Don’t forget that special ingredient

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, November 23, 2016

In the next 24 hours many family cooks will be preparing to create their holiday meal.
As they pull out recipes, set out the plates and gather ingredients some may discover a few vital items were forgotten on the last shopping trip, but grocery stores will accommodate the last-minute shoppers by being open for a few hours on the day set aside for food and family.
The number one item Marcus Tucker, store director at Corner Market, said he has seen people rush in for at the last minute is seasoning. It is common, he said, for people to be so focused on buying the main items like green beans and sweet potatoes that they forget to pick up the ground cinnamon and nutmeg.
“It’s the spices a lot of them tend to forget or the pie shells, evaporated milk, things in that category,” he said.
People often think they have those smaller items in their pantry already when they don’t or there isn’t enough left for the recipe.
Cynthia Morgan, owner of Piggly Wiggly, said she has seen last-minute customers purchasing mostly butter and rolls.
“Things that you don’t necessarily associate with Thanksgiving as much,” she said. “You try to get all the pumpkins and sweet potatoes, but then you forget the basic necessities.”.
Her husband, James, said customers often buy celery, green onions, bell peppers or pickle relish on Thanksgiving Day to make dressing or potato salad.
“They just didn’t pick up enough (the first time),” he said. “They’ll already have their potatoes, turkey and ham.”
The only item their store ran out of last year was mustard greens so Cynthia made sure to order more this year.
“You always order extra because then you’re ready for the holidays because Christmas is going to be right around the corner,” she said.
The grocers make sure to stock up on those traditional Thanksgiving meal items by doubling and even tripling orders.
“We make a list and check in twice like Santa does,” James said.
Tucker said it isn’t possible to order too much because, like Cynthia said, the same items will still be in demand for Christmas meals.
“There is no reason for us to run out of any items for Thanksgiving because we have Christmas to still sell items. So we try our best to make sure that we do not disappoint the customers by running out of anything,” Tucker said.
He said the only time his store ever runs out of items is when it isn’t available in the warehouse.
When that happens, Tucker said, employees travel to other Corner Market stores to share products.
“We have a team on the road going from store to store that will bring products to the store that may be running shorthanded,” he said.
One item that is hard to forget is the turkey. Tucker doesn’t recommend waiting too late to buy the Thanksgiving meal staple because it takes time to thaw a frozen turkey.
“The turkeys move so fast in the store, and they come in frozen. (Customers) don’t have time to thaw them out when they wait to the last minute so they do try to get that before the last minute,” Tucker said.
Cynthia said a couple days before Thanksgiving her store will move turkeys from the freezer to the counter so customers are able to purchase them at the last minute without having to worry about completely defrosting them.

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