Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

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Some great cheeses to consider for your upcoming Holiday parties.- Tuesday, December 2, 2014

With the party season coming into full swing, I thought this might be a great time to share a bit more about some of the things we’ve learned about fine cheese. It’s a very good idea to have some variety of cheese on hand any time, but for the next month or so it would be a shame not to be prepared for guests. Here is a list of some surefire winners to have on hand, all available in our specialty cheese shop across from the deli case.

Brie

Brie is the best known French cheese and has the nickname "The Queen of Cheeses". Brie is a soft cheese named after the French region Brie, where it was originally created. Several hundred years ago, Brie was one of the tributes which had to be paid to the French kings.

True French brie (for French consumption) cannot be exported to the US. Considered by purist to be the finest Brie, it is made with raw cow's milk -- and that's why these cheeses are unavailable in the United States. They don't meet our government's 60-day aging requirement for raw-milk cheese.

Brie that is exported to the US is produced from whole or semi-skimmed cow's milk. Rennet is added in to raw milk and heated to a temperature of 98.6°F to obtain the curd. The cheese is then cast into molds; several layers of cheese are filled into a mold and then kept for around 18 hours. After this the cheese is salted and aged for minimum of four weeks. Check this week’s ad for three featured brie cheeses, all worth having on your cheese platter.

Brie cheese is slightly pale in color with a grayish tinge under a rind. Its flavor varies depending upon the ingredients added while producing the cheese. In order to enjoy the taste fully, Brie must be served at room temperature.

Wines and Beers to pair with brie: Champagne, Montrachet, and Corton-Charlemagne. Beer lovers will enjoy wheat beers from Belgium and Germany, usually called weissbier or hefeweizen.

Cotswold

Cotswold is named after the picturesque region in southwest England, known for its rolling hills and lush pastures. Similar to Cheddar, it has a creamy, smooth texture that melts in the mouth. Chive and onions are added giving it a distinctive flavorful enhancement that melts well. Cotswold goes well with grilled meats, especially burgers, and on baked potatoes. Cotswold is served in pubs in England on toast or rustic bread.

Suggested Pairing: Brown Ale or Shiraz

Blue D’Auvergne

Produced in the mountainous region of Auvergne, this cheese tends to be milder, creamier, less salty and more approachable than other French blue cheeses. Aged for about four weeks, it has a natural rind, often with some white surface mold. Typically buttery and moist, the flavor is spicy, but not sharp or biting. Hints of grasses and wild flowers prevail on your tongue. Serve atop a burger or in salads. Bleu d’Auvergne is wonderful warmed in a mushroom cap or crumbled on a meatloaf.

Suggested Pairing: Red Bordeaux or Porter

Mimolette

A Hardy French Gouda, The Mimolette is a most unusual cheese, spherical like an Edam but with a rough, moon-like surface and a bright orange interior. It resembles a melon when cut open. The texture is firm and oily and the color a vivid orange. With ageing it slowly hardens and dries and the color changes from carrot to orange-brown. It has a firm texture with a very nutty flavour and a thick brown-gray crust.

Suggested pairings: Chianti and Sangiovese and Port, Acme Brown Ale

Huntsman

Huntsman is the combination of two British cheeses: Double Gloucester and blue Stilton. It is a trademarked name, owned by the Long Clawson Dairy, which is located in Nottingham. The cheese is made by alternating layers of these two classics. The layering is done by hand and is a very labor-intensive process. The result, however, is a striking combination of fudgy, rich, tangy and earthy sensations. Because of its layering, the appearance is gorgeous on a cheese tray.

Suggested Pairing: Nut Brown Ale or Shiraz

Wensleydale with cranberries

Pasteurized cow’s milk is used in this handmade cheese. Drawn from cows that graze on sweet limestone pastures around the Yorkshire area of upper Wensleydale, the cheese is young, mild and clean, with a honey aftertaste. Wensleydale with Cranberries uses only all-natural ingredients. Great for a sweet dip, stuffed in phyllo dough, or on a beautiful cheese plate. This would also be delicious on a turkey sandwich. Wonderful crumbled in a salad with balsamic dressing.

