Thanksgiving at Home
Thanksgiving is looking different this year with the new California stay-at-home restrictions. This means our celebrations will be smaller, over the internet, or outdoors. And, many of us are preparing a Thanksgiving feast for the first time.
This issue is dedicated to helping you have a great celebration regardless of these shifting times. It is filled with tried-and-true recipes and ideas for shortcuts.
Let's start with some product recommendations to make preparing your feast a bit easier.
So many brine mixes are available, but Oakland-based KL Keller makes our favorite. A magical combination of dried herbs and spices combined with outstanding Spanish sea salt ensures a moist, tender roast.
Bell's All Natural Seasoning is exactly how to make your Thanksgiving turkey taste just like a Thanksgiving turkey! There’s a reason Bell’s iconic spice blend has been your grandma’s go-to for Thanksgiving every year. Use it under the skin of the turkey, in a basting mixture, and is vital to a perfect homemade stuffing. It is also great in gravies and soups.
And, make certain that when you are in the store you pick up some 100% cotton twine and a meat thermometer.
Stutz California Extra Virgin Olive Oil is gourmet olive oil at supermarket prices. We are all about Stutz Olive Oil. It’s a perennial staff favorite. This versatile oil is sweet, fragrant, refreshingly fruity, and perfect for everyday use.
King Arthur Flour All Purpose Flour is consistent and dependable…simply the best! This means the best flavor and dependable results in your baking. It is ideal for a full range of baking.
We turn to Kitchen Basics Turkey Stock again and again because it is so flavorful. It has a richer, heartier taste that serves as the perfect flavor-building ingredient for so many dishes. We use it in everything from risottos to stuffing, to soups and sauces, and to flavor veggie dishes and potatoes.
The dried herbs and spices you choose play a big outcome in everything you prepare, that is why we recommend Morton & Bassett for more dimensional flavor. We carry their full line so come in and refresh your stash of bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and…
Beckmann's Old World Bakery honors the German commitment to traditional artisan baking. And, their stuffing mixes are our favorites—we are always excited when they arrive at the store in November. We carry their Traditional with Butter and Herbs, Southern Style Cornbread, and Unseasoned made from Artisan Breads.
Farmer's Market Foods Organic Pumpkin is rich, smooth and delicious. And, it's ready to use in everything from baked good to entrees. Use it in pies, muffins, cookies, soups, stews and chili. Make certain to restock your pantry with a few cans for when it is no longer available in stores.
LaForestiere Whole Roasted Chestnuts are the finest quality French chestnuts you can get. And, they make recipe prep a lot easier without needing to peel fresh chestnuts.
And, for those of us who simply just can't…Piedmont's Own Turkey Pot Pie has the flavors of Thanksgiving presented in a crust. You can have pie for dinner and pie for dessert! These also make a great gift for someone not in a position to prepare their own feast.
For the Table
Lake Champlain Chocolate Turkeys are a delightful surprise to find at your holiday place setting. As are turkey-themed Caspari Crackers. We also carry two different Thanksgiving Caspari napkin designs.
Something to Drink
For Thanksgiving wine recommendations, check out our post below. And, make certain you also have something on the table that is non-alcoholic. Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider is perfect for celebrations. We also carry their apple cranberry.
And, Bud's Eggnog is back on our shelves for the holidays. It’s thick and frothy with a just-right color. The flavor is sweet but not overly sugary. Locally made, Bud’s indeed tastes farm fresh.
Philz Silken Splendor Medium Blend Coffee has a toasty aroma and elegant body is enhanced by warm vibrant tones of roasted nuts. Equally captivating is the complement of the silken texture as the name implies.
Stonewall Kitchen Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows has soft, tiny marshmallows added to a decadently rich hot chocolate mix. Formulated with subtle coffee and cinnamon accents, it's a full flavored hot chocolate with grown-up character.
Taylor's of Harrogate Ceylon Tea is excellent served with a slice of pie. Shri Lanka produces distinguished tea renowned the world over. And, Taylor of Harrogate Ceylon is a fine quality crop with a delicate flavor and rosy color.
