Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Eat Local for Thanksgiving 2008

Eat Local for Thanksgiving 2008It's that time of year again and it's not too late to start thinking about your Thanksgiving meal and how to make it as sustainable as possible. The most effective thing to do is to focus on providing foods that are in season, local and organic.

You've already heard me blathering on (and on) about the reasons for eating locally, but here's a reminder: On average, for each plate of food obtained locally, 2.2 pounds of CO2 emissions are prevented. (This is from a University of WA study, so I'm not sure how it extrapolates out to other areas of the country.)

So, in another effort to encourage you to do more, you can pledge to Eat Local for Thanksgiving by adding a comment to this post. In your pledge you can state what you are planning to do, whether that be acquiring a local turkey to getting all your vegetables at a farmer's market, etc. It's totally up to you. The point is to think about where each food source comes from and buy it locally or don't serve it if it's out of season or has to travel miles to get to your plate.

Now, we all have our family favorites, and I'm sure Aunt Agnes might be upset when she doesn't see her favorite green bean casserole because the season is over in your neck of the woods and you neglected to can or freeze any. So, for those of you who want to take the opportunity during your Thanksgiving meal to discuss the issues surrounding food and where it comes from, the Puget Sound Fresh website has some printable discussion cards for your Thanksgiving table that may help you explain why certain things are missing.

Between now and Thanksgiving, I'll keep a running counter in the sidebar for the amount of CO2 emissions prevented based on the number of people pledging to eat local.*

What are we doing? Well, we are getting a local, pasture ranged heritage turkey from Thundering Hooves that we ordered way back in July. In addition, I'm sure we'll be serving all sorts of local potatoes, greens and apple pie, plus pumpkin pie from my pumpkins.

How are you choosing local for Thanksgiving this year?

*This won't be extremely scientific, but I'll just assume one plate worth of savings for each pledge, unless you specify otherwise. In other words, if you know you'll be serving all local food to 10 people, I'll count that as 10 plates worth.

39 comments:

Burbanmom said...

We'll be going local with everything but the bird - which is a traditional gift from hubby's boss and cannot be rejected. I'll be hosting three adults and two kiddos, so I'd count it as four whole plates (plus leftovers!).

Jena said...

I wish I could say we're doing it local this year, but I'm not even quite sure yet were I'm heading for the holiday. I do vow to make whatever dishes I bring as local as possible. I will be initiating lots of discussion about local foods and putting a bug in my family's ear that hopefully next year I'll have turkeys to sell!

In case anyone missed it, check out the
Butternut Squash Cheesecake
recipe from Farmer's Daughter. I made it and served it to friends last night - they all loved it! I'm planning to make it again for Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

CTDaffodil & family are doing a semi-local thanksgiving.
Local fresh turkey - not really sure if its free range or grain fed but we had one last year and I'll never buy another whole frozen one again.
Mashed Taters - grown by my Mom.
Apple Pies - from Mother In Law's trees - flour from the store.
Butternut squash - grown by my Mom
Greenbeans - from the frozen section at the grocery
Pumpkin pie - I can't resist the texture of a pie made with Libbys - its my Twinkie!
Sweet Taters - Don't grow well in NE - so I'll get those at the store too - My sister is bringing me some pecans from her trees though for the top and my holiday baking. Rolls I'll make from scratch but the flour is from the store. Wine is from a CT Vineyard not far from us.

Happy day to you all!!

stephanie said...

Thanksgiving's come and gone already for us Canadians, but I just had to comment that I think "Thundering Hooves" is the most awesome name I've ever heard for a meat seller. I am vegetarian, and it even appeals to ME!

organicneedle said...

We are actually picking up our last, sniff sniff, CSA shipment for the season on our way to Grandma's. I have no idea what will be in it...squash, potatoes, maybe even a brave little broccoli? Whatever is in it will be on the table Thursday.

Lisa said...

We're doing 4 adult plates this year with everything local except some of the condiments, spices, and beverages (dad-in-law wants coffee so it won't be local but WILL be fair trade). ~Lisa (Dioscita on Flickr)

Green Bean said...

Sadly, we're not eating local at all this year. We're going to a relatives' house and they insist on ordering everything. We insisted on cooking everything last Xmas and it was a debacle with 6 kids under 5 and half of the group (kids and growns up) sick but still I'd like to cook something and avoid some of the plastic cartons everything will come with.

On the upside, we're doing a separate celebration with the inlaws and I'm making my now famous, all local squash pie. ;-)

greenismyname said...

