Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving locally

piesIn the continuing "local food" project, I wanted to see how much of Thanksgiving dinner could be done with locally grown and produced food. It started with buying a heritage turkey from a local farmer, and escalated from there. Overall, we ended up with an almost completely local dinner, except for the pecan pie, cranberry relish, and a couple of ingredients.

Here's the menu we ended up with:

  • Narragansett Bronze turkey from John Harnois (Whitmore Lake, MI)
  • Roasted root vegetables: celeriac, turnips, potatoes, garlic with fresh thyme and butter
  • Stuffing from locally baked bread, onions, apples, celeriac tops, butter, fresh thyme, and dried sage.
  • Gravy from turkey stock, butter, flour.
  • Greens: spinach, turnip greens, and kale, with butter and garlic.
  • Cranberry-orange relish from Fresh Seasons market (too yummy to leave out!)
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Pecan pie
Other than the pecan pie, the only non-local ingredients were the flour in the stuffing bread, brown sugar, salt, pepper, dried sage, and bay leaves. I found a source for locally milled (and, presumably, grown) flour. Morgan & York sells a "boutique" flour from a mill in Argentine, Michigan (less than 50 miles from home). I used this flour to make the pie crusts and thicken the gravy.

Everything was delicious, especially the turkey. Honestly, it was the best turkey we've ever had. It was just over 7 lbs, which was pretty much perfect for our family of 4, and it cooked in less than 2 hours. I brined it the day before, and it was perfectly seasoned and nicely moist. The pie crust was also especially good.

Amy has found out that salt is produced in Windsor, Ontario, which is within 100 miles of here, so is local. We've just got to figure out how to get some (preferably without driving to Windsor.) And we could have done cranberry sauce, but we didn't know it -- Amy discovered tonight that Trader Joes had Michigan-grown cranberries -- Naturipe Farms grows cranberries in south east Michigan, although it appears they may distribute them via the west side of the state.

So, how about you? Maybe it's time to start thinking about your upcoming holiday meals. What local ingredients can you incorporate? What exotic ingredients shipped from far away can you do without? And which ones can't you leave out?


Anonymous said...

Dude, we rock! We had very similar menus :) I am glad that you mentioned the M&Y flour...I can walk/bike (but uh, it's cold so I'll drive) to M&Y, so that's extra cool.

As I'm sure you know, our church has the Local Food action circle--I'm in it!


Spencer said...

I was at M&Y getting butter (the coop doesn't appear to stock Calder butter, although they do have the milk, but anyway) and mentioned to Tommy that I was looking for local flour. He said "but we have some!" At a bit over $2/lb, I wouldn't make bread with it, but for pie crust or maybe biscuits, it's yummy.