A Staff Favorite
You can tell the holidays season is around the corner, not because of the conflicting Christmas and Thanksgiving decorations, but because fresh cranberries have arrived in the produce aisle.
Cranberry sauce, an indispensable item on traditional Thanksgiving menus, is delicious and quick to make from fresh berries. But the cranberry doesn’t stop at sauces. They pop up in all sorts of sweet and savory dishes. For example, you can toss them in almost apple recipe to give it a holiday flair.
Fresh cranberries will disappear in the new year. So put a couple of bags in the freezer to extend the season. They will store for up to a year, and there is no need to thaw them before use.
Thanksgiving Tips, Tricks, and Sleight of Hand
News & Events
- Brining bags make it simple, or even use a clean cooler for brining—they're easy to drain when finished.
- Roasting pan liners save on clean-up.
- Grab pre-arranged flowers for the table when you are in the market.
- Place votives in small canning jars around the table.
- And while you are at it, pick up some elegant paper napkins to save time on laundry.
- Create a clean-up station before you begin the meal: set up a lined garbage can, and a paint bucket (or other large container like a cooler) full of soapy water. This will keep your sink clear of dishes so you can work.
- If you are running out of fridge space, a large cooler will keep foods chilled for up to 24 hours. Fill recycled plastic water bottles 3/4 full, and make your cooler ice a day in advance—no soggy mess.
- Order your feast from our deli. Nothing is easier.
From our blog, The Kitchen Table
Bird of A Different Feather
Plans for Thanksgiving are different this year. Traditional, over-the-river-and-through-the-woods (or worse, the airport) get-togethers aren’t happening this year. For the vast majority of folks, the Thanksgiving celebration will be a much smaller gathering. And, while it is disappointing that you will not be with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while, there can be a few silver linings as well.
There will only be six of us at my house for Thanksgiving this year which means that I won’t need to make the usual amounts of food to make sure all of the favorite must-haves are on the table. Let’s face it, there are certain side dishes that have to be there (mashed potatoes) but there are always some dishes that only a few people actually eat (creamed onions = bad childhood flashbacks). Not having the usual crowd leaves room to set your imagination free and try something different.
Cranberry sauce is a must-have at my holiday table but there are a number of people who don’t like cranberry sauce, either the canned or fresh version. There are also a number of people who aren’t big fans of pumpkin pie—or pie in general. So, when I saw this recipe for Cranberry Curd Tart I was intrigued and I knew I had to try it out.
True, some may argue that a tart isn’t all that different from a pie. This is sort of true, but not really. At least not to me. In my mind tarts are a totally different experience and if they were exactly the same why give them a different name in the first place? Something to ponder…
If you like a good lemon curd tart, you will enjoy this gorgeous dessert as it has a very similar citrusy tart flavor. It’s also light—which can be a good thing after all of the carbs. The color is ridiculously vibrant and eye-catching especially when placed alongside the neutral colors of turkey and stuffing. This recipe is flexible enough that you could just as easily make smaller tarts to accommodate a smaller crowd.
While it’s definitely a bummer that the usual Turkey Day celebrations are on hold this year, try to have some fun with it. Switch things up. Get dressed up if you want or wear your jammies to the table if you so choose. For that matter you don’t even have to go to the table. Don’t like turkey? Make whatever you want. And for those who don’t want to celebrate at all? Go for it! You be you.
A Staff Favorite
Upper Crust Unbaked Pastry Shells are made lovingly, by hand, and from scratch.
Christine’s offers some of the best gluten-free pie crusts available. They take the worry out of making a pie crust, and taste like home made.
They’re Marin-based and crafted in small batches using authentic, quality ingredients. The attention to detail is what makes them stand out. Christine uses great recipes, so the crust is buttery and flaky with great texture.
You can find them in our freezer department.
A Cookbook Recommendation
By Sam Sifton
From one of America’s finest food writers, the founder of The New York Times Cooking section, comes a definitive, timeless guide to Thanksgiving dinner—preparing it, surviving it, and pulling it off in style.
From the planning of the meal to the washing of the last plate, Thanksgiving poses more—and more vexing—problems for the home cook than any other holiday. In this smartly written, beautifully illustrated, recipe-filled book, Sam Sifton, the Times’s resident Thanksgiving expert, delivers a message of great comfort and solace: There is no need for fear. You can cook a great meal on Thanksgiving. You can have a great time.
