Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 - A Locavore Thanksgiving

We had a locavore Thanksgiving this year. Turkey, veggies, the apples for the pie, the camembert-like cheese, even the wine were all locally produced.

The day started when the Bride got up and put the turkey in the oven. Then, Son of took the COG and Bride of to a wild cranberry bog in an Ultra Secret Location - we were blindfolded and driven in circles for miles. Although we weren't sure we would find any so late in the season, we found lots of berries. We picked about 2 quarts, shown here.

Came home and made cranberry sauce - the traditional kind. This was a sacrifice because The Bride loves cranberry orange relish, but there are no local oranges. Sigh. Still, the cranberry sauce was really good.

We started the meal with a trio of vegetable salads, in the French manner. We had a carrot salad, a beet and walnut salad, and a celeriac remoulade. Yummy.

Son of and The COG at the table. A word about the wine. It was local. It won an East Coast award. Opinions were divided between 'drinkable', 'nearly drinkable' and 'hardly drinkable.' Not worth 2 Weight Watcher points, at any rate. But it was local and that was the point.

Son of made the apple pie (local apples, flour from Vermont)(sugar and spice not local). It was a very complicated recipe. He did most of the steps before we ate. After dinner, he finished the pie and put it in the oven while we watched Star Trek (the newest movie) on our new Blu Ray dvd player. Midway through the film we had apple pie and ice cream. Divine! The movie was good, too.

About the Blu Ray player - all of a sudden, we have one. Not sure why. I think The COG was reading The Man Book chapter on Must-Have Technology, so he ordered it from Amazon. Fun to have, though.

Eating local is good to do. It's good for the environment, it's good for local farmers and fisheries and wineries etc. It's also interesting to eat as much as possible that is locally produced. We are lucky to have the Appleton Farm CSA (where nearly the whole meal came from) and the Gloucester Fish CSF, plus, access to local farms that have meat and eggs etc. But coffee, tea, citrus fruit, cinnamon, raisins, sugar, lots of seasonings (curry, cinnamon, nutmeg etc.) - these will never be local and I just don't want to live without them.

And the wine - that's a complex one. Supporting local wineries and distilleries (we just bought some vodka from Gloucester) means that they will stay in business and maybe they will get better. Certainly wines from California, Oregon, South America, and the Antipodes have improved greatly over the years. Maybe Massachusetts wines will, too. Or they'll discover what they do best and keep getting better at it. That's why we bought, and drank, the wine. There are already some very nice wines we've had from vineyards near Cape Cod. And we'll keep buying them but we won't give up wines from far away.

I guess the thing is to keep the list of non-local items as small as possible. Moderation. Balance. Harmony. Ohmmmmmm.


The Cranky Old Geezer said...

Last Christmas the Son of bought us a trio of excellent white wines from southern MA.

The Camembert today was very good and better than the commercial French variety available around here.

This summer we had a very good vodka from Nantucket.

Our eggs are local.

Surprised there is no New England salt, especially with it's salt cod history. We use Maldon salt from Essex in the UK.

And of course, the tea & coffee are not local.

Andrew said...

Do cranberries taste differently picked and prepared fresh? (Is there any difference in cranberries at all? Any diff. varieties with diff. levels of tartness?)

And why the secrecy of the bog? (Were you sneaking onto private land, or simply a 'locals-only' sort of secret?)

All went well here in Idaho. Too much food, none-local, but all hand-made and appreciated.

The Bride said...

I don't know if the fresh, wild cranberries taste better, but I do know that we all thought the cranberry sauce was particularly nice.

It's more about the pleasure of wild, local food.

The cranberry bogs are on public land, though off the path. I was kind of joking about the secret location, but people here do keep their beach plum etc. locations kind of secret.

Vivi said...

Hey -- our potatoes were local, here in Idaho. And we had two sets, one for grown-ups (infused with 12 garlic cloves) and one for kids (as plain as plain can be).

And if you're eating local, should you really be following French customs? Pretty non-local it seems to me.

In all other ways, I commend you. What a fun idea! Maybe we'll try it for Christmas.

The Bride said...

@ Vivi The French style first course was mostly a ruse to add more vegetables to the meal, to use up the incredible bounty we still have left from Appleton Farm. I was going for my previous record of 11 veg at one meal.

I didn't make it to 11- but we had carrots, celery, onions (in many ways throughout the meal) beets, parsnips, roasting onions, celeriac, sweet potato and potatoes - only 9, if you count 2 kinds of onions.

I have additionally, lots of different winter squash, pumpkin, rutabega, turnip, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, arugula, red leaf lettuce, unidentified winter greens which I must use soon. But there was already too much food without them.