Eat Local pledge

Last Farmers Market of the Season!

From Attitude of Gratitude website

Thanksgiving approacheth, and it's worthwhile to remember our causes for gratitude, as I sit typing this with dinner unmade and my 7th grader in tears beside me over her math. I am grateful for free public education. I am grateful that, prepared or not, there will eventually be food on the table. I am grateful for a three-day week next week, followed by family time and the tastiest meal of the year, in my humble opinion.

For the umpteenth annual time, we can pledge to eat at least one local food at Thanksgiving. Piece of cake, considering the riches of our local produce. Last Saturday at the Bellevue Farmers Market, I found different potato varieties, brussels sprouts, winter squash, apples for pie, cheese for the cheese plate, bread to cube into stuffing, fresh parsley--even first-course soups! Eating local captures the original Thanksgiving spirit, when shipping exotic viands thousands of miles was simply not an option. Eat what you could find or whatever had been put by earlier, throw in your lot with your friends and neighbors, and give thanks.

Enjoy the following links to some of my favorite seasonal recipes:

Elena's delicious Butternut-Squash-Apple Soup. I made this the other day with squash I'd already roasted. So easy and happens to be vegan, if one of your guests is!

Cook's Illustrated Green Bean Casserole. I love this dish in any form, even the open-a-can-of-cream-of-mushroom kind, but this one is over-the-top yummy.

If you don't do mashed potatoes, try this simple Gratin Dauphinois from Cooking Light. (I do substitute whole milk for the nonfat business.)

And, a repeat from an earlier post, the dinner rolls I make ahead and freeze every Thanksgiving and Christmas, adapted from Betty Crocker's Best Christmas Cookbook.

Besides grabbing your feast fixings, be sure to stock up for the long dry spell. Loki Fish offers a discount when you buy 10 lbs, so I'll be loading up on Sockeye filets. If you have a favorite sausage or other meat from Olsen Farms or Samish Bay, now's the time. Artisan bread from Ble or Snohomish Bakery freezes beautifully. Depending on how I plan to serve it, I either slice and freeze (for sandwiches) or throw it in whole.

And if you've managed to dodge hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas, hostess gifts abound at the Market. I've shown up with Jonboy caramels, Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee or a jar of Handmade by Rome jam--the fig with vanilla is fabulous on a cheese tray.

My blog will continue weekly during the off-season, but this Saturday will be our last chance to run into each other live and in person! See you at the Market.

More November News

Calling on wannabe videographers and filmmakers: if you take the Puget Sound Fresh "Eat Local for Thanksgiving" pledge, you can create your own video about it and submit it to their contest by November 20. All eligible contestants will be entered to win 6-months of premium seafood from Taylor Shellfish, a 2-year subscription to Edible Seattle, Sur La Table cooking classes and cookbooks. (Which means that, even if you're all thumbs when it comes to making videos, you can send in one of your cat with an "Eat Local for Thanksgiving" sign taped to its forehead, and your chances of winning are equal with Steven Spielberg's.)

Speaking of movies, don't forget to tune in to GOOD FOOD: THE MOVIE on Thursday, November 12, 10:00P on Channel 9 KCTS. There are so many gloom-and-doom books and movies about the global food industry that it's refreshing to hear about food done right. Featuring our own Skagit River Ranch. Another person in Skagit's Bellevue Buyers Club almost made off with my pre-ordered turkey yesterday but brought it back later, so we can cancel the APB/Amber Alert.

And just in case your Thanksgiving meal was going to have a Stouffer's label on it, you may be interested in this article from the Wall Street Journal. As we've suspected, the economic downturn has reduced the ready money people have to spend on real food, driving many back to the processed chem-lab alternatives, with the attendant consequence that we may get even fatter this holiday season than we usually do. Ouch. Pies aside, Thanksgiving can be the ultimate healthy holiday meal--all those vegetable sides. I'm hoping to pick up brussels sprouts and green beans and root vegetables this Saturday myself for the Thanksgiving dry run. Hope to see you there!