Thanksgiving is a great time to be a grocery store. Everybody becomes a foodie: walking around with lists of special ingredients, chatting in line about recipes and dinner plans, and taking time for the details involved in creating a great meal.
We become ambitious. Sometimes, we regret that degree of ambition during dinner preparation. So, before you create your final draft of that shopping list, take a look at our list of secrets.
We are so fortunate to have delicious products available that are not only time-saving, but practically guarantee fantastic results. And sometimes they taste even better than if you had done it yourself:
Alexa Artisan Dinner Rolls (in the freezer section)
Stonewall Kitchen Popover Mix (in baking)
Piedmont Deli's Famous Gravy by the pint or quart in the cold deli section (Where the grab n' go items are.)
Minerve Chestnuts and Chestnut Puree. We have them in jars, cans and vacuumed packed bags.
For The Stuffing, Stocks and Veggie Dishes
Chopped Celery, Onion and Carrots in a tub (in the produce section)
Frozen Pie Crust by Upper Crust bakery (in the freezer section). They come in both regular and gluten free.
Stonewall Kitchen Pie Filling (we have apple, pumpkin and mixed berry)
Robertson's Mince Pie Filling (see our post below.)
We also have a yummy assortment of pre-made pies (in the bakery section).
You can order all or part of your feast from our deli department. Just be certain to call by Monday, November 25th. It will be ready for you to pick up by Wednesday. View and download our catering menu here.
Tastes Like A Turkey Should.
If you prefer genuine turkey flavor and a firmer texture, then these fresh, range-grown turkeys are just the thing. The mild taste and generous amount of white meat of these traditional bird make Diestel Turkey our hands-down favorite.
Are Diestel birds better? If you are accustomed to eating commercial birds from the deep freeze, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Hard-frozen turkeys are generally brine-injected and "butter" soaked to make up for both the loss of moisture caused by freezing, and the loss of flavor that results from breeds selected for their ability to put on weight quickly. Diestel Turkeys Ranch in Sonora, raises their birds outdoors, and allows them to reach to their peak size naturally.
Tips, Tricks and Sleight of Hand
These tips can save you time!
1. Brining bags make it simple, or even use a clean cooler for brining--they're easy to drain when finished.
2. Roasting pan liners save on clean-up. They are in our housewares department.
3. Grab pre-arranged flowers for the table when you are in the market.
4. Place votives in small canning jars around the table. The jars are in the back by the produce doors. Unscented and battery-operated candles are by the paper napkins.
5. And while you are at it, pick up some elegant paper napkins to save time on laundry.
6. Create a clean-up station before you begin the meal: set up a lined garbage can, and a paint bucket (or other large container) full of soapy water. This will keep your sink clear of dishes so you can work.
7. 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. It will not leave a soggy mess.
8. Order your feast from our deli. Nothing is faster. It's delicious and a good value. The deadline to order is Monday, November 25th.
Yes! We are taking orders for delicious Diestel Turkeys.We will have turkeys if you walk in without an advance order, but you can call to make certain you get the one you really want. After all, we will only have an entire tractor-trailer full, and they go fast!Call our butcher department in advance--sooner is better.
A lovely dinner wine for your holiday table.
A blend of two Monterey County vineyards, it shows the same lovely floral aromatics of those cool-climate sites, and the same spicy notes, with hints of lychee, pear and citrus fruits. It boasts a long, succulent finish.
Claiborne & Churchill is a small, family-owned winery founded in 1983. At Claiborne & Churchill traditional European winemaking techniques prevail, all in the belief that the winemaker's task is to bring out the flavor and character that is latent in the grape. They craft pleasurable dinner wines in which there is a harmonious balance of fruit and oak, structure and texture. Read More...
From Amy and our "What's For Dinner Wednesday" recipe blog
Making Mincemeat of 'Em
I love Thanksgiving. It is fast becoming my favorite holiday. In the past, if you had asked me what my favorite holiday was I would have quickly answered that it was Christmas. As I get older I seem to like Thanksgiving more and more.
Possibly it is because I love the Over The River And Through The Woods feel of the drive through the back roads of Central California to my mother-in-law's house. It's gorgeous. The leaves on the trees are all different colors. The persimmons hang on bare limbs of enormous trees. You can smell the wood fire smoke in the chilly morning air. Norman Rockwell perfect, I tell ya.
It is also possible that I like Thanksgiving because I don't do all of the cooking. In fact I do very little if any at all. (Strange, I know but it is nice to just show up and be fed from time to time). This year, though, I am adding a little Larson flare to the Thanksgiving table.
Growing up, Gam, my mother's mother, would always make a mince pie. Mince pie is a throwback to an older generation and is frankly very misunderstood. Since traditionally it was made using suet, a.k.a. beef fat, people assumed that mince pie would taste like, well, beef fat. It does not. It is actually made of dried fruits and nuts and is quite good. However, the only people of my childhood who would risk their taste buds and eat the Thanksgiving mince pies were Grandpa Larson (my Dad's Dad), Pa (my Mother's Step Father), and my dad because he never saw a pie he didn't like. The rest of us treated mince pie like poison and stuck with the pumpkin.
I had the opportunity to try legit mince pie when I was traveling in Scotland, and I have been hooked ever since. I do admit I make it without the suet. In all fairness, I don't even make the mincemeat. I use the jarred Robertson's Classic Mincemeat that we carry in our gourmet department. It's just as good as what I could make, and so much easier. I do add a splash of brandy. I can't help myself. I just gotta mess with it a little
And here's another tip, the frozen Upper Crust ready made pie shells are by far the best frozen shells I have tasted, and they have a gluten-free version too. Just buy two shells, and roll out one for the top crust.
For those who are interested in trying a mince pie but don't want to make it, or even just bake it, we have them available in our pastry case during the holidays and, frankly, we are one of the few markets who do, so grab your forks! Read the article on our website...