March 31, 2020
Feed Your People🍴
Our little market has been hopping because it seems we are all spending more time in the kitchen feeding our people. And from what we are told, our customers are cooking more, baking more, and taking more time to appreciate good food. A positive aspect of this shelter-in-place order has been a renewed sense of culinary creativity and connection with the people we share our homes with. So, this newsletter is packed with recipes for your continued inspiration. 

However, it does seem since we are cooking so much these past few weeks that it can be hard to keep up a spirit of invention. Sure, it is great to cook from scratch…but every meal?

One solution is to add flavor to your plate through special spice blends, simmer sauces, and rubs. We have compiled is a list of products that come with so much delicious flavor that your meals will be exciting while your cooking tasks are simplified. Plus, these kitchen shortcuts represent flavors from around the world.
Sausages are an quick way to add a burst of flavor to a dish, and they come in so much variety. Check out our Meat Department's selection of fresh sausages. The range of styles includes: Bratwurst, Pork Andouille, Smoked Beer Sausage, Lamb Sausage, Black Olive Sausage, Italian Chicken Sausage, Habanero-Tequila Chicken Sausage, Curry Chicken Sausage, Lemon Chicken Sausage, Chicken Apple Sausage, Mild Turkey Italian Sausage, Hot Turkey Italian Sausage
Slow Cooker and Simmer Sauces
If you start with a good sauce as a base for flavor, you work is half done. We carry several excellent brands that we recommend.

Beerenberg Family Farm Slow Cooker Sauces are Australian in origin and turn simple ingredients into a delicious, hearty meal. Add them to your slow cooker and sit back! They come in Hungarian Beef Goulash, Creole Chicken Jambalaya, Farmhouse Chicken, and Spanish Chicken.

Stonewall Kitchen Meal Starters are jars of great-tasting sauce that gives you just the flavor you need for a dish. We carry their
Meatloaf Starter, Yankee Pot Roast Starter, Sloppy Joe Sauce, and Pulled Pork Simmer Sauce.
Spices and Rubs
Morton & Bassett Spices are our favorite because of their freshness and unsurpassed quality. We carry a complete line including the small jars. If you are looking to spice things up, you might want to try their Adobo Pepper, Espresso Rub, Greek Seasoning, or Fajita Seasoning.

Whether you choose the iconic original Mina Harissa Spicy Moroccan Pepper Sauce or the equally delicious green variety, Mina harissa will transform your meal into a culinary journey.

Oakland Dust creates hand-crafted, locally inspired spice rubs for all your favorite foods. These unique blends add flavor to all your dishes—especially BBQ. Try their Pork Rub, Spicy Steak Rub, Steak & Rib Rub, Seafood Rub, Poultry Rub, and Curry All-Purpose Rub.
Purchasing a packaged risotto with just-right flavor can be a great jumping off point for a delicious meal. That is why we reach for Alessi Premium Risotto . We carry their Porcini Mushroom and Milanese Style with saffron.

And, for a real treat, pick up a package of Wineforest Foods Forest Farro . This ancient grain’s nutty richness is combined with wild porcini and organic shiitake mushrooms for a deep, rich, robust dish. This versatile creation becomes a remarkable risotto, a complex side dish, or a very hearty soup.
Indian Sauces
Making Indian food at home has never been easier. We carry several brands of delicious sauces to have you making authentic-tasting cuisine with little effort. 

Maya Kaimal Indian Simmer Sauces come in Butter Masala, Goan Coconut, Kashmiri Curry, Madras Cury, Tikka Masala, and Jalfrezi Curry. We also carry Neera's Spicy Tandoori Indian Grilling Paste and their Hot and Jamaican Jerk Spice. As well as Brooklyn Delhi's Tomato Achaar Indian Tomato-Chili Sauce and Roasted Garlic Achaar Indian Garlic -Chili Sauce. So much to choose from!

East Asian Sauces and Kimchi
Tsang Bangkok makes delicious sauces the will instantly transform a meal.Try their Peanut Sauce for Dipping, Jade Mekong Ginger Sauce, or Sichuan Peanut Sauce.

And, we must mention Mother In Law's Artisanal Kimchi. This Korean staple is both hot and savory and adds depth to many dishes. Their Napa Cabbage Kimchi is filled with zest, spice and complexity.
A Staff Favorite

Botanical-infused syrups handcrafted from citrus, herbs, spices, and flowers.

