple trick will allow new buds to develop, and eventually the plant will flower again during the fall season.
Hardy mums are commonly seen in many colors such as sunny yellows, pinks, mauves, and orange-reds. The orange and red variations are the most fitting for the autumn season! Hardy mums may not be as bright as spring flowers, but their presence is a very appealing addition to an otherwise fading fall garden. Some hardy mums even change colors over time. “Will’s Wonderful” mums start bright red in the summer, with a touch of yellow in the center. Then, as they age, the yellow slowly spreads across the petals, eventually taking over the flower leaving only tips of red.
Our Northeast climate provides an ideal agricultural canvas for planting and growing fall mums. We’re proud to have been partnering with Casertano’s Greenhouses in Cheshire, CT and Kurt Weiss Greenhouses in Moriches, NY for over a decade, allowing us to source our Northeast-grown mums each year!
Hardy mums make a great decorative piece for fall: Get yours at your local Price Chopper or Market 32 before it’s too late!
Happy August! As the excitement of summer starts to dwindle down, kids prepare to go back to school, and the air slowly starts to feel crisp and cool. You may be thinking this is the time when flowers are beginning to wither away and prepare for the colder season. Well, think again! Flowers can grow successfully until mid-October and for specific months such as August, flowers are just beginning to flourish! One of summer’s most beloved flowers is the sunflower, which, coincidentally, is the official flower of August! This beautiful and vibrant flower has a rich history that has made it a staple flower in gardens over the decades.
This flower originated over four thousand years ago when indigenous peoples started to cultivate this crop for its health benefits and cooking uses. Though this flower was once previously used for its practicality, once it was brought to Europe many people ignored its health and culinary benefits and used the sunflower for its decorative nature.
As the sunflower migrated throughout Europe and into Asia, many other places in the world started to adapt to this flower. The most notable country is Russia. Russians learned how to extract the sunflower’s benefits while utilizing its beauty in decorations. Because of Russia’s popularized multi-uses for sunflowers, foods like sunflower seeds and cosmetics such as sunflower oil are popular to this day!
That being said, growing these beautiful flowers doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here are a few tips and tricks to grow sunflowers:
- As you’d guess, sunflowers flourish in complete sunlight. Bright areas outside are preferred, rather than any indirect sunlight. The barrier of a window indoors could affect the growing habits of a sunflower so make sure to avoid indoor growth.
- For sunflowers to flourish they need to be planted in well-drained soil. For those who are unfamiliar with what exactly “well-drained” soil is, don’t worry, I can help!
- “Well-drained soil” is almost exactly what it sounds like. For soil to drain well, it needs to be in an elevated container, whether that’s a pot, or a raised gardening bed. To go the extra mile, add compost to your soil to encourage draining.
- Water your flower regularly but wait to re-water after the first few inches of your flower’s soil is dry! Too much watering of your plant will lead to root rot, which no one wants!
- Lastly, these flowers can survive in various temperatures. On average, sunflowers thrive in mid-seventies, but can survive in hotter or colder temperatures as long as they’re planted in a well-drained soil and have a decent fertilizer.
There you have it! Follow these tips to growing a sunflower and you’re sure to grow and thriving and beautiful flower that’s equally has stunning as it is useful. Happy gardening!
home.grown. Outdoor Decorating!
There are many perks to fall in the Northeast. Great food, fun activities, Halloween, and especially: outdoor decorating! We love seeing our communities go all out in seasonal spirit, jazzing up their homes with all of the fall essentials. We have everything you need to outshine your neighbors, thanks to our awesome group of Northeast farmers. Turn your home into an autumn masterpiece with home.grown. plants and ornamentals from Price Chopper & Market 32!
If you’re preparing for fall, pumpkins are a must. We source our mini pumpkins, pie pumpkins and carving pumpkins from the same Northeast farmers that provide us with summer crops like tomatoes and peppers. The same goes for our corn stalks! Many of the decorative corn stalks we have bunched and ready for placing on your front porch are the same stalks that produced the sweet corn you enjoyed this summer.
Gourds are another fall decorating staple that are grown by our local farmers. Did you know that gourds are a member of the squash family? Nowadays they serve as decoration only, but back in ancient times they were consumed as a food item!
Flowers aren’t just a spring and summer thing: Our stores offer a variety of mums that are ideal for fall decorating. Our mums are grown in the Northeast, just like our pumpkins and gourds!