With simple, fool-proof recipes for classic Thanksgiving staples, as well as new takes on old standbys, this book will show you that the fourth Thursday of November does not have to be a day of kitchen stress and family drama, of dry stuffing and sad, cratered pies. You can make a better turkey than anyone has ever served you in your life, and you can serve it with gravy that is not lumpy or bland but a salty balm, rich in flavor, that transforms all it touches.
Here are recipes for exciting side dishes and robust pies and festive cocktails, instructions for setting the table and setting the mood, as well as cooking techniques and menu ideas that will serve you all year long, whenever you are throwing a big party. Written for novice and experienced cooks alike, Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well is your guide to making Thanksgiving the best holiday of the year. It is not fantasy. If you prepare, it will happen. And this book will show you how.
Named one of the best books of the year by Eater.com
Thanksgiving Holiday Hours
News & Events
We have extended our hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 24th and 25th—we will be open from 9 AM to 8 PM (with a special shopping hour for seniors from 8 to 9 AM) 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 28th for our regular hours, from 10 AM to 8 PM. With a special shopping hour for seniors from 9 to 10 AM.
And, don’t forget our Thanksgiving Catering Menu for additional sides, meal and potluck contributions…or even an entire feast.
Call (510) 653-8181 to place your order
We hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!
From our blog, The Kitchen Table
That’s The Stuff-ing
The past 48 hours have been immensely frustrating. A few weeks ago, in anticipation of having to talk about all things Thanksgiving, I was searching for different recipes for stuffing. And, I found one that I though looked so interesting. But now, for the life of me…I can’t find it anywhere.
I don’t know what it’s like in your household, but in mine, the stuffing is ridiculously important. If there were no stuffing on the Thanksgiving table it would be a major issue—no matter who is in charge of making the meal. As a general rule, my family likes to cook most of the stuffing in the bird. But, we also do some extra in a casserole so there is enough to go around. There is plenty of debate on which is best. Personally I am conflicted. I like the flavor of the stuffing cooked inside the turkey. But, I also like the crispy stuff that is cooked in the casserole. I‘m good either way. Stuffing that bird is a problem though…if you choose to spatchcock your turkey.
Since we are not doing Thanksgiving the normal way this year, I am cooking Thanksgiving for my immediate family. And, since my oven isn’t super huge I am forced to spatchcock my turkey if I want to have a bird big enough to allow for leftovers. And, there must be leftovers.
So, I was looking for stuffing recipes that aren’t cooked in the bird and I found one made with sausage, herbs, the usual breadcrumbs, and possibly mushrooms. It had been moistened, chopped fine (or possibly put in a food processor) molded into a log, cooked, and then sliced. It looked so cool and elegant—and definitely different. But, that is the recipe I can no longer find. Arrrrrrgggggh!!!
If this sounds at all like something anyone of you have heard of please let me know and pass along the recipe if you can. It’s going to drive me batty until I can find it again!
My frantic search has been good in one respect. I have found some really interesting possibilities for this year’s stuffing for those who are inclined to change things up. There are stuffings using rye bread and others with figs and kale. There’s traditional apple and sausage stuffing as well as some with chorizo. Below is a recipe for Mushroom, Chestnut, and Sausage Stuffing and it is the most appealing to me for this year. It’s a bit of a departure from our usual. But, then again everything about this year is new territory…
News & Events
It is possible for you to be completely prepared today.
Piedmont Grocery wants to save you time in the kitchen so you can spend the holiday focusing on the important stuff. Whether you are ordering an entire feast, or want to pick and choose a few key dishes, we can help with our complete Thanksgiving catering menu.
Piedmont Grocery has created a delicious selection for your Thanksgiving table. Download a PDF of our 2020 Thanksgiving Catering Menu. And, see what we have to offer. You can purchase a few sides, pies, or roasted meats to contribute to a meal or potluck—or order an entire holiday feast.