Muddle & Wilde use whole fresh fruit and real herbs and spices to create aromatic elixirs. They are inspired by California citrus, flavors from around the world, and a desire for healthier, natural drink mixers. These truly-natural, low-sugar, amazing-tasting drink mixers are perfect for craft cocktails and botanical sodas.

The handmade herb, spice and flower blends pair perfectly with water or your spirit of choice. Each has a uniquely wonderful fragrance and an amazingly complex flavor profile that’s sweet, sour and bitter all at once. An 8-ounce bottle has 16 servings with only 6 grams of cane sugar making Muddle & Wilde a healthy, low sugar option.

Some of the flavors that we have in stock include:

Herbaceous lavender is perfectly paired with energizing lemon. Mix with vodka, gin, sparkling wine & soda water.

Exotic allspice and warming ginger mingled with tangy lime. Mix with rum, vodka, bourbon & soda water.

Woody rosemary fused with invigorating grapefruit. Mix with gin, tequila, sparkling wine & soda water.

Juniper-Lime-Lemon Verbena 
Vibrant Lemon Verbena and lime rounded by the tonic-like taste of juniper, Mix with gin, vodka, sparkling wine & soda water.

News & Events

Things are beginning to settle down after the past few week's rush on groceries, and our shelves are looking well-stocked again. So, come on in for pasta, sauce, and fresh bread. Our produce aisle is brimming with spring fruits and veggies, and our cheese department has a great selection of delicious cheeses.

If you are looking for a particular item (especially toilet paper, eggs, rice, or flour), sometimes we have it in and they go fast. So, you might need to check back.

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Keep Calm And Cook On
When you have been in business for 118 years you see a lot of things. When our store first opened in 1902, we were the only supply option for the people who had “country homes” in Piedmont. The situation changed dramatically in 1906 when people escaping the destruction of the earthquake crossed the bay to Oakland and they all needed groceries. But we survived that and will get through this too. We survived the depression and two world wars. We’ve survived fires and even more earthquakes. And we weathered the uncertain times after the 9/11 attacks. This time will be no different and we will do it because of our people.

To say we broke some records in the last week would be an incredible understatement. Through it all, our amazing employees have remained steadfast and dedicated to the community they serve. Some even volunteering to come in on their day off to help keep whatever stock we had on the shelves. It was exhausting and stressful but their commitment to our neighbors is awe-inspiring. And, I am personally humbled and beyond grateful to work with this extraordinary group of people.

I would also like to thank our surrounding community for making it easy to serve you in these past days. Through all the hysteria of long lines and empty shelves, our community remained patient and calm—even when we had technical difficulties with our pin pads. Every person who came through our check stands made it a point to thank our checkers and baggers for being there to help. Their gratitude and support made it that much easier to get through those crazy shifts.

Now we focus on learning our new normal. Here at the store, we have new business hours. We have signs posted all over the store but in case you missed it, they are listed on our website.

We will be closed tomorrow March 19th to give our staff a rest and to get the store cleaned and stocked. We will be open again on Friday at our normal time of 9 AM. We are hoping to be able to fill all of those holes I mentioned as we should be getting a big truckload in on Thursday…but we can’t be certain. The vendor warehouses are just as depleted as we are so we may not get everything we requested. We ask for your patience with us as well as them.

Since we don’t know for sure what will arrive on the truck, right now is the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill like, say, making your own pasta. Making fresh pasta is not really as difficult as you might believe. It requires only a few ingredients. Though, I will concede that flour could be an issue. (Cross your fingers for Thursday). If you are lucky to have all the ingredients, give it a shot. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect the first time around. Keep in mind that Italians have been making pasta for centuries without fancy equipment. Just elbow grease and time—which is something we have a lot more of right now. Clean wire hangers are great for drying your pasta. Give it a try or better yet make it a family activity to get people off the screens.

Let’s everyone just take a deep breath. Remember we’re in this together and we’ll get through this. Hopefully while learning new skills and, frankly, eating pretty well… 

A Staff Favorite

It's the first day of spring, and the time of year when we really appreciate asparagus. Asparagus is the herald of spring vegetables and fruits. It reminds us of the variety and deliciousness to come. We love roasting the spears—it brings out the sweetness, and never leaves them water-logged. And, there are so many other great ways to prepare it including grilling, sautĂ©ing or simply steaming.

Here are some of our favorite Asparagus recipes to spark your imagination.