Suggested Pairing: Lambic beer or fruit-based wines

 

Have a very “Cheesy” holiday season.

~ Bridget

 

I’d like to share a few Special Holiday Announcements- Tuesday, November 25, 2014

By the time you read this blog Thanksgiving will be at most one day away. As always it’s a crazy busy, yet crazy-wonderful time here at the store. We can’t tell you how great it is to see all of our faithful customers who have been supporting us for almost 90 years stop in to pick up their Thanksgiving turkey and fixings. In a way, we get to join hundreds of you at table each Thanksgiving as you bring home your entire family for a national day of Thanks.

As always, we will be closing our store for Thanksgiving Day in order to be able to share this special time with our own families.

Before the turkey and gravy have even cooled off, the rush is going to be on to jump from one holiday towards the next, Christmas. No doubt most all of you will be spending a good part of this coming weekend Christmas shopping in the stores or online. I realize that your local grocery store isn’t going to be at the top on your list of places to shop for Christmas Gifts, but let me share some ideas that just may fit the bill.

 

Prisco’s Family & Friends Cookbook


This past summer you may recall that we were collecting recipes from customers to add to our own list of often used family recipes. Well, we put them into a nice cookbook which just arrived this week from the publisher. We think that this is one cookbook you will want to have in your collection as it has over 300 recipes, all contributed by your friends and neighbors who live in your neighborhood and shop at Prisco’s Family Market, just like you.

Here’s a sampling of a few of the recipes you’ll get in the book:

  • Grandma Ruth’s German Potato Salad

  • Sesame-Ginger Asparagus

  • Aunt Jennie’s Short Ribs

  • Gramma Pigatti’s Stewed Conigilo

  • Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

  • And my own, Texas Style Brisket

The books will be featured from now through Christmas (or while supplies last) at $14.99 ea.

 

Craft Beer Gift Sets

Back by very popular demand we will once again be featuring an extensive collection of craft and imported beer gift sets. Next time you are in the store visit the display located at the front of the beer aisle (against the cold beer case). Andy has done a great job of putting together around two dozen great gift items starting at prices under $10. Sometimes we think Andy has just a bit too much fun selecting all the beer gift items, but oh well: Let’s just humor him and check out his stash.

 

Prisco Gift Cards

If you are having difficulty coming up with a Christmas gift idea for someone, here’s a thought…

There is one thing we all know that anyone can use and appreciate: Groceries! That’s right, think about gifting those hard-to-buy-for friends with a Prisco’s Family Market Gift Certificate.

 

Entertainment for the holiday season

Do you enjoy a good Christmas play or concert? Rob & I certainly do and here’s some great news, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy great Holiday Entertainment performed locally by the Fox Valley Orchestra.

Winter Song”

Saturday, December 13th at 7:30 pm at the Batavia Fine Arts Center (Details below)

and

Sunday, December 14th at 3:00 pm at Crimi Auditorium at Aurora University (Details Below)

Featuring:

Charles King, Chorus Master and Maura Brown, Violin

  • Humperdinck - Prelude to Hansel and Gretel

  • Hely-Hutchinson - Carol Symphony

  • Vivaldi - Winter from The Four Seasons

  • Anderson - Sleigh Ride

  • Mathias - Sir Christemas

  • Mendelssohn - Vom Himmel Hoch

  • Berlioz - The Shepherd's Farewell

  • Susa - A Christmas Garland

Online Ticket Pricing: http://www.foxvalleyorchestra.org/order.php

Regular: $13 Student/Senior: $11 Kids 8 and under: $8 Online Fees: $0.75 per ticket

Door Ticket Pricing:

Regular: $15 Student/Senior: $13 Kids 8 and under: $9

“Sing-Along Messiah”

Sunday, December 21st at 3:00 pm at the Batavia Fine Arts Center (Details below)

Fox Valley Orchestra & Chorus
Colin Holman, Conductor

Messiah Part 1 and Hallelujah Chorus

Bring your own Messiah score to sing along, or purchase one at the venue!

