"Tis the Season for Pumpkin
Our favorite winter squashes are everywhere. And, Thanksgiving is a great time to showcase this versatile and flavorful family of veggies. We all know about the sweet side of pumpkin, but winter squash blends beautifully in savory dishes, too. It combines well with buttery, cheesy flavors and also with curries and spices.
This issue is filled with recipes to help expand your repertoire of pumpkin (and squash) dishes as well as introduce some great products where pumpkin is a primary ingredient.
Maybe some of these ideas will end up on your Thanksgiving table? And, certainly there is opportunity to enjoy them over the holiday weekend and throughout the season.
Roasted Pumpkin & White Cheddar Tamales
are some of our favorites. We love the tamales that owner Karen Taylor has been hand-crafting in Sonoma for more than 28 years.
Dave's Gourmet Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce is made from squash ripened in Oregon's Willamette Valley. It is paired with fresh garlic, onions, and roasted red peppers for a hearty and delicious flavor. For pasta and ravioli, grilled pork chops, or pizza
Piedmont's Own Pistachio Pumpkin Bisque is A satisfyingly spiced blend of pumpkin purée, heavy cream, and ginger. Made right here at Piedmont Grocery.
Three Bridges Butternut Squash Ravioli is a savory blend of butternut squash and sweet potato with three cheeses—Ricotta, Parmesan, and Cream Cheese. Local & delicious!
Pumpkin Ice Cream
is a seasonal treat! From an iconic, local ice cream parlor that goes way back in Bay Area memory.
Piedmont Grocery's Own Pumpkin Cheese Cake is an alternative to (or in addition to?) pumpkin pie on your holiday table. Made right here at the store.
Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter delivers the essence of fall with a sweet mixture of maple and pumpkin. It's great on its own or used as a recipe ingredient. Add it to pumpkin soup or enjoy it spread on muffins, waffles, or toast.
J.S. Skinner Pumpkin Spice Autumn Danish made with over 100 layers of Danish and real pumpkin filling. Grab a package of this limited edition seasonal pastry while you can.
Caspari Thanksgiving Harvest Paper Napkins and Plates add that finishing touch to your Thanksgiving table. They are both strikingly designed and durable as well as biodegradable and compostable.
A Staff Favorite
The delicata is an oblong pale-yellow, winter squash with spruce green stripes that can be quite small to medium-sized. Because of their size, a stuffed, half squash makes a perfect serving size when cut lengthwise like little canoes. The flavor is rich when baked or roasted with a light texture and lightly-sweet, yellow pulp. The skin is tender enough to eat once it is cooked.
Delicata Squash is an heirloom winter squash that was first introduced in 1894 and was quite popular in the 1920s. It has made a comeback in recent years and is available in many grocery stores.
How to select delicata squash
Delicata squash should have solid, blemish-free skin. The skin should be a creamy yellow color with bright green and sometimes orange stripes.
How to store delicata squash
Because of their delicate, thin skin, delicata squash is not a great candidate for long-term storage like other varieties of winter squash. Store the squash in a cool, dark place, but plan on using it within a few weeks. Once cut, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days.
From our blog, The Kitchen Table
I don’t know about you, but for me, the hardest thing to around Thanksgiving is to figure out what to eat. I know that sounds strange…but let me explain. This time of year I spend a lot of time looking at seasonal and Thanksgiving-related recipes and talking about new possibilities. As you might expect the seasonal recipes are dishes that could easily be appropriate for the Thanksgiving table. So, it can be difficult to try recipes for Thanksgiving without getting Turkey Day burnout. Obviously, I am not cooking a turkey every night but the side dishes are a different story.
Of all the holidays we celebrate during the year, Thanksgiving, for the majority of my immediate family, is the favorite. (I’m still a Christmas hold out.) So, while I am trying out new recipes, I have to make sure I don’t wreck the anticipation for the big day. If you’re eating sweet potatoes and stuffing for the days leading up to the meal you could see why excitement for the main event could wane. This is why, while I’m looking for new stuff, I am also on the lookout for different things to do with the same ingredients. Pumpkins are a perfect example.
Pumpkins can be used for more than just pies. They can be filled with cheese and other buttery goodness and roasted. They can be tossed into fresh pasta or spicy curries. Pumpkins are the taste of fall but, during the month of November, I look outside the traditional flavors and look towards other cuisines where pumpkins are year-round—which, for me, means North Africa.
It is no secret that I love Moroccan food and, thankfully, Morocco loves their pumpkins and squashes. If you find yourself with a leftover Cinderella pumpkin from Halloween or if you just can’t bring yourself to make a pie yet, give this recipe a try for a little something different.
News & Events
We have extended our hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 26th and 27th—we will be open from 8 AM to 8 PM so everyone will have time to shop.
