A fresh food box of fruit from Loffredo Fresh Foods, packed for pickup the day after you order.
By Wini Moranville
As I write this, it has been 14 days since I’ve been inside a grocery store or any other building with people I don’t live with. As we all continue to take social distancing seriously, I’ll share a few sites and tips that can enhance home cooking and home life in general.
• Whole Foods Delivery versus Hy-Vee Aisles Online: I tried Whole Foods delivery, but after spending considerable time filling up my online cart, when I went to check out, there were no available times, at all. I was invited to continue checking back for an open time slot, but that didn’t sound promising. I switched to Hy-Vee’s pickup service, and I appreciate the way you can choose a pickup window once you have one item in your cart —and well before you spend any more precious time shopping. Last Wednesday, I snagged a slot for Friday—so do plan ahead.
• Loffredo Fresh Foods: This wholesaler’s Public Purchase Program offers “value boxes” of produce you can pick up at their warehouse (4001 S.W. 63rd St.) on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. You need to order by 5 p.m. the previous day. Choose either a box of fruit (11 different kinds, including a pineapple, kiwis, citrus and more) or a box of vegetables (10 different veggies, including broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini and more). Each big box costs $25.
• Craft Beer Pickup and/or Delivery: If you live within a 5-mile radius of Exile Brewing, they’ll deliver craft beers by the case. If you’re out of that range, you can order six- and 12-packs to be picked up curbside at the brewery.
• A Bonanza of Locally Grown/Locally Produced Goods: This is brilliant! Peacetree Brewing is already a pickup spot for Blue Gate Farms vegetables and eggs, and now products from Ebersole Meats and Lost Lake Farms can be picked up there, too. The next available pickup is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28—subscribe to the mailing list to keep up on what’s being offered. Until then, you can order Peace Tree Beers for curbside pickup Wednesday through Saturday.
• Free Online Cooking-With-Kids Classes: What a great time to teach kids some cooking skills. Sue Honkamp, who usually teaches in-person classes for youngsters, is now offering a series of six kid-friendly lessons complete with a recipe and kid-led video. Sign up for these videos on the Real Cooking 4 Kids website.
And finally, as we continue to keep the beleaguered restaurant industry in mind, here are two resources to consider: USA Today has a list of Des Moines restaurants (and other businesses) that offer gift certificates you can buy online now (to help keep a restaurant afloat) and use later.And the Iowa Restaurant Association has created an Employee Relief Fund. Any size contribution is welcomed, and a tax-deductible donation letter will be provided for all donations.