Online Ticket Pricing: http://www.foxvalleyorchestra.org/order.php

Ticket price - $9 (Available through Friday, 12/19)

Door Ticket Pricing:
$10

Venue locations

Batavia Fine Arts Center Crimi Auditorium at Aurora University
            1201 Main Street Batavia $07 S. Calumet Ave., Aurora


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Georgette Prisco

 

Brussels Sprouts – a little dynamo of a vegetable- Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Whenever I see Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and rutabaga, I think of Thanksgiving as these three vegetables have always been on our family's Thanksgiving dinner table.  Today let’s focus on Brussels Sprouts:

I am always amazed when I see a dinner guest pass by the sprouts in favor of the mash potatoes with gravy, stuffing , corn and green beans.  Most often when I ask if they wouldn’t like some sprouts they admit sheepishly that they have never eaten a Brussels sprout and don’t know if they would like them.  What a shame that they have been missing out on this little vegetable dynamo!

Brussels sprouts are related to other better-known vegetables in the Brassica genus like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.  They grow on long, curving stalks as small, tightly closed heads that resemble tiny cabbages.  The tops of the stalks have spreading leaves, making these impressive-looking plants when in the field.  Brussels sprouts grow best in cool, coastal regions, and are in season in the fall and winter.  They may be boiled, braised or steamed, or parboiled and then sautéed.

The "sprouts" (the aforementioned heads that resemble miniature cabbages) are produced in the leaf axils, starting at the base of the stem and working upward.  Sprouts improve in quality and grow best during cool or even lightly frosty weather.  Brussels sprouts require a long growing period, though newer hybrids have greatly reduced this requirement.  In all but the most northern states, summers are usually too warm for completely satisfactory production from spring plantings.  Plants set out in late spring to early summer grow well and produce high-quality sprouts when the fall weather begins to cool.

Nutritional & Health information
Brussels sprouts are a very good source of many essential vitamins, fiber, and folate.  They are especially high in Vitamin C.  They, along with their other cruciferous cousins, have been shown to have some very beneficial effects against certain types of cancer, as they contain many different ingredients that are believed to help prevent the disease.

Brussels sprouts can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you use a steaming method when cooking them.  The fiber-related components in Brussels sprouts do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed.  When this binding process takes place, it's easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels.  Raw Brussels sprouts still have cholesterol-lowering ability, just not as much as steamed Brussels sprouts.

 Here is a collection of Brussles Sprouts recipes. Enjoy!

 

Thanksgiving Checklist- Tuesday, November 18, 2014

If you will be entertaining the family for Thanksgiving try to stay cool and calm; be well organized and, most of all, don't forget it's your holiday, too, so enjoy the day. Here are some useful last minute ideas we found on Epicurious.com to help assure that things go smoothly:

Wednesday Before Thanksgiving: To make tomorrow manageable, do as much cooking as you can today.  Here's a list of ideas:

    * Defrost pie crusts and turkey stock.
    * Assemble and bake pies; store them at room temperature (unless they're custard-based, such as pumpkin pie, which should be refrigerated).
    * Prepare any side dishes, such as mashed potatoes, that can be made ahead and reheated in the microwave.
    * Clean and dry salad greens and store them in a resealable plastic bag.
    * Set the table, arrange chairs, set out flowers, candles, and any other decorations.

Thanksgiving Day: The big day! Here's a schedule to help you sail through with ease:

In the morning:

    * If stuffing your turkey, prepare the stuffing and fill the turkey.
    * Put the turkey in to roast.
    * Defrost breads and any other prepared items that have been frozen.
    * Chill white wine and beer.
    * Set up the bar for any other drinks you'll be making.

Midday:

    * While the turkey is roasting, complete all the other dishes. Let them stand at room temperature or, if ready more than one hour ahead, refrigerate.
    * Half an hour before dinnertime: When the turkey comes out, let it rest while you make the gravy and reheat the side dishes on the stove-top, in the oven, or in the microwave.
    * Dress the salad.
    * After the turkey has sat out of the oven for 20 minutes, carve the bird and serve the meal.