We close the store on Thanksgiving so that our employees can celebrate the holiday with loved ones. Please be certain to stop by and gather everything you need to prepare your holiday celebration!
We re-open on Friday, November 29th for our regular hours, from 9 AM to 8 PM.
And, if you are planning a holiday party, be certain to check out our extensive
Party Catering Menu
. We’ve got everything you need to make it a success!
Call (510) 653-8181
We hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!
A Cookbook Recommendation
by DeeDee Stovel
From Currant-Pumpkin-Oat Scones to Chicken-Pumpkin Tacos, Pumpkin-Filled Ravioli with Fried Sage, Ginger-Pumpkin Ice Cream, and of course (seven!) pies, this comprehensive cookbook reminds us that the iconic symbol of fall is so much more than jack-o’-lantern material.
These 139 recipes offer diverse and delicious options for enjoying pumpkin and other winter squash, such as butternut, acorn, and kabocha, year-round.
With recipes for many forms of pumpkin, including both fresh and canned pumpkin puree, and inspired by world cuisines, the versatility of this superfood shines through in snacks, drinks, salads, soups, main dishes, and desserts.
From our blog, The Kitchen Table
Thanksgiving can be stressful. That is no great revelation. The stress can come from many sources. For some, it’s having their entire family under one roof and the tension that can cause. For others, it can be the actual meal preparation. I’ve had numerous conversations over the years about what stresses people out about the Thanksgiving meal. For some, it’s the cooking of the turkey. For others, it’s having enough drippings for a really tasty gravy. But, without a doubt, the thing that causes the most stress, at least according to the people I have spoken to, is the pie crust.
I can’t really speak for other families, but in mine, the pie course of the Thanksgiving meal is extremely important so when the pie crust doesn’t work it’s a problem. Last year my daughter and I were responsible for the making of the pies and because I didn’t want to ruin Thanksgiving, I did a lot of research on pie crust. I tried A LOT of them. I basically landed on two that I thought were the best. One is a traditional half butter and half shortening pie crust. This is the pie crust I use year-round for everything from sweet pies to pot pies.
The other is a crust that uses a technique I had never heard of before that comes from Japanese bread baking that uses a cornstarch “gel” as the moisture for the pie crust. I was intrigued to say the least. The recipe was created by Christopher Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen fame but can be found along with a video on the Williams Sonoma website and on YouTube.
I used this crust for my pecan pies last year and the results were amazing! It’s very easy to work with and rolls out beautifully. The crust was flaky and tender but held up well to the filling. I have yet to try it on a two-crust pie, like apple. My sense is that it might be too “short” for that kind of pie but you never know.
If you are in charge of the pies this year and have some time this weekend to experiment, give this crust a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
From our blog, The Cocktail Post
What are you drinking for Thanksgiving?
The wine you serve with your Thanksgiving meal is rather important! And, it can be easy to overlook the decision or wait till the last minute to choose what you will serve.
We asked our experts in our Wine & Spirits department and they came up with a list of recommendations. We hope this makes your planning a bit easier!
Campuget Rose $9.99
The Rosé has a nice appearance with a light and fresh pink color. This particularly fruity taste of raspberries and strawberries, typical of the Campuget style, has a good and refreshing acidity.
Horse & Plow Rose $14.99
A dry rosé of Carignane from some of the oldest, organic vineyards in the State. This rosé tastes of strawberry and rhubarb, with great acidity.
Raeburn Chardonnay $15.99
Raeburn Chardonnay shows an array of complex fruit tones ranging from pear and Gravenstein apple to nectarine. The fruit is beautifully complemented with toasted oak, vanilla, and hints of Creme Brulée with a balanced and elegant finish.
Mt Eden Chardonnay $15.99
The full-bodied Chardonnay displays fine underlying acidity and a long finish. Hints of cardamom, anise, and hazelnut add interest to the core lemon, mineral flavors.
La Crema Sonoma Chardonnay $19.99
This Chardonnay bursts with enticing aromas of citrus, floral notes, butterscotch, lemon peel, and a slight spicy quality. In the mouth, flavors of citrus, pear, and honeysuckle combine with subtle toast and caramel.
La Crema Sonoma Pinot Noir $23.99
Aromas of ripe cherry, cocoa, anise, and rich baking spices. Plush flavors of cherry, plum and pomegranate meld with hints of delicate tea leaf. Structured, balanced acidity and elegant, firm tannins round out the mouth.
Tilth Pinot Noir $29.99
Rich and red-fruity, this Pinot Noir is packed with huckleberry and boysenberry accents, exotic spice, and dried strawberry.