SautĂ©ed Asparagus with Pancetta and Leeks  is a dish that is so delicious, it might be considered addictive. Our recipe says it serves four, but you just might want to double it. And what is great about this recipe is that there is no carefully wrapping the stalks in the sliced meat. It is a very straightforward, one-pot dish that can be prepared quickly on a weeknight.

Asparagus Bread Pudding Layered with Fontina  is a staff favorite from the Tante Marie cooking school in San Francisco. This makes an excellent brunch dish on its own or topped with poached eggs. We also love it for dinner.

For this  Classic Cheese Fondu , blanched asparagus is the perfect dipping vegetable. And, we also love a mixture of veggies and fruit including broccoli, baby carrots, cauliflower, cornichons, pearl onions, granny smith apples, and pears.

Asparagus and Leek Risotto  is a great way to kick off the season. In the mood for a little indulgence? Add sautĂ©ed shrimp at the end. So, if you’ve never made risotto before, don’t be intimidated. It’s not difficult; just make sure you add the broth in stages, letting it get completely absorbed before adding more.

Ragout of Fava Beans, Peas, and Asparagus with Pecorino and Crispy Prosciutto  has a list of ingredients that embody spring. We make it as soon as the fresh, local ingredients are in the stores. It’s that good. Fair warning: you will have to work for it. The fava beans require peeling.

A Cookbook Recommendation

by Sam Sifton
“People are lonely,” Sam Sifton writes. “They want to be part of something, even when they can’t identify that longing as a need. They show up. Feed them. It isn’t much more complicated than that.” Regular dinners with family and friends, he argues, are a metaphor for connection, a space where memories can be shared as easily as salt or hot sauce, where deliciousness reigns. The point of Sunday supper is to gather around a table with good company and eat.

From years spent talking to restaurant chefs, cookbook authors, and home cooks in connection with his daily work at  The New York Times , Sam Sifton’s  See You on Sunday  is a book to make those dinners possible. It is a guide to preparing meals for groups larger than the average American family (though everything here can be scaled down, or up). The 200 recipes are mostly simple and inexpensive (“You are not a feudal landowner entertaining the serfs”), and they derive from decades spent cooking for family and groups ranging from six to sixty.

From big meats to big pots, with a few words on salad, and a diatribe on the needless complexity of desserts,  See You on Sunday  is an indispensable addition to any home cook’s library. From how to shuck an oyster to the perfection of Mallomars with flutes of milk, from the joys of grilled eggplant to those of gumbo and bog, this book is devoted to the preparation of delicious proteins and grains, vegetables and desserts, taco nights and pizza parties.

Sam Sifton is the food editor of The New York Times and the founding editor of NYT Cooking, the newspaper's digital cookbook and home cooking site. He is also a columnist at The New York Times Magazine. He also served as the restaurant critic.
A Staff Favorite

Triple distilled and twice as smooth
If you are looking for a special drink, we recommend sipping Jameson Irish Whiskey. Not only is it by far the best-selling Irish whiskey in the world, but it is delightful on the rocks and makes a delicious cocktail ingredient. Try it in one of these cocktails, Irish Coffee , a Highball or The Emerald .

Jameson is a blended Irish whiskey that was originally one of the six main Dublin Whiskeys and it is aged in oak bourbon and sherry barrels between four and seven years.

Jameson’s profile reflects its blending techniques of whiskeys aged in various casks including sherry, bourbon, and port and it is these woods that impart the complexity of the whiskey.

A light floral fragrance, peppered with spicy wood and sweet notes.

The perfect balance of spicy, nutty and vanilla notes with hints of sweet sherry and exceptional smoothness.

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Ditchin’ The Cheese
I had planned on talking about cheese this week. You can never go wrong with cheese. But then, sometimes life throws you a curveball. Since it’s now March, everywhere you look things have gone green in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. And, of course, I immediately think “Cheese!” (I know. My friends and family have long since stopped trying to understand my thought processes.)

However, over the weekend, I made something that was just so good I couldn’t stop myself from writing about it. The cheese will have to wait…

My in-laws were in town so I had everyone over for a lovely  salmon dinner  with roasted asparagus. It was while picking out the asparagus that I was enticed by the gorgeous rhubarb in all of its deep red glory that was calling my name from the shelf above. To me, rhubarb is a sign of hope that we are in fact leaving winter, and its cabbages and root vegetables, behind to usher in the new and more interesting produce that arrives with spring. My entire family loves rhubarb so there was no question. I was not leaving the store without it. But what to make?

