When you hear the term “organic” you may dismiss it. It connotes a “status” and often conjures up two different images: lifestyles of the rich and famous or perhaps some alternative, hippie thing. The term “organic” actually refers to the way agricultural products are grown and produced. Oxbow Produce & Grocery is committed to bringing only organic fruits and vegetables to your grocery basket.

Organic standards include a national list of approved synthetic and prohibited non-synthetic substances for organic production which means that organically produced foods also must be produced without the use of:

  • antibiotics
  • artificial growth hormones
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • artificial dyes
  • artificial sweeteners derived from chemicals
  • synthetically created chemical pesticide and fertilizers
  • genetically engineered proteins and ingredients
  • sewage sludge
  • irradiation

Wow, who knew that conventional, non-organic food could contain these ingredients?

Whole spice suggests a very special (and simple) dinner, perfect for a weeknight or for company.

2 lamb shanks
1 Tbs olive oil
½ oz Whole Spice lamb rub
3 carrots, sliced in big chunks
3 celery stalks, sliced in big chunks
3 shallots, cleaned and quartered
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, stem and seed pod removed, cut and quartered
1/2 small butternut squash
1 28 oz. can stewed plum tomatoes
1 cup hearty red wine, like a Syrah
1 cup beef broth
3 cardamom pods
4 whole allspice berries
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub lamb shanks in olive oil and rub with Whole Spice lamb rub. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes, turning a few times to seal in the juices. Add all the vegetables and spices and cook for two hours. Remove the cardamom and allspice. Serve over creamy polenta.

Hai, Arigato! Hog Island Oyster Bar is now serving premium Japanese sake from Sake Tengoku of St. Helena. A partnership of three local industry veterans — acclaimed sushi chef Ken Tominaga, Sake master Stuart Morris and business manager Julie Bath, Sake Tengoku imports high-quality, small production sakes that have never before been imported to the US.

Aizu Chushou Junmai’s subtle and complex aroma of quince, celery, kumquat and almond is a unique and delightful pairing with fresh seafood — and raw oysters.

Sake Brewery: Tsurunoe Shuzo Aizu Chushou,
Aizu Wakayama, Fukushima Prefecture
Founded 1794
Brewer Yoshimasa  Sakai

The city Aizu Wakayama where this sake is brewed has very drastic weather patterns, creating distinctive seasonal changes helping the local farmers to grow some of the best rice in Japan. Rice requires heavy rainfall, cool winters and hot humid summers. The temperature variation increases between days and nights during summer in the foothills of Fukushima. In winter, consistent snowfall cleans the atmosphere, stabilizing low temperatures to furnish a good sake brewing environment.

This traditional brewery uses no modern machines to make their sake. A visit to this brewery would astonish you…steaming rice in a large metal pots, ropes and pulleys, wooden platforms, wheelbarrows…all part of the day to day brewing process at this Sakagura.

All of their sake is truly handmade and in small amounts which lets this Toji input his beautiful spirit into the sake. The resulting sake is stylistically light, delicate, pretty and soft, much like the reflective moments spent by the koi pond in the rear of the brewery.


Don’t miss the February special at Cate & Co., Oxbow’s new gluten-free bakeshop. It features a chop chop salad made with fresh Dungeness crab, avocado and chili lime vinaigrette, and a chocolate crinkle cookie, for $17. C CASA also has a tasty special this month: a chicken enchilada with poblano cream sauce, accompanied by a chop salad and a chocolate almond macaroon, all for $13.