Our Thanksgiving Challenge: (And It's Not Piecrust)
Last week Elmwood Stock Farmer Mac Stone issued this Thanksgiving Challenge: How can you make this week's big meal as organic, local, farmer-supportive, seasonal, nutrient-rich and communal as possible? Those weren't quite his words, but those are some of the ways to gain points in the challenge. At the same time, our Thanksgiving hosts issued their own challenge: how can we make as much of our shared meal as possible from nearby, decreasing the environmental costs of transportation?
It's easy to rise to the challenge for parts of the meal.
- Elmwood Stock Farm heritage turkey (we buy it together, and pick up points for sharing)
- Cornbread Dressing: Weisenberger Mill (since 1865, people!)
- Broccoli appetizer and roast root vegetables from Lexington Farmers Market growers
- Green Tomato Bacon Gratin that begins in the Campsie garden, and includes Elmwood Stock Farm and Hood's Heritage Hogs bacon, Heavenly Homestead Cheese and JD Country cream bought at Good Foods Coop, and Weisenberger Mill Cornbread Crumbs.
- A Hasselbeck preparation of butternut squash using Bluegrass Maple Syrup and squash grown in the London Ferrell Community Garden
- Instead of cranberries, we'll have local fruit relishes and chutneys, still being invented, and homemade Reed Valley Orchard Earli-Gold applesauce (processed and frozen in summer 2016)
The crucial ingredients we cannot source from nearby have surprised us, too. Some could be produced in Kentucky and are not: salt, cooking oils and vinegar in particular.
Some ingredients must come from far away. We welcome that bringing of the world to our Kentucky table, in a tradition that has timeless origins, as one of our members noted. Flavors and spices are exotic and traded across great distances. Vietnamese cinnamon on the butternut squash from 150 steps away: abundance, and cause for gratitude.