When it comes to rhubarb recipes, I like to keep it simple. I love a good crisp—or even just  roasting it by itself  to put in yogurt.  Strawberry Rhubarb Pie  is always a hit. But, the strawberries aren’t that great yet so I will leave that to when it weather is warmer. I chose this recipe for Raspberry Rhubarb Cobbler because it was fairly quick, and something about the twist of the raspberries just appealed to me.

I have never seen a dessert disappear so fast. It might be because the flavors were so bright and different from what we’ve been eating in the last few months. But, this one, my friends, is a definite keeper. The color was stunning and I think the biscuits on top will be how I do all my cobblers going forward.

I did make some changes to the original recipe. For one, I added more cornstarch. The filling was a little too loose for my tastes. I also bumped up the sugar just a bit. Although, you could add some honey if you prefer.

From our blog, The Cocktail Post

The Madras is a refreshing, fruity cocktail that might just find a place in your list of drinks to know. It is an easy vodka cocktail that concentrates on fruit juice and is a variation on the Cape Codder (vodka and cranberry).

The mix is quite simple—a shot of vodka and a 3:1 ratio of cranberry and orange juices. Feel free to adjust these ratios to your taste.

The Madras was popular in the '80s and is rumored to be named after Madras plaid. (Since the '80s was the heyday of preppy.)

News & Events

Since we missed the opening day of Major League Baseball, we have compiled a list of baseball movies so you can get your baseball fix. If you follow the links, there are recommendations for how to stream them.

The story of the life and career of famed baseball player Lou Gehrig.

A young woman reporter blames the Pittsburgh Pirates' losing streak on the obscenely abusive manager. While she attempts to learn more about him for her column, he begins hearing the voice of an angel promising him help for the team if he will mend his ways.

A frustrated fan of the hopeless Washington Senators makes a pact with the Devil to help the baseball team win the league pennant. For those who want to combine Broadway and Baseball.

An aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California little league.

A Staff Favorite

Rhubarb season is in full swing, and it’s short. So, get it while you can. Now is the perfect time to do some baking. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to inspire you.

Roasting rhubarb is the easiest way to cook it through and sweeten it—without it all turning to goo. This recipe has some great uses including as a yogurt topping or spooned over a slice of angel food or pound cake. A favorite way to eat it is slathered on thick slices of French Toast on Sunday morning…who needs maple syrup?

We love the delicious citrusy flavor of Earl Grey tea and know how well citrus goes with rhubarb—so this marriage of flavors was a natural! Another delicious topping for yogurt, pancakes, and ice cream, try this variation on Roasted Rhubarb!

There is no better marriage of ingredients in the culinary world than strawberries and rhubarb. Like Forrest and Jenny, they go together like peas and carrots. I have tried the two in pies, crisps, turnovers, and strudels. All are fantastic.

Rhubarb Cream Scones
Theses scones need no jam or butter. Grab one and run, they are perfect as-is!

From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Uncharted Territory
Another week and once again, what I was going to talk about this week just seems wrong. As much as I would like to go about my days in a normal fashion, the reality is that things aren’t normal…and we shouldn’t pretend that they are. This doesn’t mean that it would be appropriate to panic. But, thoughtful caution would be advised. Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, preferably with your elbow, and recognize that we will get through this. We just need to remain calm, use our heads and try not to focus as much on the many negatives of this virus outbreak. There are some positives.

Because almost all sporting events from the professional leagues on down to the four-year-olds have been canceled, we have absolutely nothing going on this weekend. There are no games. There are no tournaments. There are no fiddle concerts. That hasn’t happened in at least a year…maybe longer. And while I could take this opportunity to catch up on laundry, I am going with option number two (though I may do a load or two out of necessity). I intend to spend time on the couch streaming movies with my boys and maybe playing some Mario Cart. I intend to spend time with my daughter making something complicated in the kitchen. I intend to once again assert my dominance in Trivial Pursuit. In short, I intend to stop and slow down, sleep in, enjoy my family, build a fire in the woodstove because it will be cold and raining and that is my dog’s favorite thing ever (except maybe chicken). And I will definitely tackle the backlog of books on my Kindle.