Since we are going to be guests this thanksgiving at a friends place, I dont know if much or any of the meal will be local. Im going to try to find out. And now that I am thinking about it, I will bring some containers from home for any leftovers we will be taking with us, as to avoid getting a bunch of ziplocks!

Ill be bringing an apple pie or a pumpkin bread, and the apples or pumpkin will be local, though the rest of the ingredients will not.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Great ideas, crunchy! I'll try to get my family to do it!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

I am going to visit family for Thanksgiving, so I cannot help what is one their menus, but I will be planning what I bring based on what is around locally. We have bulk purchased (organic from a co-op), beans and rice, which we will use, but I am going to try to go local as much as I can beyond that - we are vegetarian, so the meat will not be an issue for us. Our contributions will be (at least as they stand now):

Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Mushrooms (we will use local peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs - the mushrooms will likely not be local though)

Balsamic Roasted Zucchini, Eggplant, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Shiitake Mushrooms, Garlic, and Onions over Brown Rice (the zucchini, eggplant, green beans, shiitakes, garlic, and onions will be local)

Garlic (vegan) mashed potatoes (the potatoes, garlic, onions and herbs will be local, the hempmilk I use in it will not be, but will be purchased from a local store)

Shiitake Mushroom Gravy - using local shiitake mushrooms and herbs and hempmilk from the local store

Pumpkin Pecan Bread (made using local eggs, pumpkin, and pecans, the flour will be non-local)

It isn't perfect but it is as local as we can figure out how to get.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Oh sorry, there will be two of us participating, myself, and my partner Brett.

N. said...

Our turkey wont be local, but it will be pasture raised and heritage so that's cool. We don't have a set menu, Im going to hit up the local markets the weekend before and base my menu on that. J. and I aren't tied to specific dishes and my mom is flexible as long as we have turkey :)

organicneedle said...

Greenismyname...thanks for the reminder to take tuppies!

Michelle said...

We were too late to get a local turkey, but just about everything else will be local. Local cranberries (with California orange zest), local potatoes, local apples for pie. I use Stone-Buhr flour, which is grown in the PNW and milled in Spokane, so I guess components of the stuffing and pie crust will be local, too. There are two plates at my house.

SusanB said...

We'll be going local, right now 2 adults for your count), but I always cook big on this holiday (don't worry, there's no waste).
We've ordered a local fresh turkey (grainfed, hormone/antibiotic free). We'll be having local cheese for our pre-dinner munchies; local cranberries sweetened with local cranberry honey and local apples; stuffing from locally made organic bread cubes, local onions, and homegrown herbs; baked local potatoes and sweet potatoes; some local green vegetable, cooked asian style; local turnips; and pumpkin and apple pie, made with local apples, homegrown pumpkin, and local farm lard.
The non-local ingredients -- sugar, flour, celery and garlic probably, crackers, raisins, oil, soy sauce, butter, salt, pepper, evaporated milk, whipping cream, spices for the pie and cranberry sauce.

Mark said...

You can also pledge online at www.pugetsoundfresh.org/eatlocal and be entered to win a locally raised turkey from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm or free Organic Valley milk for a year. Also, check out the recipe section for some great Thanksgiving recipes from Tom Douglas, Seth Caswell (president of Seattle Chefs Collaborative) and Herban Feast Catering.

Questions? Email: mark@cascadeharvest.org

Katy said...

I am going to be at my parent's house for Thanksgiving so everything will not be local.

My squash, sweet potatos, pumpkin pie and peacan pie will be though! There are usually between 20 and 30people Mom and Dad's at Thanksgivings.

De in D.C. said...

We're going to visit relatives in upstate NY, so can't vouch for the localness of dinner. Last time we were there (2yrs ago) we did have a local heritage turkey, local breads & honey, and a bunch of non-local vegetables. I will be bringing some local buffalo meat with me for pre-thanksgiving dinners.

sophstar's mama said...

It's hard when you live in Southeast Alaska to do local food. EVERYTHING and I do mean everything is barged in from Seattle. We had a non-summer this year so we don't have any vegetables from the garden. There aren't any turkeys that live in Juneau!
But I will pledge to buy organic, that's about all I can do.

mudnessa said...

not set on what we are doing yet but if we make our own food i will do all i can to make it local food. if so it would be just me and my husband eating. most likely though we will end up somewhere else and if we bring a dish i will try to make it local ingredients.

kelley said...

i'm eating at ma's place, and won't butt into her cooking plans, but i will be bringing a local vegetarian entree. maybe a dessert, too, if i'm feeling crazy.