Falcone Cabernet Sauvignon $39.99
This Cabernet Sauvignon shows great depth and structure. The warm weather intensified color and tannin in grapes, resulting in purple hues and a rich texture of velvety tannin in the finish. There are aromas of cherry, blackberry, anise, cocoa and wood smoke, which continue on the palate with the flavor of black cherry.
News & Events
It can feel wonderful to put aside contemporary holiday stress, suspend disbelief, and step into Christmas Past. Here are a few suggested Bay Area holiday shows where you can visit a simpler time.
Christmas at Ardenwood
A Victorian-style holiday! Visit the beautifully decorated Patterson House, sing Christmas carols and visit Father Christmas. Enjoy live musical performances and much more.
Friday, December 8th from 5:30 to 8:30 PM
Great Dickens Christmas Fair &
Victorian Holiday Party
The bustling streets of London, immortalized for all time by the mighty pen of Charles Dickens, form the living backdrop of your excursion into Christmas Past. You are a living part of a Victorian Christmas card come to life!
November 23rd to December 22nd from 10 AM to 7 PM.
The Christmas Revels
A Solstice Journey Through Time
It is the turning of the year, and the spirits of Solstice revelers, driven from their customary haunts, are coming together. They summon the Revels family to sing the glorious music of many ages and myriad places. They enact familiar customs, dances and joyful festivities drawn from the many decades of Revels celebration.
Eight performances from December 13th through the 22nd
ACT's A Christmas Carol
Featuring a lively cast of dozens, gorgeous costumes, and those deliciously spooky ghosts, the Bay Area's favorite holiday tradition returns with a sparkling, music-infused production of A Christmas Carol. Bring your family, bring your friends, and check your "humbugs" at the door!
November 29th through December 24th
A Staff Favorite
Some of the best Thanksgiving cranberry we've tasted!
If you are not going to make cranberries from scratch, we highly recommend reaching for Stonewall Kitchen New England Cranberry Relish. It has a perfect balance of tart and sweet, falling on the side of savory compared to many supermarket brands.
Both sweet and tart, Stonewall Kitchens combines cranberries with zesty orange for a unique spread. It's delicious as a side for Turkey on Thanksgiving and fantastic in sandwiches the next day. You can also use it to flavor your stuffing (and there is a great recipe on the
Stonewall Kitchen website
From our blog, The Kitchen Table
Truth be told, I am a Thanksgiving freeloader which means I do not usually host Thanksgiving. However, since food is my job, I have been thumbing through numerous magazines and cookbooks looking for interesting recipes for the big day and I have found a few that are intriguing enough that I gave them a try.
Most people are pretty traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving and are resistant to change, myself included. I have been known to pout like a child if certain things are missing. However, if the usual required dishes adorn the Thanksgiving table alongside a few new introductions I can be talked off the ledge. The bonus is sometimes you run across a recipe that works in everyday life and not just for special occasions. The recipe below falls into that category.
I have always loved the nutty flavor of farro. The fact that it is easy to prepare is a bonus. Farro is the perfect fall side dish. Whether it’s plain with a little butter or dressed up with garlic and onions it can be a welcome change from the usual when served beside your favorite roasted meats. In this case, the addition of cranberries and pecans just screams turkeys and pilgrims. Ergo, it would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving feast.
You don’t have to wait for Turkey Day, though. I made this the other night and served it alongside some pan-fried pork chops and it was delicious...
Pumpkin (and Squash) Recipes From Our Archives
From our blog, The Kitchen Table
Here is a great collection of recipes featuring pumpkin and winter squash. We've got both savory and sweet dishes as well as yummy breakfast items.
By far a most favorite thing to do with one of these beautiful pumpkins is to stuff it full of bread and cheese and heavy cream and bake it. No, it’s not something you should eat every day, but it is a super yummy way to use the beautiful pumpkins you see appearing in the store and at the farmer’s markets for something other than decoration.
This is part of our wonderful Halloween tradition of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Pumpkin Soup. It’s a favorite no matter who’s knocking on the door—and there’s no better way to get ready for Trick or Treating.
An all-time top autumn dish. We prefer to use the pecans rather than the pumpkin seeds to make it taste more like fall.
This curry recipe is heavy on the pumpkin. Not just a little thrown in, here’s some big-time pumpkin flavor. It’s all about the orange, baby.
In this recipe, the tender, nutty farro is accented by the sweetness of squash, fresh herbs, and some ever-delicious crispy bacon. Fresh-grated Parmesan completes the flavors.
This is a typical Italian fall dish: one you will see often grace our autumn table. It’s easy to make, and oh so satisfying.
This recipe takes a little more work than your average pasta dish. It’s a great representation of the flavors of the season. If you do not have a pasta machine it is just as easy to roll it out with a rolling pin.
Growing up, my mother always made this for Thanksgiving. It's basically a lighter fluffier version of pumpkin pie. And, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without it.
