Monday, November 5, 2007

Day 112 - Gobble Gobble!

Planning an Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving Meal

With Thanksgiving less than three weeks away, it's time to start planning the menu. I want to try to make it as environmentally friendly as possible, while still including all of the traditional family dishes.

The piece de la resistance will be the bird, of course. We will be eating a big turkey, probably 16 pounds or so. I would love to get a free range bird from a local farm but it's just not in the cards. Hubby's employer always buys everyone in the company a turkey for Thanksgiving and it would be considered very rude of us not to take it. I will gladly accept the free bird in the spirit in which it is given and be thankful that dh works for a great company with such a kind-hearted boss.

That leaves stuffing, mashed potatoes, winter squash, green bean casserole, rolls, gravy, corn, beverages and pies. Let's attack each item seperately:

I use my Dad's awesome stuffing recipe which is a combination of stale bread, breakfast sausage, celery, onion, chicken broth and spices. I could easily make my own bread, but I will instead take all the "leftover" breads in the freezers and dry them - thereby ensuring they get used rather than tossed out the next time I clean the freezer. For the sausage, I will start looking for an eco-friendly source this week. The celery and onion will both be purchased from the farm stand and I will make the broth myself. I wish I had a spice garden of my own, but I don't, so I will use the spices that are already in my cupboard.

The potatoes and winter squash can also be purchased from the market, but I'm not sure about the green beans. I will check this week to see if they still have some. If not, I might just forget the casserole, as I have no idea how to make my own condensed mushroom soup anyhow!

The rolls and gravy I will make from scratch on Thanksgiving.

Corn. Hmmmmm. I really wish I had purchased a few extra ears this summer and frozen them for just such an occasion. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I guess the best I can do is buy a can of corn and make a mental note for next year. You can't NOT have corn if you have gravy and potatoes. It's un-American and, quite possibly, illegal.

Beverages are easy. I already purchase local, organic milk in reusable glass containers. I will also offer up some local cider and wine for those who prefer something sweet with dinner. If none of those work, I've always got lots of bottled water. JOKING -- Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

Desserts? Get me. I'm going to try to make a pumpkin pie from..... a pumpkin! No shit! I hear it can be done and Ethan said he would even try it if I managed to not screw it up. I'll also get some local apples and make a nice apple crisp for hubby. It's his favorite.


Not much, really. I'll be trying to serve as many local, seasonal foods as possible so the food miles will be a bit lower than they would have otherwise been. And if I do need to purchase something out of season or canned/frozen, I'll be sure to buy organic.

Difficulty Level: 2 out of 5

Wow, this was easier than I thought it would be. The only to-do's on my list are to find an eco-friendly breakfast sausage and see what's still coming in to the farm stand. Of course, making all these items from scratch, instead of just opening cans and jars will be a bit more work. But when you're surrounded by family and counting your blessings, it's hard to bitch about stirring gravy.


leslie said...

Go and buy your pumpkins NOW, because for some reason, there are none available at Thanksgiving. We seem to think that pumpkins are for Halloween only, and when it's over, the fresh ones are dumped.
Pumpkin...peel, (which is why most people buy canned) and steam, or cook like you were going to make mashed potatoes. Use the smallest amount of water possible, because pumpkin makes it's own 'water' when cooking. I found that I had to drain the cooked pumpkin for quite some time to reduce it to a more paste-like texture for baking.
The best pumpkin pie recipe I have ever found is on the back of the Libby's canned pumpkin...
gobble gobble.

Burbanmom said...


Oh Thank you SO MUCH for the directions! Now I don't have to feel like a moron and ask someone at the farm stand!!! :-)

Have a great one! :-)

Burbanmom said...

Fantastic Update! I found local sausage AND some fresh local corn! You do NOT want to know what I paid for four husked ears. Seriously. No. I'm serious. You REALLY don't want to know.

Ok, you dragged it out of me - $2.39 for four ears!!! Egads! Don't tell hubby!!!!

leslie said...

The labor involved in husking, and the workmans comp insurance to pay for carpal tunnel from husking surely played a part in the cost...

Hey Hubby! She paid $2.39!!! Did you hear THAT! Hey! Yoo-hoo...are you listening?

We pay about that in a chain grocery here. Of course they have to bring in fresh vegetables via wagon train to get them into Arizona...

Heather said...

ZOMG - I am hungry thinking about it. You better not forget the olives, dude.