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Kitchen too small? … Time too short? We can help!- Tuesday, November 18, 2014

As soon as the last doorbell rang and the last small goblin headed home to count their Trick-or-Treat stash, the calendar seemed to take a huge leap forward and almost without warning the major entertaining holiday season is rapidly approaching. I’m not trying to raise your anxiety level-- quite the contrary. I hope to let you know that, as a loyal Prisco shopper, you are not alone and there are lots of things we are prepared to do to help make this Thanksgiving holiday a pleasant one to remember.

Here are some things for you to consider and we will step in to help along the way:

  1. The Turkey: The entire day revolves around the Thanksgiving meal and of course the central focus of the meal is your turkey. For most Americans, the turkey is a frozen bird that you will want to purchase about a week prior to the big day, stick it in the freezer and remember to take it out to thaw in plenty of time prior to Thursday morning. Things are a bit different for most of our customers, however. While we do offer frozen turkeys, capons, quail and ducks, the vast majority of our customers now purchase a fresh, non-basted Ho-Ka or other brand of turkey that needs no thaw time and has been proven to be, hands down, a flavor improvement over the frozen turkey. IMPORTANT DATE: Since these are fresh turkeys that are slaughtered and dressed just days before you cook them, we need accurate information for ordering purposes. If you want to be certain that you get the correct size turkey (allow 1 lb. per adult and 1/2 pound per child or senior) you should order your turkey ahead of time. It is best to do it on or before Thursday 11/20, but certainly no later than Saturday 11/22.

  2. Side Dishes: If everyone had enough kitchen, stove, refrigerator, freezer, and oven space to serve a Thanksgiving dinner every week of the year, America’s kitchens would be more than twice their actual size. If you find yourself too tight on space or too crunched on time you might like to let our deli kitchen serve as a back-up alternative. Look closely at this week’s ad and you will see that we can pre-make almost all of the sides everyone loves and serves for Thanksgiving, and that the price we charge for the convenience is well worth the cost. We have homemade mashed potatoes, our famous secret recipe turkey gravy, stuffing with our homemade sausage, homemade cranberry sauce, and many more tasty sidedishes ready to heat and serve.

  3. Party Platters: No matter the size of your guest list our pre-made party platters are always a big hit. We offer antipasto, sliced meat, cheese, vegetable, fruit, and shrimp trays to name a few, and almost all come in multiple sizes. Check the party tray offerings on our website by clicking here.

  1. Cheese, Wine & Beer Pairings: This year we added two things to make your holiday meal and entertainment even easier. One was to work with our vendors to put together delicious pairings for our wines, craft beers, and gourmet and specialty cheeses. These pairing charts, which you will find in our ad and posted in-store, take all the guess work out finding just the right cheese or beverage to serve before, with, or after your Thanksgiving dinner.

  1. Dessert: The other new addition to our Thanksgiving offering is our pre-Thanksgiving Pie Palooza event where we are selling over twenty varieties of delicious fruit-filled and seasonal pies, baked just for you. These pies are much more than you might expect because we searched far and wide to find the very best ingredients to use in making these especially hearty pies. Each one weights in over 2 lbs., and many are more than 40 oz. Our staff has been taken aback at just how delicious these fresh baked pes are, and have all said that this will be only the first of many more Prisco Pre-Thanksgiving Pie-Ploozas. You can see our complete line of pie offerings by clicking here.

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and if you have any questions give us a call at 630-264-9400 -- or just stop in the store.

 

~ Beth (Prisco) Guzauskus
   Director of Food Service

 

10 Ways to Keep Your Thanksgiving Stress-Free- Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hosting a big turkey dinner can be a challenge but, if you do it with love and ask for some help, it need not become a stress-filled event. The following tips -- put together by Editor Debra Steilen of Better Homes & Gardens -- will prove to be a big help in making Thanksgiving a pleasant family occasion for all your guests -- and for you, the host or hostess, as well.

1. Create a plan. Sit down and make a guest list. From the number of guests you invite you can plan a meal. The secret to a simple meal is planning ahead so everything doesn't demand your attention all at once.

2. Plan a potluck.
A potluck can be a great way to share the load, and with just a little planning you can avoid 15 green bean casseroles at your dinner table. Ensure menu variety and head off an all-deviled-egg buffet by assigning food categories to your guests. Don't be shy -- this eliminates the guesswork for them, too. Give non-cooks a chance to participate by including categories such as beverages, paper products, or decorating.

