Sustainable and Local Thanksgiving


I know it’s still a few weeks away but sustainable and local food is slow food so I’m planting the seeds now.

Have you thought about your supper yet? There are so many wonderful local options this time of year as we still celebrate the abundance of late fall with more time spent out of the garden and into the kitchen.

Puget Sound Fresh is hosting a local Thanksgiving dinner contest to encourage you to support local farmers as much as possible.

It’s open to home cooks and the prizes look awfully enticing, including a dinner for 6 in your home prepared by an award winning chef from Brasa Restaurant, local wines and gift certificates for farmer’s markets.

Your dinner doesn’t need to be fancy but you do need to put a lot of thought into it. It doesn’t need to be traditional but it needs to be local. I guarantee you it will be more enjoyable to lovingly prepare and sink your teeth into something grown or raised by someone you’ve put a face with, perhaps enjoyed some conversation, shaken hands and are now on a first name basis with.

You can get local salmon, chicken, beef, pork and goat at the markets right now. How about a souffle from local eggs? A cheese platter from one of the many local cheese artisans along with some crisp fall apples and cider? A roasted apple and squash soup? If the local cranberries are gone by now perhaps you had already put up some cherries or plums earlier that would make a great condiment for your roast? Mushroom stuffing? Oysters on the half shell? I plan to serve brussel sprouts from my front yard but there are sure to be local varieties at the market as well.

By taking a trip to one of the farmer’s markets this Saturday you’ll have time (and room now that the crowds are thinning) to start planning your menu. Look at what is in season and think about what you can do with it. If you are joining forces with another family or family member pass that info on and plan together.

We each are a ripple on a surface of water. One thing you do spreads to many.

This Thanksgiving think local. Think sustainable. Think real food. And when you bow your head in thanks before eating remember all those who are eating from nameless cans and plastic wrappers.

6 Responses to Sustainable and Local Thanksgiving

  1. Amen! We are trying to be a big wave… ;)

    No, really, I think even though we have less options – no Farmer’s Market anymore – it is entirely possible to create a menu around local offerings. I am hoping to find some local sweet potatoes, or we might be doing without one of our favorite side dishes this year. I did just pick up local butternut squash and they will have to be part of the meal. Do you have a recipe for the squash and apple soup? I’d like to see it.

    Great encouragement ~ have a very blessed Thanksgiving!

  2. I did a totally local – largely from my own garden dinner last year and it was wonderful. Unfortunately, this year I am required to attend dinner at one of my in-laws homes and while what I bring to the affair will definitely be local – I can guarantee you much of the rest will likely NOT be. (sigh)

    I really MUCH prefer to be the host and can then revel in the preparation of really traditional and local food stuffs.

  3. Hi Wardeh – it’s so easy to buy local produce here in Seattle since we have year rounde farmer’s markets. I know it can be harder in other areas so good for you!

    Kitsap FG you never cease to amaze me with all your other responsibilities that you are able to do this sto whole-heartedly.

  4. At family dinners, especially this time of year, we all try and feature ingredients we’ve grown or harvested in one way or another. So I’ve been thinking of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for months now. This year I remembered to keep a gallon of cranberries in the fridge and not freeze, dry or can them all in September. We didn’t raise Turkeys this year but I’ve got two male ducks that need harvested and a freezer full of our own chickens. I love planning meals this time of year, as there are so many options. There are no local nuts up here in Alaska, nor pears. I’ll be buying some shallots and leeks. I tried out a beet and carrot soup that was in this months issue of Gourmet, and was very good. We already ate all the brussel sprouts but have lots of cabbage. No sweet potatoes but lots of winter squash. I’m feeling pretty good about the upcomming harvest celebration.

  5. Hi Emily, that is so great your whole family is into this! I’d love your beet/carrot soup recipe if it’s on your blog. That is our favorite juice combo so I’m sure we’d love it!

    It must feel so great to have so much food in storage. I bet up there you sort of have to since you can’t just run down to the corner market and get any last minute ingredients in the winter!

  6. Great post! It’s so true that in order to plan for a sustainable event, you need to start early. Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday meal to promote sustainable foods. Cheers!

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