Abbie said...

Thanks for the compliment Jena!

My mom's making dinner, but I know she'll be making it as local as possible.

I'll be making my first prize-winning butternut squash pie, but using pumpkin that I grew, since I'm out of our own squash.

Hot Belly Mama - taking it all back said...

what a great idea. You know, there is NO excuse for not buying Thanksgiving dinner locally because this is the true American dinner where all the ingredients are grown nearly everywhere in the states.

Happy Early Thanksgiving!

robin in seattle said...

For those of you in the Puget Sound region, you can also take the Eat Local for Thanksigiving pledge. You can be entered in a raffle for all sorts of exciting prizes, like organic turkeys or a whole year (!) of Organic Valley dairy products.

Dasha said...

Count me in! We are two people- we are getting a local turkey and for side dishes we will have sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. I'm not sure if we are making stuffing, but I think that will probably end up being mostly non-local. Oh an apple pie with local apples!

Kristijoy said...

My roommate and I will be eating out at a prix fixe dinner at a local restaurant that does all organic local everything.
So not only is the meal local, it's also saving energy and all on volume as a restaurant. and it's within walking distance.

Abby said...

We're having local heritage turkeys as a bonus from our CSA. We'll be feeding 14 people with them, plus all the other odds and ends we will get locally (eggs, salad- our CSA has a greenhouse, bacon, carrots- greenhouse, green beans- frozen from summer). I just love the blog!

melanietai said...

my parents are coming here, make that 5 plates local!

The Purloined Letter said...

We'll be local as well for our meal at home (3 people). We'll try to use only what we grew ourselves and what we get from our CSA and a nearby dairy/meat farm.

I'll make stuffing which includes breadcrumbs--made from non-local bulk wheat which we grind into wheat and bake into bread ourselves. That is almost local...

We haven't found local cranberries and are still trying to figure out a replacement that won't leave us feeling deprived. I think we can put together some rhubarb-fig chutney or something, perhaps. Hm. Any suggestions?

Robj98168 said...

Just the two of us and we are both working this year- Probably do a local chicken or capon(My cousin has a source for local capons!) or maybe a roast beast,my own home grown veggies, potatoes, and of course pumpkin pie made from the pumpkin I roasted and pureed! Some of it I even grew!

Anonymous said...

Purloined Letter -- two years ago we started a blueberry chutney tradition since we can't get local cranberries in northwest Florida. We've also done fig chutney -- both were huge hits and great on turkey.

8 local plates so far this year -- may go as high as 14.

Lynnet said...

We have two local Thanksgiving eaters here. Heritage pastured turkey, potatoes from our CSA, creamed (local) onions, frozen (local) green beans, pumpkin (local) pie with gluten-free crust (sorry not local ingredients) but with local cream and eggs.

Cranberries unfortunately are not local, but it's a tiny part of the meal.

ruralaspirations said...

Being Canadian, we had our Thanksgiving in early October. We planned an all-local dinner with another family and everything was ordered and ready when I came down with a wicked flu and had to miss out. I heard it was a great success and we'll definitely do it again next year!

Martha said...

We go local with everything we can, but in our area it is very difficult for some reason - guess they haven't caught on to the times yet!

Young Snowbird said...

I'm fasting this year instead of feasting. Occasional tradition I started for myself ten years ago when I ended up several years in a row in the ER after Thanksgiving feasting.

Can try making veggie broth out of local food, so I guess I can pledge my fast will be local. lol

n said...

We are eating all local, too. 2 adults and one kid. They are eating a local organic turkey and all the veggie side dishes are either from our own garden or local farmers including the pumpkin for the pie. Even the flour is local in the desserts and bread.

As for me, I am making a nut loaf (vegan) from local walnuts and veggies and a raw vegan apple cobbler dessert from local apples and the same walnuts. Just the dates in it are from California.

Nature Deva said...

n is me, Nature Deva. Sorry it posted while I was typing it!

Susan Och said...

We are eating local. Good thing you asked the question, because I just counted 11 adults and 4 kids.

It will be a local turkey, fresh but not organic, local squash, onions, potatoes, apples, frozen cherries, pumpkin, and pecans from the local soil conservation office, which gets pecans from Georgia farmers in trade for our local dried cherries. I'm still looking for kale and salad greens.

Expatriate Chef said...

We're getting our turkey local as well as the pumpkin, sweet potatoes, greens, broccoli, pecans, green beans, honey, molasses, eggs, milk, cream, a whole table load.

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