Decorating is one of the best things about fall. Pumpkins, corn stalks, gourds, Indian corn and mums are all staples of the season, and we’re proud to source them from our neighbors here in the Northeast. Thanks to the hard work of growers like Reeves Farms in Baldwinsville, NY, Plainville Farm in Hadley, MA and many other Northeast farms, we’re able to provide high-quality local products throughout the changing seasons.
From pumpkins to peanut butter, when it’s made or grown here, we get it here. Don’t miss out on the fun this season: Head over to your local store and start decorating!
Rulfs Orchard: 531 Bear Swamp Rd, Peru, NY / http://www.rulfsorchard.com/ Walhowdon Farm & Orchards: 33 Walhowdon Way, Lebanon, NH Hudson River Fruit: 65 Old Indian Rd, Milton, NY / https://www.hudsonriverfruit.com/ Sunrise Orchards: 1287 N Bingham St, Cornwall, VT / https://sunriseorchards.com/ Crunch Time Apple Growers: Wolcott, NY / http://www.crunchtimeapplegrowers.com/ Jaeschke’s Orchard: 23 Gould Rd, Adams. MA / http://jaeschkesorchard.com/ Brace’s Orchard: 444 Brace Rd, Dallas, PA Beak & Skiff: 2708 Lords Hill Rd, Lafayette, NY / http://beakandskiff.com/ Breezelands Orchards: 1791 Southbridge Rd, Warren, MA / http://www.breezelandsorchards.com/ Mayer Brothers Cider Mill: 1540 Seneca Creek Rd, Buffalo, NY / http://mayerbrothers.com/cider-mill-store/ Fowler Farms: 10273 Lummisville Rd, Wolcott, NY / http://www.fowlerfarms.com/ Rogers Orchard: 336 Long Bottom Rd, Southington, CT / http://www.rogersorchards.com/default.aspx Cold Hollow Cider Mill: 3600 Waterbury Stowe Rd, Waterbury Center, VT / http://www.coldhollow.com Altamont Orchards: 6654 Dunnsville Rd, Altamont, NY / http://altamontorchards.com/(more…) Written by Sara Lilkas Fall has become synonymous with pumpkin season, for reasons far beyond the classic Jack-O-Lantern! I think it’s fair to say that today’s consumer is seriously pumped-up about pumpkin! From pumpkin flavored drinks and baked goods, to pumpkin ice cream and scented candles, there is no shortage of this fall-favorite flavor! Pumpkins are great for decorating or even eating! Have you ever baked pumpkin seeds after carving a pumpkin for Halloween They’re delicious and super easy! Simply separate the seeds from the meat of the pumpkin, put them on a greased cookie sheet, add some salt and bake at 300° F for about 45 minutes or until golden brown! Pumpkins do not have to be limited to the spooky happenings surrounding Halloween either. They can also be used for your seasonal fall and Thanksgiving decorating. Pumpkins can be hollowed out and used as vases or they look great painted with stencils, glitter, or monograms to fit in with the rest of your decorations. I’m a huge fan of adding pumpkin to everything possible the months of September-November, and if it spills over into December a little bit that’s fine too. (I would eat pumpkin year round if it was available!) I love adding pumpkin to pancakes, waffles, bread (for toast), and muffins. I found that learning to cook and bake is a lot more fun when attempting to make foods that I really enjoy. This year I decided to try and make pumpkin muffins instead of purchasing them like I normally do. I tried this recipe here and they turned out great! Plus, you get the added bonus of the apartment smelling amazing when baking muffins fresh at home! Now the only thing better than pumpkin would be the addition of chocolate. My next baking attempt will have to be Pumpkin Swirl Brownies. Brownies are my go-to favorite baked good regardless of the season, but adding pumpkin to the mix will probably result in me eating the whole batch, by myself, in one sitting, it’s fine. My pumpkin obsession has grown with time and age, since now there are also many varieties of pumpkin flavored beer! It seems that almost every brewery, no matter how large or small, puts out a pumpkin flavored beer for the fall. Each variety uses its own unique blend of spices to bring out the pumpkin flavor, so it’s exciting to try the different varieties and discover the many flavors! Two of my favorites are the Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale and Magic Hat’s Wilhelm Scream. As always, please enjoy responsibly! What are your favorite pumpkin flavored treats? Leave a comment below! Written by Sara Lilkas, Marketing Intern When people ask about my favorite foods my first instinct is to choose apples. But when I say apples I do not only mean the delicious fruit, I’m also including the multitude of apple flavored baked goods, ciders, and the association they have with fall. Growing up in Upstate New York aka Apple Country, I would probably be considered a social pariah if apples were not high on my list of favorite foods. I couldn’t even tell you why I like apples so much