By Candace Byington and Chris Watson
It cold…its wet…its icy…it is thundering. What?!? Yes, this week our weather has run the gambit and on everyday most of us have wanted to hole up inside and let the storms, the ice, and the freezing air pass us by. This week our shoppers went to Walt Churchill’s Market, The Anderson’s, and Fresh Market to look at things that will warm our homes, our hearts, and are bellies.
When the temperatures plunge below thirty degrees we crave comfort food. Too often though, casseroles, soups and chili recepies are written for four to eight people. If you live a smaller family following these directions creates too many leftovers. However, ingredients for comfort food, portioned for one or two can be found at Walt Churchill’s Market in Maumee. The salad bar has fresh brocolli, cauliflower,mushrooms, peppers and kale that make nutritious additions to casseroles and soups. In the produce aisle you will find butternut and acorn squash halves, freshly cut and packaged mixed vegetables as well as tiny portions of fresh garlic and peppers. The market offers a wide variety of canned mushrooms and chopped tomatoes in smaller sizes. Casserole fans will find an array of pasta and egg noodles that are locally produced. There are freshly made sausages and packages of ground meat portioned for one or two. If you or your partner do not wish to cook, the market makes fresh soups daily.
The most daunting task in cooking is cutting vegetables. Many comfort food recipes require diced onions and celery. Anderson’s provides pre-cut vegetables that are perfect soup and casserole starters. The produce aisle has a variety of fresh, hot peppers for chili. You can make soup for one or two easily with single size packages of broth and a variety of dry soup and chili mixes. The Anderson’s carries small cans of beans or tomatoes for chili that are already spicy and seasoned. Locally produced noodles and pasta are in abundance for your casseroles. You can find your perfect portion of meats for hot meals at the House of Meat. No time to cook? The store features fresh soups daily and has pre-made meals packaged and ready to send home.
The Fresh Market features a wide variety of things to keep up warm. From winter pears to make us think of summer to Vermont Cheddar Mac and Cheese in the deli case. Plus the best fish of the week (tuna) in the fish case along with crab cakes. Finally, Fresh Market has a good variety of hot cereals, including non GMO and gluten free varieties and a well rounded selection of teas have brewed beside our cereal for breakfast.