As a family, we have been burning it at both ends because of work, school, and everything else. This weekend, it will be nice to just have the 5 of us doing nothing but doing it together. As for the cooking, my pantry is pretty well stocked on any given day. I admit I have added an extra item or two here and there. An extra bag of dried beans. a new tube of Harissa, some fresh yeast to make the bread that requires an overnight rise. Stuff like that. I have also been going back to remind myself of the recipes I really liked that I haven’t made in a while. In the process, I pulled together a list of the recipes we’ve posted over the years that could be good to make if you find yourself hunkered down at home with a bunch of dried goods and no idea what to do with them.

Dinner Menu Ideas from Our Archives
From our blog, The Kitchen Table

Since so many of us have more time to cook, we have been enjoying pooling through our archives and sharing recipes. We have put together some menu ideas for dinners at home that we hope inspires you.

Chicken Menus
Amy's Favorite Roast Chicken with mashed potatoes and green salad.

And, with the left over chicken and fresh or frozen vegetables, you can make this delicious Amy's Preferred Chicken Pot Pie.
Seafood Menus

Pan-Fried Trout with Lemon-Butter Sauce and roasted potatoes with asparagus or peas.
Pork Menus
Pressure Cooker Garlicky Cuban Pork and tortillas, salsa, avocado or Amy's Guacamole

Double-Cut Pork Chops with Garlic Butter and roasted sweet potatoes with sautéed spinach.
Vegetarian Menus
One of these butternut squash casseroles with a mixed salad—either Rizzo e Zucca (Rice and Butternut Squash) or Winter Squash Casserole .

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms with a loaf of crusty bread.

Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry with basmati rice and flat bread.

From our blog, The Cocktail Post

The whiskey highball is a simple, classic, and popular way to enjoy your favorite whiskey. This recipe is one that every aspiring home bartender should know and it is, quite simply, whiskey and ginger ale. That makes it very easy to memorize.

Ginger ale's sweet and spicy flavor is a nice accent to whiskey. And, each brand is a little different so try a few for variations such as  Fever Tree  and Reed's.

And, to complicate matters…there is a whole class of cocktails referred to as highballs. They are composed of a base liquor and one or two mixers such as juice or soda. Plus, the glass a highball is served in is also referred to as a highball.

Vendor of the Month

Taste the terroir of these handcrafted, artisan cheeses made by cheesemakers raised by Western Marin County dairy ranchers.
The Pacific coastal fog so often settles over and lightly salts the pastures of Giacomini Ranch where the cows live who make the milk for Point Reyes Cheese Co's award-winning cheeses. The crisp, pristine air and the lush, rye grass clearly bring a healthy freshness to the cheeses made at the Farmstead.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. has been a model for sustainable agriculture as well as an example of farming that promotes healthy food and a healthy environment for everyone.
And, in honor of International Women's Day and Women's History Month—Point Reyes Cheese is a women-owned business and certified Women's Business Enterprise.

Learn more by watching  Jane Pauley's feature segment  that was aired on NBC's Today Show.

In August of 2000 the first wheels of Original Blue, California’s only classic style blue cheese, were introduced to Bay Area consumers, adding to a family legacy of farming that dates back well over 100 years. Since then, the selection of cheeses crafted by Point Reyes Cheese Co. has grown to include:

In Italian, Toma means “wheel of cheese made by the farmer herself.” What better way to describe this versatile, any time, any table cheese.

TomaTruffle is the perfect combination of classic Toma paired with the aromatic flavors of Italian Black Truffles from Umbria. Reminiscent of undergrowth, fresh strawberries, dried fruit and a hint of cocoa, the earthy flavor marries beautifully with the buttery richness of Toma. TomaTruffle is the perfect decadent cheese for any celebration!

TomaProvence is full of savory Mediterranean flavor. Complementing the creamy butter notes of Toma, they've added Herbs de Provence—a blend which includes Rosemary, basil, marjoram, savory, and wild thyme.

Original Blue
The cheese that started it all has been produced on their family farm since 2000, California’s classic style blue cheese has an addictive flavor and is bold with hints of sweet milk and a peppery finish.

All of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.'s cheeses are made from pasteurized, rBST-free cows' milk, with microbial (vegetarian) rennet, aged for 90 days and gluten-free

Temporary Store Hours During Shelter-on-Place
Daily from
10 AM to 7 PM

Special shopping hour for seniors
9 AM to 10 AM

Closed Thursdays
(Open April 9th for holiday shopping.)

We will update you with any new hours as the shelter-in-place situation unfolds.

Free Parking 

4038 Piedmont Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611

(510) 653-8181

Visit our recipe blog to learn what Amy, our VP and resident foodie, is cooking up in her home kitchen.