3. Shop early.
Prisco's Family Market will get busier closer to Turkey Day. Plan your main shopping trip a week in advance and follow up with a second trip a day or two before Thanksgiving to pick up things like produce and bakery goods. Ask your spouse or partner to help with the shopping; it’s always easier if you have help finding things, and an extra pair of hands makes putting the groceries away much less stressful.

4. Prepare as much as possible in advance.
There are plenty of side dishes, desserts, and breads that can be made ahead of time. For instance, measure seasonings and store them in labeled bags or containers; cut and store vegetables; and roast garlic a week in advance, then store the cloves in olive oil in the refrigerator. 


One thing that you should not do, however, is pre-stuff your turkey.  Harmful bacteria can multiply in the stuffing and cause food poisoning even when the stuffed bird is refrigerated. The cavity of the bird actually insulates the stuffing from the cold temperatures of the refrigerator and acts as an incubator for the harmful bacteria. 

The ingredients for the stuffing can be prepared in advance and refrigerated separately. To save time, chop vegetables such as onions and celery the night before. The safest method is to mix the ingredients and lightly stuff the turkey just prior to popping it into a preheated oven.

5. Remember: practice makes perfect.
If you're braving a new recipe or using ingredients that you aren't quite familiar with, try them out beforehand so you'll be primed for success on Thanksgiving Day.

6. Let your family help.
Have the whole family help clean house and put up decorations. Children will jump at the chance to make place cards, fold napkins, and dress up your holiday table. This will also keep them out of the kitchen while you attend to the food.

7. Use your microwave oven.
Take advantage of this appliance to reheat food before serving when all the burners on the stove-top are occupied.

8. Let the turkey rest before slicing.
To avoid a last-minute crunch and assure tender turkey, let the bird rest out of the oven, covered, for about 20 minutes before slicing.

9. Serve buffet-style.
Serving dinner buffet-style saves on both space and cleanup time. Also, with pretty serving bowls and silver utensils, guests can help themselves to seconds whenever they want.

10. Relax.
Remember that Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day full of family, relaxation, and reflection. Thanksgiving is a great time for families to gather and spend the day together sharing traditions, so don’t let the task of being the host or hostess overwhelm you and rob you of that joyous family experience.

 

Giving Thanks Sometimes Means Giving Back! - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Being in business for 88 years requires dedicated ownership, great employees, a wonderful product, a little bit of luck, and the support of the community. Indeed, Prisco’s Family Market has been blessed with all of these ingredients. Particularly at this time of year with the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, it’s good to take a break from the business of the season to pause and reflect on the roots of our success.

Our parents and grandparents before them instilled in all of us the importance of being involved in our community and staying close to our customers. This year as in the past, November and December are packed with projects where we will happily donate our time and treasure to our local community. We decided to step it up a notch this year and make a point of showing our sincere appreciation to the wonderful customers who support us week in and week out by driving past the giant corporate box stores and mega chains to shop at our store and support our independently owned family business. Please check this week’s ad and learn about our Thanksgiving Customer Appreciation Grocery Giveaway.

As for the community where we live and work, it has certainly sustained us over the years, and it is with a great deal of gratitude and humility that we acknowledge the fact we couldn’t have done it without you, our friends and neighbors! It has been and continues to be a wonderful relationship. But any lasting relationship is always a two way street; you support us, and we support you. Prisco’s Family Market has given back to Auroraland in a number of ways:

 

* Our charitable gift card program is a great way for churches, schools, and other not-for-profits to raise funds. We sell the organization Prisco’s gift cards at a very generous 5% discount which then can be resold to its members at face value. Many thousands of dollars have been raised by a number of organizations in this way.

* We also aid organizations in their fundraising efforts by donating beautiful custom made gift baskets for silent auctions and so forth.

* Prisco’s became a founding member of the Holiday Food Drive to aid the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry which is now in its 7th year. We sell premade bags of food to our customers and then send the bags to the Pantry for distribution to the needy in our community. Prisco’s subsidizes the cost of each bag. This is a terrific joint Prisco’s/Community project.

