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Monthly Archives: November 2012

  • Where did you shop on Small Business Saturday?

    November 24th was Small Business Saturday.  The people over at American Express began promoting small businesses about 3 years ago with their Annual Small Business Saturday.  As part of the promotion, American Express offered their card members a $25 statement credit for a single purchase made at a small business on November 24th.  They also offered small businesses free printed materials as well as advertising on social media sites to help promote Small Business Saturday.

    This year, we decided to have our first Small Business Saturday Tasting Event.  An invitation went out to all of our customers who are signed up to receive our monthly email newsletter.  If you would like to receive our monthly email newsletter, just visit our website and click on the "Join our Email" button to sign up on the left navigation bar.

    Customers who signed up for the Sampling Event were greeted by Jordan Parke and given a card for two of our milkshake samples: Strawberry and Pumpkin Pie.  Then the sampling began!

    Seven new jams and marmalades were available for sampling: Traffic Jam, Huckleberry Jam, Christmas Jam (Strawberries and Cranberries), Tropical Jam (Banana, Kiwi, Mango, Toasted Coconut), Red Raspberry Jalapeno Jam, TOE (Tangerine-Orange-Elderberry) Jam and Gooseberry Jam.  It's pretty difficult to pick out a favorite out of all those.  There are all very different and equally delicious.

    Did you know we have about ten different salsa flavors?  They range from very mild to super hot.  For this event, we offered a few mild ones like the Strawberry, Red Peach and Red Apple.  For those who like it hot, we offered the following salsas: Five Amigos Fire Roasted, Salsa Grande, and Mango Lime.  As always, the Strawberry Salsa is the clear favorite!

    The pickled tray was also a great addition.  Most people are afraid to purchase these items because they've never had them before.  In the tray we had Dilled Pickled Brussel Sprouts, Baby Beets, Dilly Beans, Marinated Mushrooms, Mild Pickle Okra, and Marinated Artichokes.  The favorite from this group had to be the Dilled Pickled Brussel Sprouts.  Not surprising to me because we have customers who buy it by the case!

    Early this summer we started carrying two flavors of Amish Granola: Apple Cinnamon and of course Triple Berry.  Granola is great to have on its own with milk as a morning cereal or as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt.  Our snack candy is now back for the Holidays!  Two new ones are the Sweet and Salty Mix and the Honey Crunch Mix.  If you like chocolate, then you'll love the Sweet and Salty Mix.  It's made up of peanuts, chocolate chips and sesame sticks.  The Honey Crunch Mix is my favorite.  It's made up of dried bananas, dried papaya, peanuts and sesame sticks.  :)

    It couldn't be a Tasting Event without these beauties!  Our Strawberry cookies and Strawberry Bread were also available for sampling.  Most customers are unaware that we sell refrigerated Troyer Amish products.  As such, Troyer Amish Butter, Cottage Ham, and Cheese Curds were also available for sampling.  Our guests were very impressed with the taste of our Troyer Amish Butter!

    Our guests did not leave empty handed.  Every guest left with a bottle of our Parkesdale Farms Pure Strawberry Syrup made with Plant City strawberries.  This syrup is wonderful on pancakes, waffles, ice cream and even on roasted pork!  In addition, as part of our Small Business Saturday promotion one of our guest won a free Gift Fruit package of their choice to be shipped for the Holidays.  We had such a great response from this event that we hope to have more in the near future.  Please remember to check our website and sign up for our monthly email newsletter!


  • Today we are thankful for you...Happy Thanksgiving!

    It's been almost three weeks since I last went on a run.   Gasp!  But sometimes your body needs rest, especially after running an Xterra trail 1/2 marathon race.  If you missed my post, here's a recap.  So, this morning I started with my very own Turkey Trot around the neighborhood.  Great weather for a run if you ask me.  After my run, it was time to get cleaned up and start cooking our usual sides for Thanksgiving lunch at Grandma Parke's.

    I'm thankful my husband enjoys cooking.  He makes the best cranberry sauce ever.  Pretty simple too.  Just add fresh cranberries, water and sugar.

    Stir and continue to stir until the cranberries are broken and it looks like jam.  Yum!  Some recipes call for a splash of orange juice or cinnamon sticks.

    I prefer it this way.  Just cranberries and sugar. :)  Once he was done with the cranberry sauce, I made pan seared asparagus topped with crumbled blue cheese.  You can read about it here.

    Thanksgiving at Grandma Parke's is always so festive.  She really does a great job setting the decorations around the house.  I also like the fact that we celebrate one holiday at a time.  Her Christmas tree doesn't go up till after Thanksgiving.

    There are also great little reminders of how the family has grown.  This was a drawing made by Jordan Parke back in 2006.

    Today, we are thankful for family.  We are also thankful for you, our customers, who in a way are family too.  Your continued support is greatly appreciated.  Happy Thanksgiving!


  • Fast Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

    With cold season in full swing, one of my favorite things to make is homemade chicken noodle soup.  There's just something about all the colorful veggies in a steamy broth that makes me smile.  For my version of homemade chicken noodle soup, I start with the "Holy Trinity Trio" of onion, celery and carrots.  Saute the veggies for a few minutes with a little olive oil.

    Onion, celery and carrots: "Holy Trinity Cooking Trio"

    What makes my chicken noodle fast, is that I use chicken stock/broth instead of water.  After working a full day at the market, I don't have time to make my own stock for the soup.   Sprinkle the chopped chicken breast pieces with Everglades Seasoning.

    Japanese Rice Noodles

    Here's where I like to get creative.  You can add any kind of pasta for your "noodles" or even rice.  This time, I decided to use some Japanese rice noodles I had in my pantry.   Add the noodles and cook for a few more minutes.

    This is definitively one of those meals were everyone wants more.  Cold or not, I enjoy having eating soup anytime of the year.

    Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup:

    1 medium onion

    2 carrots, peeled, diced

    2 celery stalks, diced

    1 garlic clove, minced

    2 chicken breasts, diced

    Everglades seasoning

    44 oz chicken broth/stock


    Start by sauteing the veggies with some olive oil.  Season chicken  with Everglades Seasoning.  Lightly brown the chicken pieces.  Add chicken stock and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add noodles and follow package instructions.  Enjoy!

    Are you a "soup person"? What's your favorite soup?

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