I’ve noticed a change in Porter’s Thriftway Grocery Store in Fort Davis that I think deserves some recognition.
I’m often at Porter’s every day, if not every other day. I’ve always liked buying my ingredients fresh, on the day I want to prepare them.
About a month ago, Fort Davis started carrying more options for organic, gluten-free and other higher quality foods that you usually only find at the health food and specialty markets or larger grocery chains.
I’ve recently brought home fresh portobello mushrooms, purple and green cauliflower, asparagus and artichokes… all beautiful produce that I was tickled to find in Fort Davis. We’ve eaten more artichokes since they hit the shelves a couple weeks ago than we’ve eaten the entire time we’ve lived in far West Texas. I’ve missed artichokes. I even made stuffed artichokes for the very first time, and they were so good.
If Porter’s wasn’t selling the artichokes for such a great price, I never would have bought so many of them, and I certainly wouldn’t have been inspired to make stuffed artichokes. But, they did and I did and the result was truly delicious.
The newly renovated herbs and spices section is what prompted this shout-out to my Fort Davis Porter’s. Standing in front of the jars of spices made just for Porter’s, I felt for a moment like I’d been transported to a larger grocery store’s seasonings section.
I know it sounds corny, but the new Porter’s brand spice section is absolutely dreamy to me. I could get lost reading the bottles of unique blends like “Thai Style” Candied Ginger Chili seasoning, Gourmet Olde Canadian Chicken rub (there’s a beef rub, too), Baja Fish Taco Seasoning, Sloppy Joe seasoning, picking spice and so much more.
I was powerless against the Candied Ginger-Chili seasoning when I first saw it, and I’ve used it a number of times on different meats, including the Texas Gulf Shrimp I buy from the freezer section. It had me at “Thai Style,” and it kept me with its intense flavor of sweet and spicy.
Yep, I found my bliss on Aisle 3 at Porter’s, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it.
The variety and assortment of herbs and spices, spice blends, salts, peppers, dried vegetables and rubs that is now available makes me want to have a spice closet rather than a spice cabinet, and get at least one of each item offered.
Most of the spices are priced from $3.99 to $7.99, and that might seem a bit pricey for spices. It’s actually economical because the bottles hold about four times as much as a regular little jar of seasoning that might cost just a tad less on the shelf, or a packet of spice mix. The really neat thing about the new Porter’s spices is that the bottles have the price-per-pound printed on the side, so you can compare it to buying in bulk. They also specify if they are gluten-free, and many are Made in America.
While I’ve been using the Porter’s cumin, gourmet curry powder, dried cilantro, dried minced California onions and a few others for a while now, I’m seriously very excited about this upgrade and am looking forward to clearing out a shelf in the pantry for more Porter’s herbs and spices.
I recently picked up a bottle of the black sesame seeds, and can’t wait to throw them into the next thing that needs the seeds.
I never thought that I’d want to prepare meals based on the seasonings available, but the selection and quality of the Porter’s brand herbs and spices have done it for me. Thank you for the new inspiration, Porter’s Thriftway.
4 large artichokes
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups soft Italian bread crumbs, toasted
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
¼ cup dried parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Using a sharp knife, level the bottom of each artichoke and cut 1 inch from the tops. Using kitchen scissors, snip off tips of outer leaves; brush cut edges with lemon juice. Stand artichokes in a Dutch oven; add 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until leaves near the center pull out easily.
Invert artichokes to drain; let stand for 10 minutes. With a spoon, carefully scrape out the fuzzy center portions of artichokes and discard.
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, garlic, Italian seasoning, lemon peel, pepper and salt. Add olive oil; mix well. Gently spread artichoke leaves apart; fill with bread crumb mixture.
Place in an 11×7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until filling is lightly browned.