* We also run a Christmas Food Drive in conjunction with our friend and colleague Jerry Pigatti and his associates. Last year 350+ food boxes with the ingredients for a complete turkey dinner were distributed through our network of local churches and schools, all at no charge to the recipients. This drive is in its 21st year.

* Prisco’s donates unsellable produce, bakery, meat, and deli items twice per week to the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry to insure that no one in the community goes hungry and good food is not wasted. We recently accepted the Pantry’s Distinguished Service Award.

 

As you can see, giving back to the community is a priority with us here at Prisco’s.

From Our Family to Yours …… Happy Thanksgiving
 

Rob Prisco

 

Pomegranates: An ancient fruit, but the new Superfood- Wednesday, November 5, 2014

One of the oldest known fruits, found in writings and artifacts of many cultures and religions, the pomegranate (punica granatum) is an original native of modern day Iran. This nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered as a symbol of health and fertility for ages. However, while it has always been an important part of the Middle Eastern diet, until recently pomegranates were nothing more than a seasonal novelty in the U.S...

Generally speaking, the fruit is not as attractive to Americans as it is to folks in the Mid-East, Europe and the Far East, primarily because of its somewhat inconvenient abundance of seeds; preparing a pomegranate for consumption takes time and a bit of skill. However, now that medical studies have begun shedding some light on the health benefits of the pomegranate, thereby revealing it for the superfood it is, the fruit is finally gaining in popularity.

How to select

* For eating or juicing, select pomegranates by weight, not by color.
* The outside of a ripe pomegranate can vary from pink to a deep ruby red.
* The heavier pomegranates are, the more juice they contain.

The potent pomegranate

The pomegranate is a nutrient dense food source rich in phytochemical compounds. Pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants offering protection against heart disease and cancer. Pomegranate juice may help stop plaque formation in the blood vessels (an anti-atherogenic effect), and it also appears to suppress the growth of cancer cells and increase cancer cell death in lab testing, according to research from UCLA.

A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries. Pomegranates are also loaded with vitamins, potassium, folic acid and iron!

How to open a pomegranate

Step. 1 Cut
With a sharp paring knife, cut off the top about a half inch below the crown.

 






Step. 2 Score
Once the top has been removed, four to six sections of the pomegranate divided by the white membrane will be visible. With the knife’s point, score the skin along each section.


 

 

Step. 3 Open
Using both hands, carefully pull the pomegranate apart in a bowl of water, breaking it into smaller sections.

 





Step. 4 Loosen
Under water, loosen the arils and allow them to sink to the bottom of the bowl; the membrane will float to the top.



 


Step. 5 Scoop
Use a spoon to scoop out the pieces of white membrane that have floated to the top of the water.

 

 


Step. 6 Strain
Pour the arils and remaining liquid through a strainer.

 

 




Some great pomegranate recipes

Now that you are acquainted with the health benefits of the pomegranate and know how to extract the edible portion of the fruit, here are some delicious recipes for you to enjoy.

Chicken Enchiladas with Cream Sauce and Pomegranate

Pomegranate and Papaya Salad with Ginger Dressing

Pomegranate Jeweled Spinach Salad

Spicy Pomegranate Relish

Pomegranate-Marinated Rack Of Lamb

Pomegranate-Honey Roasted Game Hens

 

Let’s Talk Turkey!- Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Without a doubt the month of November is the busiest that our meat department gets every year, followed closely by December. It is so gratifying to realize that thousands of our customers come year after year to our store and order their fresh turkey and Christmas roasts. On behalf of the Prisco Family and our employees we would like to say “Thank you” for your ongoing support and we want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

That being said, I’d like to devote my Shout Out to passing on some helpful advice and perhaps answer questions about how to best prepare and enjoy the center of your holiday meal… The turkey.

Let me begin by going over the top 10 reasons why you should always purchase an all-natural Ho-Ka fresh, non-basted turkey from Prisco’s Family Market.