since each variety has its own distinct flavor. If I had to pick my favorite varieties they would have to be golden delicious, granny smith, and honeycrisp (so you can see my taste go from very sweet to very tart.) The real reason that I have apples on my mind is the weather is beginning to cool down so in addition to pulling out the scarves and boots, apples will begin to pop up everywhere again (which is fantastic.) What’s even more fantastic is the amount of apples available from local growers. Even though New York State may be known for apples, I have recently learned they are actually grown throughout the Northeastern United States. There are tons of orchards throughout the Northeast and many of them are still family owned and run. Price Chopper works hard to find the best tasting apples from local growers located in various parts of New York, Connecticut, and Vermont (and that’s only including a few of the growers they purchase from.) In this search for the best apples Price Chopper has developed long term relationships with many growers including Sunrise Orchards in Vermont (20 years!) Sunrise Orchards and Roger’s Orchards in Connecticut take great pride in how their apples are grown. Both orchards are certified as Eco Apples™ and have to adhere to strict growing practices in order to receive this certification. The program focuses on the quality of the soil the apples are grown on, and keeping beneficial insects within the environment. As part of this process having as much information about what is going on in the orchard and the plants surrounding the area is essential. By monitoring insect populations, growing conditions, and other factors that are important to the growing process growers can determine whether it is necessary to treat against any unwanted fungus or pest that may be harmful to the apple crop. The Eco Apple™ certification is not given out to every orchard, every year. In order to receive the certification the orchards have to undergo a review by the IPM Institute of North America, to ensure that the growing conditions have been upheld for the year. As I mentioned earlier I really love ciders. Every once in a while I may indulge in a hard cider (my favorite is Woodchuck!), but the typical nonalcoholic fare is my true favorite. There is nothing better than a beautiful fall day with a glass of apple cider. I’ve recently been experimenting with warming apple cider for those days when the first fingers of winter reach into the air. I’ve found warming up apple cider and adding a pinch of cinnamon does the trick! When it comes to apple baking I love the classics. There is nothing better in my mind then a warm slice of apple pie (or a whole apple pie whatever floats your boat). My best friend has recently been trying to teach me how to bake and we decided to start big with the pie. We used this recipe for an apple pie from scratch, but a pre-made or gluten free crust could easily be substituted! How do you enjoy apples in the fall? Share your apple creations on Instagram with #PriceChopper and #Market32! Want to win a FREE Halloween party for your kids? Tell us about the best Halloween costume either you or your kids ever wore! Halloween is one of the most creative holidays of the year! We’re getting into the Halloween spirit here at Price Chopper and we want to help you do the same! Tell us about the BEST Halloween costume either you or your kids ever wore and one lucky fan will win a FREE kids Halloween party! Comment below and on our Facebook page to be entered to win a ½ gallon of apple cider, a pumpkin-decorated message cookie, a pumpkin pull-apart cupcake cake, a single layer pumpkin cake and plates, cups and napkins! Check out our “Fall in Love with Fall” board on Pinterest for some excellent Fall decorating and baking ideas! Also, don’t forget to stop into your local Price Chopper to check out all of our tasty fall treats in our Bakery! We have everything you need to make your Fall celebrations complete! All entries must be received by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 19th 2012. Limit one entry per person. Don’t forget to comment below AND on our Facebook page for a chance to win. Read the official rules here. Good luck! Written by: Kevin Schulke, Senior Category Manager Beer & Wine It’s always sad when you realize that the nights are getting darker earlier and summer is really over! Before winter gets the best of us, we should really try to enjoy the glorious autumn season to its fullest. I suggest the following outside activities to truly take advantage of everything the season has to offer:
- Plan a late season BBQ- even on a cloudy day!
- Take a bike ride and enjoy the foliage
- Rake leaves (and don’t forget to help your neighbor too!)
- Pick the perfect pumpkin