Monday, October 12, 2009

100 Mile Thanksgiving Feast

This is a year of firsts... my first year having my own Thanksgiving (just me and Alex), my first 100 mile year, and the first time I've ever celebrated Thanksgiving on actual Thanksgiving. My family, for as long as I can remember, has celebrated Thanksgiving on the Sunday. Even though it was just the two of us, I was most excited about Thanksgiving this year. The challenge: to see if I could celebrate entirely 100 mile.
On Saturday morning, as per usual, Alex and I headed to the farmers market. I carefully selected Thanksgiving dinner from vendors whose food was both local and in season. Since I'm not crazy about turkey (it gives me stomach aches), we decided to get a chicke. We picked up a 4 lb fryer from the Guelph Poultry Market. The GPM sells chicken that is free of hormones and antibiotics, as well as being free range. A 4 lb bird set us back a mere $6.80.
To accompany our bird we chose a selection of seasonal vegetables. We got corn on the cob from the little old guy inside the market. He sells local corn which has not been sprayed. I found an heirloom variety of squash at Bowman's booth. It is called a carnival squash and it is yellow and a bluish colour. The Bowmans also sold me some bright yellow patty pans. This was my first time buying them and only my second time eating them. At Greenfields Organics I found some delicious looking carrots and a red cabbage which would add nicely to the mixture. The two pie pumpkins I purchased came from the lady inside who sells free-range eggs. My stuffing was made with local butter, herbs from my own garden, onion, garlic and celery from vendors at the Market and bread that I baked using Grassroot Organics Red Fife flour. I braised my red cabbage with onions and apple (from the family who sells the apples), along with some locally fermented apple cider vinegar, butter, honey (from Mark McAlpine) and a little of Cox Creek Cellars' Peach Symphony.
Although I know that chicken should be served with white wine, not red, Alex and I had finished the white long before dinner. So, with our feast we had a bottle of Cox Creek Cellars Pinot Noir.
For dessert, my favourite... pumpkin pie. The pastry was made with local eggs (from Shannon Lee's new hen!) and Grassroot Organics Red Fife flour. The pie was filled with roasted and pureed pumpkin, fresh from the market.
All in all, the only part of our meal that could not be considered local was the lemon I used on the chicken and the spices used in the pumpkin pie. Would Thanksgiving dinner be complete without pumpkin pie? And would pumpkin pie be complete without nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and allspice? Absolutely not.
Over dinner I told Alex what I was thankful for. I told him that I was thankful that my family has made it through the toughest year of our lives together. I am thankful for my friends, old and new. I am thankful to all the farmers who produced the food that we enjoyed so much. And finally, I am thankful that I have someone wonderful to share my time with and that he puts up with all my antics and idiosynchracies. I really am a lucky girl.
So, all in all, this 100 Mile Thanksgiving feast was a 100% success! Can't wait to do it again next year! Gotta go... pie time!

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