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Daily Archives: April 4, 2012

The Wegmans’ Effect

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For some reason today I started thinking about who Wegmans will affect the most and how, once they open in June. I am in the early stages of what I call Grocery Store Avoidance, i.e., buying most things locally by supporting small businesses like Roots, David’s, Boarman’s and the farmers, and by using my traditional sources like SYSCO and Costco, for my staples.

I buy spices and basic supplies at the SYSCO outlet on Rte. 1 in Elkridge. I buy my bulk items at Costco, but don’t really use their pre-made foods very much. I wonder if that is the area that Wegman’s will hurt them the most.

What will happen to BJ’s? Can this area support Costco, BJ’s, and Wegman’s, when it comes to ready-made entertainment foods? I go to Costco for things like this.

Plus, the low sodium chicken broth. These are staples in my pantry. I use Costco for creamers and for coffees.

But I found a good deal at the Frederick Wegmans for my K-cups. As for bulk items like paper towels and toilet paper, it will be interesting to see the matchup once Wegmans opens with their bulk food aisle carrying much of the same items.

I buy wild ahi at Costco. Take it home and portion it out and freeze it. Same for things like Aidell’s Natural Sausages and Meatballs. Cheese, some spices, organic olive oil and balsamic, all come from Costco. You can bet I will be looking to see what Wegmans charges in their bulk aisles for these items.

But, will the traffic and crowds push me elsewhere? How congested will Snowden River Parkway get? Being retired, I can go at off hours, but I do wonder how frustrated people will get who try and get in there.

I love Wegmans. I go to Frederick often.

It will be Frederick most of the time unless I have doctor appointments or car work being done in East Columbia. I know I will be watching the effect they have on the area stores.

Only two months to go.


Family Favorites

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Going to my brother’s house for Easter. It is a tradition for us to get together at holidays. Our family was large and always had major events, either dinners or picnics or reunions.

For us, at picnics and other events, we are always on the hook to bring wine, since we collect it. This year, I think I will be bringing the Breaux Viognier, which will complement the ham.

Lately though, some of my favorite recipes are asked for, time and again, as a contribution. My brother requested my herb roasted onions, something I first took there for my mom’s 80th birthday party picnic, in 2009. It is a simple Ina Garten recipe, that I have adapted to my taste. I change how I make the vinaigrette depending on what is in season and what I have in the fridge.

First, get lots of diffferent onions.

You will peel and cut these so the bottom stays together. You want whole wedges to roast. Make a simple vinaigrette like this one, using mustard, oil, balsamic, herbs, salt and pepper. The more herbs, the better.

For the vinaigrette, you need a good mustard. I will be using the last of my ramp mustard from Spring Valley.

Toss the onions in the vinaigrette, and roast at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Keep some of the vinaigrette left over to pour over the finished product. The beauty of these onions is the fact that they can also be served at room temperature. I can make them Sunday at noon, and they will be fine at 3 pm, when we serve dinner.

A Food Network pic, since we aren’t at Easter yet. This is a simple basic recipe, easy to double or triple. Make as much or as little as you want. I make huge amounts of the vinaigrette and use it for salad dressing during the week. Make enough to coat the onions before roasting, and more. For me, that involves the ratio of 4:1:1 of oil, vinegar, and mustard. You can also make it with lemon juice instead of vinegar. Be creative.

And, make memories with your family, like we do every year.