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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our really local foods challenge: Thanksgiving!

Some may say we're crazy.  Most would wonder why we would bother.

I've issued a challenge to my husband:  we're going to cook our entire Thanksgiving meal with local foods.  Really local.  I think we may be able to do it without leaving our community!  Within one school district.  No farther than 5 miles or so.  

All of it.     Really!

The turkey, the stuffing, mashed potatoes, pickles, corn, pumpkin pie, bread, butter, beans, salad, on and on.

I'm already working out the details in my head.  We'll have to make our own butter with local raw milk.  I've done that before.  Make our own mayo (deviled eggs) with local eggs.  Believe it or not, I've even done that before.  Though I'm not sure how I'll replace the oil in the mayo...

As for the stuffing & breads, I found a source of  locally-grown wheat and a friend to grind it for me.  We grew hundreds of onions this summer, those will be great in the stuffing.  I don't have any celery. I do know someone who grew it, but I'm not sure if they kept any in their fridge after harvest.  I'm thinking I could just substitute the celery with greens I still have growing in the garden (kale, Holland greens, spinach).

The mashed potatoes will be easy, we have boxes full of potatoes that we grew this summer.

The corn & green beans are in our freezer now.  The sweet corn came from a farm within 5 miles, the green beans from our own garden.

Salad?  Check.  Still have fresh lettuce, spinach, and radishes coming in from my garden.

Sweet potatoes?  Well, I didn't grow any this year, but I do know local people who did.  If they still have some for sale I can buy from them.  Or.... I can substitute with mashed winter squash.  I grew lots of that this summer.

Veggie tray?  Check.  Radish, rutabaga, carrots coming from garden and I still have some fresh pattypan zucchini.

Dessert? Check!  We baked & froze pumpkin.  I still have fresh pumpkin, too.  With the locally grown & ground wheat for the crust, this should be pretty easy.  I could also make an apple pie with the apple pie filling I canned this summer (apples from a local farm).  Or a rhubarb custard pie with the rhubarb from my fridge, and local eggs.

Most important: The turkey.  There is a farm just a couple miles from us that raises free-range turkeys. Done!

Problems:  There will be some things we'll have to cheat on.  Herbs & spices, salt, and sugar.  I'll use local honey wherever possible, but if I decide to make a custard pie I'm not sure that honey would work there...

Just some thoughts.  Oh, and I just realized almost all this food will be organic!  (I'm not sure about the wheat)...

I'll keep you posted!

p.s. Don't tell my parents or brother.  They're coming over for this meal.  They're not very into the local foods, organic, healthy, tasteful, good-for-you thing.  At all..... they're more the "eat out every meal, fast food types".  Shhhhhhhhh......


  1. WOW!!!!!! Quite the goal girlfriend! lol. Hey, if you have any butternut squash you should check out pioneer womans recipe for that, I think she said that has replaced their sweet potato dish. OH, and I have an AMAZING recipe for zucchini crisp if you have any zucchini left. It seriously tastes JUST like apple crisp, I didn't believe my mom that is was zucchini until she got me the recipe!

  2. That's awesome. My mom got an organic turkey locally for this years meal. Most things will be local from the farmer's market or we grew it. But I'm still using Crisco in my pie crust! ;)

  3. Woo-hoo, you're an Organic Superhero! That's really awesome, and it'll be a fun challenge for you, too! My mouth is watering right now at the thought of all those yummies!