All orders must be received 48 hours prior to the Holiday. We are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
To Order Call The Deli Department at 510–653‑8181
We are at the phones from
Monday to Saturday: 9 AM to 8 PM and Sunday: 9 AM to 7 PM
From our blog, The Kitchen Table
With a lot of people potentially making Thanksgiving for the first time this year, we at Piedmont Grocery have been looking for recipes that strive to make life a bit easier on the big day. The best option we found? Your slow cooker…
Good turkey stock is essential for many of the other dishes that make up a Thanksgiving feast. You use it for the stuffing, the gravy, and a little drizzle over the meat on the platter before serving helps keep it moist. Sure, you could buy turkey stock, and there are lot of good ones out there. But, nothing beats the flavor and nutrition of homemade stock. The drawback is the time it takes to make it.
Enter the slow cooker. Making stock in your slow cooker is the no-hassle way to have the good stuff on hand for the big day. Throw the ingredients in the cooker in the morning and walk away. By dinner time you have a rich tasty stock. Even better, set the cooker on low and do it in your sleep. Literally. Check out our post on making your own stock.
You can also use your slow cooker for the side dishes that you don’t have room for in the oven. No matter how big your oven is, chances are there will be something that just won’t fit. So, why not throw it in your slow cooker or Instant pot? There are so many Slow Cooker/ Instant Pot recipes out there for you to search that would work well for Thanksgiving or any day frankly. My favorites tend to be the squash recipes.
My favorite find is our recipe for Braised Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries. It’s simple—but looks so festive on a platter. And, the best part is you put the ingredients in the crock pot and don’t have to think about it until you’re ready to eat.
If you’re one of those souls who is cooking for the first time this Thanksgiving, first, take a deep breath. There’s no need to make it more stressful than it needs to be. Nor does it need to be exactly like Mom would make. Everything is different this year so try to roll with it and think of ways to make it easy. No matter what you do to celebrate, the important thing is that you are celebrating.
A Staff Favorite
We love Butternut Mountain Farms because of the quality of their syrup. The Grade A amber maple syrup that we carry is lighter in color with a rich maple flavor. It blends well with other flavors in your dishes and is wonderful on pancakes and waffles.
Another great thing about Butternut Mountain Farm Syrup is the variety. Sure, we've got Grade A syrup in a variety of sizes and shapes of glass bottles from the 3.4 ounce decorative maple leaf bottles to large 12.7 ounce bottles.
But, have you tried their infused maple syrups?
This is a whole new twist to maple syrup. We are carrying the Sweet Ginger, Sweet Bourbon (made with barrel-aged bourbon), and Sweet Heat (made with habanero peppers).
About Butternut Mountain Farm
The heart of Butternut Mountain Farm really is a farm. The 600-acre tree farm that the Marvin Family has stewarded for more than half a century. These trees have been producing syrup since the Civil War. “This place is the soul and spirit of our business,” says owner and founder of Butternut Mountain Farm, David Marvin.
The Marvin family has been deeply involved in the science, art, and practice of maple sugaring and the Vermont Maple Industry since the 1940s. Their maple syrup production is highly sustainable with rigorous environmental standards—leaving the woods unchanged for future generations.
In their syrup-making process, absolutely nothing is added and only water is removed. And, because it is a completely natural product, maple syrup has a color and flavor that varies with each season due to environmental factors where the trees are growing.
News & Events
It is full-on pumpkin season and there are so many wonderful pumpkin recipes to enjoy—just do a search for pumpkin on our website! Many of them call for pumpkin purée. And, while we are in full support of grabbing a bunch of cans of the good stuff to keep on hand when the season is over and it is gone from the stores, there is something to be said for making your own. It is really not that hard.
Aside from the freshness, one of the main attractions to making your own is being able to experiment with the variety of pumpkins and squash in the store this time of year. Yes, sugar pie pumpkins are delicious. But, what happens when you use kabocha in a soup or hubbard in a pie? There are a wonderful subtleties of flavor and texture. And, we all know that commercial pumpkin puree is oftentimes made from butternut and other squash.
Our favorite way to make your own puree is by roasting—this brings out the sweetness and caramelizes the sugars.
From our blog, The Cocktail Post
What are you drinking this Thanksgiving?