If you want to make a truly fabulous dessert, it is well worth the extra steps to make this one. It starts with baking your own pumpkin bread for optimal freshness. And, that is a step you could do a day in advance.
Whoopie Pies, I have been told, are an East Coast thing. The traditional version features a chocolatey cakey cookie that is filled with vanilla-flavored cream. Kinda like a giant, soft Oreo. This recipe has pumpkin cakes with a cream cheese filling.
Breakfast & Brunch
The turmeric gives these muffins a deep orange color. Browning the butter beforehand provides a vaguely nutty, deeply caramelized flavor that makes for a delicious muffin. For a gluten-free version of this recipe, just substitute the flour with an equal amount of Cup4Cup Multipurpose Flour.
This recipe for Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffins is from my King Arthur Flour newsletter and is a perfect way to soothe any pumpkin addiction as well as a craving of equal intensity…
I have included the ingredients for my cream cheese frosting in case you wanna go crazy-decadent.
From our blog, The Cocktail Post
A perfect fall drink.
This is a delicious twist on a classic mule. And it's great for Thanksgiving holiday entertaining. It is easy to prepare and (if you've got one) a copper mug makes a great presentation.
From our blog, The Butcher's Block
Thanksgiving means turkey.
But, what do you do if you or someone in your family doesn’t like turkey? There are any number of possible replacements for a roast turkey. Plenty of people cook a ham or roast some beef along with their turkey. A large number of us in the Bay Area have Dungeness Crab with our turkey, assuming it’s available. You could still go with something from the poultry family just a bit more exotic.
What about roasting a goose for Thanksgiving?
Geese, much like duck, have a large amount of fat on them which must be rendered out during cooking to make them edible. It is the fat content that makes the goose meat rich and flavorful but also a dish more suitable for holiday celebrations. Also, like duck, goose is a red meat. This means that the breasts are traditionally cooked until medium-rare, unlike turkey which needs to be cooked through and may lead to dry meat. Even better, the fat can be saved and used in other dishes like roasted potatoes.
Most butcher shops carry geese on a year-round basis. But, they will almost always only be available frozen—which is something to consider when deciding on cooking a goose. You can defrost it in the refrigerator or by using cold, running water.
When deciding what size goose to get you should allow for 1-1/2 to 2 pounds per person (unless you have big eaters). An 8-pound goose will serve 4 to 5 while a 12-pound goose should feed 6 to 8. You can always get two smaller geese and roast them together.
There are a number of ways to prepare goose for dinner. It can be roasted whole in a low oven over a long time. This produces a goose that is crisp and crackling-like and the legs become melt-in-your-mouth tender. But roasting the goose whole can also run the risk of over-cooked breast meat. Another approach would be to cook the different parts of the goose separately by roasting the legs and thighs slowly in the oven and sautéing the breasts quickly on the stove. The presentation of a whole bird may be lost but the meat itself will be perfectly cooked. Goose can also be wonderful when braised but again, if you’re going for the wow factor of bringing a goose to the table, this may not be your best option.
There are numerous recipes available on the internet for you to try if you decide to go with goose this Thanksgiving. All of them require rendering out the fat in some way shape or form. One of our favorites is this one adapted from Food & Wine Magazine…
Vendor of the Month
Tickle your tastebuds
We all know that Martinelli's is great for celebrations. That's why it practically flies off our shelves around the holidays. But, did you know Martinelli's juice is made locally?
Since 1868, S. Martinelli & Co has been producing delicious apple juice and sparkling ciders. They are located in Watsonville, just inland from the Monterey Bay. And, they have won more than fifty gold medals for excellence at state, national, and international expositions.
The Martinelli’s Gold Medal® process uses a blend of United States-grown, fresh apples of the finest varieties—including the flavorful Newtown Pippin, which helps to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness with no concentrates or chemical additives.
Here are the varieties of Martinelli's Sparkling Ciders that we carry in the store. Pick up a few flavors for your next celebratory meal:
Cold-pressed from fresh apples with just the right amount of bubbles and no chemical preservatives, it’s a delicious way to celebrate any occasion.
Like biting into a ripe peach on a hot summer day. This carbonated juice is cold-pressed from fresh apples and blended with refreshing peach juice.
Less tart than our cranberry blend, our non-alcoholic Sparkling Apple-Pomegranate, features California grown “Wonderful” variety pomegranate juice with 100% carbonated apple juice cold-pressed from fresh apples.
Celebrate the rich sweetness of Concord grape juice blended with premium 100% carbonated apple juice from fresh apples.
Seven Days a Week
9 AM to 8 PM
9 AM to 7 PM
4038 Piedmont Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611
Visit our recipe blog to learn what Amy, our VP and resident foodie, is cooking up in her home kitchen.