Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Planning a local Thanksgiving: Is it possible?

One of Ithaca's best-known foodies, Amy from the Eggs on Sunday blog, is planning a local Thanksgiving feast.  

"We're so lucky to live in an area so rich with local food producers," she says, adding that her family's meal with probably be about 80% local.  Amy has shared her plans both on her blog and here with Ithaca's Food Web.

This year's menu at Amy's house:
Appetizers - local cheeses, bread from Ithaca Bakery, local wine/cider, local grapes (if available) or apples/pears
Turkey - from McDonald Farm, roasted, slathered with local butter mixed with lots of different herbs from Kingbird Farm
Stuffing - simple bread stuffing w/Ithaca Bakery sourdough, herbs from Kingbird Farm, celery (not local), homemade stock, onions, apples, and (not local) celery 
Marbelized Root Vegetable Puree - using all veg from our CSA share
Squash and Apple Bake - using local squash and apples
Braised Greens with Cranberries, Pine Nuts & Feta - using chard from West Haven Farm and Lively Run goat feta; dried cranberries and pignolis (not local)
Green Beans, Roasted Fennel & Shallots - shallots from Kingbird Farm, green beans & fennel (not local)
Dessert - one possibility is pie, using Piggery lard for crust, New Hope Mills flour, local pumpkin or apples.

Amy adds that there are lots of ways to incorporate local foods into your Thanksgiving menu. For example, she suggests other ideas that she's used in the past or considered for future holiday meals:

For one thing, why wait until dinner to start the local feast?  For breakfast, one possibility is a strata with local bread, eggs and NY cheddar (instead of Gruyere), or a different strata with local bread, eggs, sausage & apples, or a quiche with local eggs, greens, bacon & NY cheddar.

For the meal itself:
Goat Cheese & Herb Gougeres are a great appetizer, can be made ahead, using local goat cheese & seasonal herbs
Celery root & apple puree
Potatoes are now in season, so those are easy to use for mashed/roasted/gratins
Turnip gratin is wonderful, using local cream and turnips
Roasted carrots & thyme, simple and easy side dish
Roasted brussels sprouts with garlic and pancetta (could substitute local bacon)
A delicious Beet Bubbly Cocktail inspired by Felicia's

And, for an elegant dessert: maple pots de creme could be made with local cream, eggs, maple syrup.

Now a menu like that is something to be thankful for!

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