Our experts in our wine and cheese department have come up with a list of wine recommendations to make your selection easier. Each wine is delicious!
Rombauer Chardonnay for $74.99
2019 Proprietor Selections
In our store for the first time ever. It was previously only available in their tasting room.
Duckhorn Portfilio Decoy Limited for $29.99
2018 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2018 Red Wine, Napa Valley
Sonoma County Russian River Valley
2017 Pinot Noir, Regularly $22.99—on sale for $20.99
2018 Chardonnay, Regularly $19.99—on sale for $17.99
From our blog, The Cocktail Post
Persimmons are in the market and we are looking for ways to make the most of them during their short stay! This Persimmon Margarita is a autumnal twist on a classic that is simple to prepare. Persimmon and tequila are a delicious flavor combination accented with the cinnamon-salt on the rim.
Be certain to use ripe, fuyu persimmons for maximum flavor.
Persimmon Margarita Recipe
Vendor of the Month
Honoring the German commitment to traditional artisan baking.
We love Beckmann's breads and pies and are always excited when their stuffings arrive at the store in November. They have a variety of slow-rising sourdoughs, whole grain breads, and make wonderful pies.
Beckmann’s is an all-natural, from scratch bakery making many kinds of breads and pastries. They are local, based in Santa Cruz, and use no GMOs, preservatives, dough conditioners, artificial colors, or flavors.
Peter Beckmann started baking up on the UC Santa Cruz campus in one of the co-ops in 1986. Son of a craftsman family, he apprenticed in bread-making at Mantei Bakery in Heidelberg, Germany. After moving to the United States in 1982, Peter had a longing for the traditional breads of his home country, Germany. He baked the first commercial loaves in his kitchen oven and hand-delivered those first samples on his bicycle to four local Santa Cruz grocery stores. Slowly, the business has grown to what it is today.
Here are the products we currently carry in our store…
Beckmann's stuffing just arrived at the store today! We have their Unseasoned, Traditional Butter & Herb Seasoned, and Southern Style Cornbread.
Apple, Pumpkin, Rum-Laced Pecan, Cherry, The Berry Bomb, Boysenberry, Strawberry-Marionberry, and Strawberry-Rhubarb
Three Seed Sourdough, California Sourdough, Nine Grain, Honey Whole Wheat, and Multigrain
Whole Grain Natural Bread Co.
California Black, Great White, Whole Wheat, Nine Grain, and Oat Bran.
The Butcher's Block
Because we're still living through a pandemic, Thanksgiving is going to be different this year for most us. Many of us who have never cooked a Thanksgiving feast will be trying it for the first time—which can present any number of potential problems. A quick search of recipes for a roasted turkey will give you thousand of options to choose from. But, what do you do if you don’t have 5 hours to prepare it or, more common than you think, a normal-sized turkey won’t fit in your oven?
Roasting a turkey can be scary if you are doing it for the first time because roasting a stuffed turkey can be tricky. You need to roast it long enough that it is actually cooked but not so long that the meat is dried out. It is definitely a balancing act. One of the best ways to combat the challenges, we have found, is to spatchcock your turkey.
Spatchcocking, or butterflying, is a technique often used for cooking chickens but it works equally as well for turkeys. The process is quick and easy, especially if you have some good poultry sheers—which are a great addition to your kitchen arsenal, if you are willing to make the $25 investment. They are useful for more than turkeys.
By spatchcocking your turkey, you will make it easier to fit a larger bird in your oven and you will also cut down on the cooking time considerably. This is where finding a recipe specifically for a butterflied turkey is essential. The one drawback to cooking your bird this way is that you will not be able to cook the stuffing in the cavity of the turkey. For some this can be a deal breaker.
To spatchcock your turkey all you have to do is remove the back bone of the bird. Once you have done that, flip the bird over and press down hard on the breast bone to crack it and to get the turkey to lay flat. Tuck the wing tips underneath and you are now good to go.
Temporary Store Hours During Shelter-in-Place
10 AM to 8 PM
Special shopping hour for seniors
9 AM to 10 AM
We will update you with any new hours as the shelter-in-place situation unfolds.
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.