  1. These are locally grown turkeys raised on the Kaufmann Farm in Waterman, IL.

  2. The Kaufman Farm is a green farm. In addition to raising turkeys, the farm rotates crops of corn, soy beans and wheat. Turkey litter is the only fertilizer used on the corn which is grown to feed the turkeys. Turkeys range on freshly harvested wheat fields, which were no-till drilled into last year's soybean field.

  3. Ho-Ka turkeys are raised in a slower, gentler fashion in order to assure that each bird attains maximum tenderness, a denser meatiness and a richer favor.

  4. Ho-Ka turkeys are fed a balanced diet of animal protein and natural grain.

  5. Ho-Ka turkeys are younger and therefore more tender, dressed at 16 to 19 weeks.

  6. Our Ho-Ka turkeys are 100% natural with minimal processing and absolutely no additives.

  7. Prior to Thanksgiving they are raised free range on freshly harvested wheat fields

  8. Our Ho-Ka turkeys are comparable to or better tasting than those sold online or in specialty stores at more than twice the price per lb.

  9. Our fresh (never frozen) Ho-Ka turkeys retail for just $2.99 lb.

    ..... And the top reason to buy your fresh Ho-Ka turkey from Prisco’s Family Market is .....

  10. YOU ALWAYS GET IT EXACTLY YOUR WAY. Simply call us at (630) 264-9401. Tell us what size bird or birds you want, what extras you would like included, and when you want to pick it up. It’s that simple. All you need do then is invite the quests and write your shopping list for the fresh produce, deli trays, pies and wine and beer to get when you stop to pick up your delicious, fresh Ho-Ka Turkey.

What if you have questions?

Is this the first time you’ve cooked a turkey dinner? Perhaps not the first but it’s been a while and you don’t want to disappoint a house full of Thanksgiving quests? Not to worry, you’ve come to the right place. We have all your turkey questions answered and several you haven’t even thought of yet. Here are some examples of questions we get asked most often.

  1. Question: Can you really tell the difference between a fresh Ho-Ka turkey and the less expensive frozen alternative?

    Answer: Some people can’t but the vast majority can and that’s why hundreds of local area families return to Prisco’s every year to order their fresh turkey and holiday roasts.

  2. Question: Is there a difference in taste between the various brands of turkeys that you carry?

    Answer: While individual customers show a particular preference for one band over another our taste experts say it’s difficult to taste any clear difference because we carry only Grade “A” natural birds. We like to steer people who aren’t pre-set on a particular brand toward the locally grown, all natural fresh Ho-Ka brand because they offer the best opportunity to match the bird size with your particular needs.

  3. Question: Do you only sell fresh turkeys? What if I’d prefer a frozen turkey?

    Answer: No problem at all, we carry two of the most popular frozen turkeys in the market, Grade “A” Nobest and Butterball.

  4. Question: What size turkey should I order?

    Answer: To have plenty for everyone, figure one pound per average adult and about ½ a pound for seniors and children. This is one meal, however, where everyone wants some leftovers, so after counting heads and pounds add on five or six pounds for delicious leftovers and turkey sandwiches.

  5. Question: Do I need to get a hen?

    Answer: This is something that you may have heard from grandma or perhaps even Mom. Years ago when turkeys were raised totally free range the Toms (males) ran a lot, fought with each other and got lean and a bit tough. A Tom turkey was something to be avoided if possible. That’s not the case any longer: All the turkeys are raised humanely and are well cared for to assure that no matter the sex of the bird, you are getting a delicious natural meal.

  6. Question: Will my turkey keep fresh in my refrigerator?

    Answer: Yes it should keep fresh for a week if properly refrigerated. Just keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

 

  1. Question: What can I do to avoid hurt feelings when four kids want the two drum sticks?

    Answer: Easier than you may think. When you order your turkey ask for two extra turkey legs…no problem. Some customers who have an abundance of white meat lovers order an extra turkey breast rather than trying to fit two full turkeys in the oven.

  2. Question: What is the proper temperature for a roasted turkey?

    Answer: The white meat should be 160-165 degrees F. and the dark meat 170-175 degrees F. Most of the fresh turkeys come with a popup timer. The Ho-Ka and Butterball do not. Pop up timers are available for sale in the store. The frozen turkeys do come with timers. Of course the surest method is to use an instant read thermometer.

