I've been collecting seashells for as long as I can remember. From east to west, coast to coast, and shore to shore, I always find a treasure to keep, and adore.

Monday, October 1, 2012

An Evening with Ocean Spray

I have been waiting all weekend to share my news. Friday evening I had the experience of a lifetime! Had I known it was possible, it would have been on my bucket list.

I was invited to attend a cocktail party at Disney's Epcot® for Ocean Spray®! Yes, THAT Ocean Spray®! Cocktails and food were served made with cranberries, and Craisins® . The highlight of the evening was the opportunity to put on waders, and get IN the cranberry bog!

Ocean Spray® cranberries are grown by 700 families. Four of the growers were at the party, and my hubby talked to one of them. He said that they have one person who checks the crops to determine when the berries are ready for harvest, and they go by color. When this guy says GO the harvest is on.

The harvest takes place from around mid September through mid November. Millions of pounds of cranberries are harvested! Cranberries are grown in sandy, and marshy acidic soil, usually near wetlands, on vines.

When it's harvest time, the bog is flooded with about 18 inches of water the night before. This is called Wet Harvesting. Cranberries have a little pocket of air in them that causes them to float to the surface. These are the berries that become your favorite Ocean Spray® products.
Cranberries in the produce section are harvested by the dry method. This is the best way to get the freshest berries. A mechanical picker combs the berries from the vines, and sends them to burlap bags at the back of the machine.

Here's a few more photos from the evening:

They also set up tables for us to have hors d' ouvres in the bog!

You know how much I love cranberries,  cause I mentioned it last year here. I made cranberry cheesecake bars 6 times last fall! I buy cranberries and Craisins® year round. I just love them! I discovered a new little appetizer last year. You can use meatballs, or mini cocktail wieners, and it has cranberry sauce in it. I like them just as much as the original version that has grape jelly in it. MMMM!

In the early 90's when I first discovered Craisins, I adapted an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe, changing it up quite a bit. I omitted the chocolate chips, substituted Craisins, added coconut, and pecans. These are still my kids (and mine and hubby's too) favorite cookies! They are soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and we even like them crumbled in milk like a granola cereal. I can make a HUGE batch of these cookies, and they last no time at all. My family has been asking for some!

Craisins now come in a 50% less sugar version. I was given a bag to try in the 'swag bags' that were for the guests to take.

Larry Martin Vice President of Global Marketing for Ocean Spray

I tried to get everyone's name, but couldn't quite catch them all....

But, it was a wonderful experience that I will never forget! A special thank you to Ocean Spray®, and Disney/Epcot® for making this experience possible!

Hubby and I want to get back down to Epcot to enjoy a full day of the Food & Wine Festival. We sure did enjoy it last year! My October schedule is pretty full already, so maybe in November before it's over. 

I learned how to make the registered trademark in html just for this post! Who knew it was so easy?!

I'll see you tomorrow with another cool thing I attended during the weekend :)


Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Wow- what a great experience and good for you to get picked for this. I hope they ask you to do some more promotion for them. You look cute in your waders too!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What an amazing event! I'm so glad you got to go and you and hubby really looked 'smashing' in your bog waders! I love those pretty flower shaped goodies. And I'll look for those Craisins with less sugar! Put it on your list...so that you can mark it off! heehee! Enjoy your day!

Migrainista said...

Wading in the cranberries sounds like a lot of fun - glad you enjoyed yourselves! May your body cooperate with all your fun October plans.

The Beaded Pillow said...

Way cool, Della - you lucky girl! How fun!!! My expectations have just risen for the next time I visit. LOL

PS: Matt LOVED the gator!

Cheryl said...

WOW! I went to a farm in Massachusetts a few years back but they used dry harvesting, so I didn't get to see any "floats" but this farm had helicopters come pickup the crates at the end of the day. It's so fun to go to a bog!
Those hors d'oeuvres in your pics look awesome!

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