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Culinary Camping Hacks

And when you get blue, and you've lost all your dreams,

There's nothin' like a campfire, and a can of beans.
~Tom Waits from Lucky Day

We're all about camping under the stars-the fresh air and exercise does make everything taste better. But you are not going find us spooning cold beans from a can. No, we take our culinary adventures camping with us, and we'd like to share a few tips, products and tricks with you.

Here are some great products that will help you strike the right balance between delicious meals and not spending too much time cooking:

  • Kodiak Cakes Flapjack Mixes are light and tasty: Just add water!
  • Organic Valley Asepetic Milk and Pacific Foods Almond Milk don't need to be refrigerated until opened.
  • Red Head Alaskan Salmon and Ortiz Ventrusca Tuna: Canned fish that tastes fresh-caught.
  • And then there's Three Jerk Filet Mignon Beef Jerky-this is gourmet camping! 
  • Tasty Bite Entrees and Rice Packs: Home made tasting Indian dishes to heat in a pot of water over a burner or open flame.
  • Frontera Taco Skillet Sauce: Add a packet of authentic flavor to your taco filling.
  • Alessi Soup Mixes: Dehydrated soup mixes, add water and cook on your camping stove or fire.
  • We also carry fresh diced onions and cubed butternut squash for easy prep, and tiny potatoes will cook quickly directly in the embers when wrapped in layers of foil.
  • Grapevine Trading Co. has assembled a brilliant Travel Spice Kit.
  • Dean & Jacob's Spice Grinders hold yummy, blended seasonings and salts.
  • Stackwines has a tasty Chardonnay already packaged in its cup. 
  • And don't forget the Vosges Chocolate Bars for amazing, gourmet s'mores.

Foodie Camping Hacks: here are a few of our favorite
  • Make your own single-serving coffee filters and cut down on carrying equipment. Do-ahead. 
  • Make your own fire-starters by inserting charcoal into each section of a paper egg carton. Just light the carton or place on kindling.
  • Pack a small mason jar with wooden matches, cut a circle of fine sandpaper in the shape of the lid insert, and sandwich it on top. Your matches stay dry, and have a good surface to strike. (This said, bring a backup lighter, too!) 
  • Pack branches of rosemary from the garden, and place them over  hot coals or embers when it is time to roast meats.
  • Refill plastic water bottles, and freeze them for the cooler-keeps your food from getting soggy.
  • Dedicate a microfiber towel for dishes. They dry so fast!
Piedmont Grocery Awarded Best Of Oakland!    

Oakland Magazine has honored us with the title of
Best Grocery Store-Reader's Choice!  

Wow. We love our customers, and are thrilled by the praise. Come to the store and pick up a copy. (We're on page 41.) It is full of fantastic recommendations for local businesses and restaurants that you've just got to try. Thanks, guys!

Read more... 



Vendor of the Month 

Niman Ranch   


Local roots, the most humane protocols, fantastic flavor and freshness.

Because Niman Ranch consistently delivers the highest quality beef, pork, lamb and cage free eggs, it is a favorite at Piedmont Grocery as well as restaurants and businesses throughout the SF Bay Area. Niman Ranch's dedication to the strictest protocols and the belief that all-natural, humane and sustainable methods produces the best possible flavor and incredibly consistent quality.


Niman Ranch sausages are wonderful grilled over an open fire.  



Melon Madness!  

You know it is summer when you walk down the produce aisle, and you are stopped by that sweet perfume of perfect melon. Well, it's that time, and the melons are at peak season! 

We love our summer cantaloupe by the slice, wrapped with prosciutto, in a cold melon soup, ice pop, or smoothie. Enjoy them while they are here.

How To Tell If A Cantaloupe Is Ripe
A ripe cantaloupe smells sweet and is firm to the touch. An odorless one is likely to lack flavor, and if it is too spongy it is overripe. The stem end will have a little bit of give if you press gently with your thumbs. A ripe cantaloupe will also feel heavier than it looks. If your melon has a bleached spot it's fine to eat-that is from resting on the ground while attached to the vine.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask our product department for help.


Trout Meunière   

From Amy and our "What's For Dinner Wednesday" recipe blog 


Goin' Fishin'? Yup...

You cannot catch trout with dry breeches.
~Spanish Proverb


As you read this post, I am wearing waders (It's a real good look.), thigh deep in the Yellowstone River-fly fishing for trout. Before you get too impressed, let me say that I am not a fly fisherman. My first and only encounter with the sport (?) occurred right after college when my then boyfriend tried to teach me the art of the cast in my driveway ('cause doesn't everyone do that?). I never got it right, but it did make for some serious comedy. And for 5 minutes I was an awesome girlfriend.


Fast forward a few years. (Actually it's almost 20, but I refuse to wrap my mind around that.) Here I am again trying to figure this whole thing out. The best part is we are in Yellowstone, which has been on my bucket list since I studied Geology and Volcanology at the U of O. (Geek alert! Obviously that career didn't pan out.)


Despite visions of Chevy Chase and his station wagon (or maybe because of it) we decided to load up the kids and the car, and experience a real family vacation complete with plenty of whining, bathroom stops, and "Will you stop touching me!". It's all worth it because good or bad this will be a trip that we will remember for years to come.


Below is a favorite recipe for Trout Meunière from James Peterson's cookbook Fish & Shellfish. This book is another one of those must haves for any cook's library. It is a great reference for cooking anything and everything that comes from the water. I have included his intro...seems appropriate.


Read the rest of the article and get the recipe...   


In This Issue
Foodie Camping
Best of Oakland
Vendor of the Month
What's Hot
Trout Meuniere
What's For Dinner Wednesday
Quick Links






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Oakland, CA 94611


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