  3. Question: I have a small family and nobody likes dark meat. What do you suggest?

    Answer: Buy one of our exceptional boneless or bone-in breasts. Our meat cutters make them right here at the store in a variety of sizes. We are one of the few stores that offers a complete range of fresh turkey parts including breasts, drumsticks, thighs, wings, backs and necks for stock, and giblets. (Boy if they thought that they didn’t like dark meat wait till they try some turkey giblets.)

  4. Question: I’ve heard brining can make a turkey moister. What does that involve?

    Answer: Brining your turkey is a good way to add moisture and seasoning throughout the bird. It is generally worth the effort. The most basic way to brine a turkey (see The Joy of Cooking) is to add two pounds of salt to two gallons of water in a suitable container and, in a cool spot, submerge your turkey for 4-6 hours. At roasting time, remove from the solution, pat dry and cook according to instructions. Many times people like to add their own touches to the brining solution such as apple cider, or various spice combinations. Brining kits are available in the store.

 

Margaret’s 5 step process to carving a turkey

I’d like to close out this little epistle on turkeys by sharing my sure fire best way to carve your turkey

Take the turkey from the oven, place on a cutting board and remove the stuffing. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes before beginning.

  1. With a sharp carving knife, remove the legs by placing the knife in the seam where the thigh meets the breast. Slice through the meat slowly, pushing down on the leg until you reach the ball joint (where the thigh bone meets the pelvis). With the tip of the knife, cut through the joint, releasing the whole leg. Grasp the drumstick in one hand and with the knife, find the drumstick/thigh joint and separate the drumstick from the thigh. Repeat for the other side.

  2. Next grasp the wing and probe with the knife tip to find the joint where the wing attaches to the breast. Cut through the joint and remove the wing. Repeat for the other wing.

  3. You now have the whole breast with back portion attached. At this point the breast meat can be sliced “as is” or the breast meat can be removed from the carcass in halves and then placed on the cutting board for slicing.

  4. To remove the breast meat from the bone, score the breast down the middle along the keel (or breast bone) with the tip of the knife. Once the seam has been created insert the blade lengthwise and “scoop” along the breast bone. The breast half should literally fall away from the bone at this point. Repeat for the other half.

  5. You now have a disjointed turkey. The meat can now be sliced as you wish. The drumsticks, thighs, and wings can be served as-is, or the meat can be sliced off and the bones discarded. Slice the breast meat against the grain.

 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Margaret Prisco

 

The great fall harvest- Tuesday, October 28, 2014

This week at Prisco’s we are celebrating the Great Fall Harvest. Just head west of our store a few miles and once you cross Orchard Ave. the city melts away and is replaced by beautiful, open fields where local farmers are busy taking in their crops of corn and soy beans. Weather conditions this spring and summer made this one of the best crops we have seen in many years, and whenever we traveled along Prairie Street heading toward Sugar Grove this summer we were struck with a sense of awe at the tall, healthy crops on either side of the road.

When we think of fall, besides the beautiful changing of the leaves, the thought that next comes to mind are the fresh apples waiting to be picked and enjoyed. This is a great time to visit our store if you are an apple lover because we are featuring five of our most popular varieties of apples, all at a common and very affordable price of 99₵ lb.

Sure, they make great lunch box add-ins and after school snacks eaten raw, but we don’t want to forget some of the most loved foods that can be had using apples for cooking.

 

 

Fresh home made applesauce
Sure, you can buy applesauce in a jar and we sell lots every week at our store, but does anything in a jar come close to the taste of your own homemade apple sauce? Don’t fret, it’s a very simple recipe the kids or grandkids would love to help make. (A sure fire way to get them to eat it as well.)

Another apple favorite that is most definitely considered a stick-to-your-ribs comfort food has to be German Apple Pancakes. Once you start making this recipe in any kitchen the whole house smells of sweet cinnamon and sugar and you are guaranteed to get a long list of volunteers to help get breakfast cooked and on the table.

Of course, we would not be doing justice to fall harvest celebrations if we didn’t mention the one food that is synonymous with homemade American baking… Apple Pie

 

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