While no one mourns the end of summer more than I do, September brings an entirely different season at Sahadi’s. Gone are the lazy days of summer, September’s customers are all about back to school and back to work! When my children were small that meant: pepperoni bites, fruit rolls, baby mozzarella balls and sweet Turkish Apricots. While those are still family favorites, my youngest is now a senior in college and her tastes and needs have changed. Growing up in a house with both parents in the specialty food world helped shape both of my children’s palates. Dorm food wasn’t exactly what they were used to, so we all learned some new tricks.
My daughter now regularly requests spice blends in order to make quick wholesome dinners. Shake a little Chicken Kabob Seasoning on a couple cutlets & throw them in a pan — it tastes great and is so simple! Greek Seasoning added to a little olive oil makes any salad fabulous and fast. She’s also a fan of Sun Lion Harissa sauce. It makes plain grilled chicken totally delicious — not to mention what it does for egg whites, another weekly favorite of hers!
Side dishes were another weekly phone call until she rediscovered couscous and quinoa. Both are fast, easy, versatile, and delicious. Served cold as a salad with fresh vegetables, or hot with sautéed veg, they always satisfy. By her Sophomore year, the questions were less about how to cook it and more about which new seasonings to use to vary flavor, or what sauces complemented each dish.
My son is the hot sauce king! Throughout college and now Law School, hot sauces were always a major food group for him. He has tried them all — and has been the store’s resident hot sauce taste-tester. Chicken, pasta, meat and vegetables, they all got the hot sauce treatment. He has become a true connoisseur, and his favorites include Queen Majesty sauces. The unique flavors are matched by the stunning label design. You know we couldn’t talk about college without bringing up coffee! Both kids regularly call home for their favorite roasts (yes, I will fulfill special orders for my offspring).
Nuts also turned out to be a lifesaver during tough weeks when they couldn’t get to the cafeteria and had not time to cook.Packed with flavor, protein, tons of nutrients and healthy fats, they kept them full and satisfied until the next meal. My kids would pack in snack baggies for long days away from their living spaces. I’ll take some credit for that healthy habit.
The best part of college cuisine though was and is the college care packages! These delicious and fun foods are hand-packed into a tote bag that I send to my kids and many other friends to arrive during midterms week when they need a little pick-me-up. Freshman year I sent the package to arrive the second week of school in case she was feeling homesick (she wasn’t homesick, but was still thrilled). Everyone loves to receive real mail, and it’s extra special when it’s something delicious. Ship yourself or a friend a favorite back to school (or back to work) snack today! We guarantee it’ll make you smile.