Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Local Thanksgiving – in a Box!

This announcement brought to you by Melissa at Eat Local Network.

Fall is a wonderful time to enjoy the bounty of food produced in our area – root veggies, greens and squash abound. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving, the quintessential fall meal, than a table laden with dishes made from local food? Eat Local Network has made this easy by working with twelve farms to bring you a box of ingredients to cook up a local Thanksgiving dinner. All of the vegetables are grown in the Snoqualmie Valley. Ingredients including cranberries, flour, butter, hazelnuts and dried cherries come from within 150 miles of Seattle. A loaf of organic bread is included for stuffing, with a gluten free option available.

Eat Local Network has also provided recipes to assure that you get the most out of your ingredients and to assure that you will have time to spend with those you have invited to your home.

The items in the box will be seasonal and fresh. You can skip the grocery store lines. And your holiday table will honor and support local farmers.

Just remember, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the deadline to order is this Thursday, November 17th. For all the details and to place your order head to:
Find them on Facebook at “

Black Bean Burgers


In the days before Garden Burgers, bean burgers were increasingly popular and a nice change of pace from eating a meat burger. Since MorningStar came out with their soy-based burgers, however, bean burgers have all but disappeared.

With some inspiration from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks I was able to come up with a recipe that reminds me of the black bean burgers I used to eat before Morningstar displaced them.

These are a fast, frugal weeknight dinner that can even be made up and par-fried then frozen, although they come together so quickly from frozen, pre-cooked beans I don’t know why you would bother unless you were planning to take them camping.

You can add up to one cup of seasonal vegetables to these. The only caveat is if you have a veggie that is hard (like carrots) or contains a large amount of water (like mushrooms or zucchini) you would want to chop and saute them before adding to this recipe.

Black Bean Burgers

2 1/2 cups of cooked black beans
1 cup bread crumbs
4 backyard eggs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 small chopped onion or 1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder

In a food processor combine all ingredients and puree until the mixture is well combined.

Form into burgers whatever size you prefer and pan fry in a covered, oiled heavy skillet for 5-10 minutes per side depending on your burger size.

These can be served on buns but my favorite way to eat them (since there is already bread in the burger) is plated with peach salsa and a sprout or garden salad.

Crispy Garbanzo Beans


This snack is brilliant on so many fronts – crispy without being fried, loaded with protein and good for you fiber, frugal, simple to make and as easy to customize as potato chips. Kids love them and can even prepare them themselves.

I buy my garbanzo beans from Azure Standard but PCC has recently undertaken a massive labeling effort and you can now find country of origin on the bulk bin items. While they aren’t local, you at least know they are grown in the US.

I cook up large pots of all kinds of beans then freeze them so they are always ready for whatever cooking adventure I can dream up. It’s incredibly frugal to make things like bean burgers, chili or bean dip and by having a steady supply of cooked beans in the freezer I’m not tempted to buy BPA lined cans of them. Their creaminess pairs well with winter greens too.

Crispy Garbanzo Bean Snacks

About 1 pound of well-drained cooked garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of sea salt
seasonings of your choice. Think of potato chip flavors – chili powder, Thai spices, garlic and onion powder.

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl combine garbanzo beans with olive oil, salt and seasonings. Spread them onto a jelly roll sheet with sides and roast them for about an hour until they are crispy. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 1 week.

Rockridge Orchard Apple Cider Smoked Turkey


Inspired by the blazing lard incident we decided to smoke the turkey this year. It turns out turkey was meant to be smoked. The combination of brine and low cooking temperature ensures that even the most horrifically overcooked turkey will come out succulent and moist and fragrantly seasoned with an enticing smoky aroma. The fact that we used local honey and apple cider in the brine probably had something to do with the sweetness of the meat as well.

Sage and thyme are both low fuss herbs that weather our maritime winters well as long as they are in a spot with good drainage. You can keep the plants for several years before they get too woody. At that point you can divide them or replace them with nursery starts. We used our own herbs for this recipe and honey from Tahuya Aviary.

This recipe is based on this one.

Rockridge Orchard Apple Cider Smoked Turkey

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rubbed sage
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Mix all rub ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.


  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 2 cups sea or kosher salt
  • 3 cups Rockridge Orchards apple cider
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2/3 cup local honey
  • 1 pastured turkey from Pastured Sensations
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cups hickory soaked wood chips, or enough to smoke for 4-6 hours depending on the size of your turkey.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket or brew kettle lined with a large plastic bag until the sugar and salt are dissolved. We used the bathroom size one. This steps helps you conserve the amount of brine you need and ensures the turkey remains in the brine the whole time.

    Place the bucket or pot in the refrigerator overnight to brine. Turn the turkey after 3 hours to be sure both sides get brined. We actually just put the turkey breast side down and didn’t worry about brining the back or drumsticks.

    Smoke your turkey at 225 F according to the manufacturer’s directions until a probe thermometer reaches 160 F. Ours took about 5 hours for a 16 pound turkey.

    One important thing about the smoked turkey – if you want gravy you need to place a rack with a bowl under the turkey in order to catch the drippings. I was afraid the smoke would be too strong to make a pleasant gravy but boy was I wrong! It made the most pleasantly memorable turkey gravy I’ve ever had.

    Savory Squash Gratin


    We grew an amazing number of acorn squash this summer from Rents Due starts purchased at PCC. The tag said prolific but I had no idea just what that meant.


    Here we are almost December still with several boxes of squash in the garage. Faced with no sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner I made up a savory side dish that would hold up it’s own sharing a plate with our smoked turkey.

    Savory Roast Acorn Squash Gratin

    Roast 4 acorn squash by slicing them in half, scooping out the seeds, rubbing the cut surfaces with olive oil and roasting them in a 350 degree oven until soft when poked with a fork.

    Scoop out the soft flesh and whizz it in the food processor until smooth.  Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary and 1/4 cup of sharp Samish Bay Montasio cheese. The amount of salt you use will depend on how salty your cheese is. If you are using parmesan you will need less.

    Place the squash mixture in a small pyrex dish, dot the surface with butter and bake in a 350 degree oven until warm and the top begins to brown around the edges. The length of time will depend greatly on how many other things you have in your oven.