This time of year, there is a ton of local produce available to make your holiday feasts delicious and do something good for the planet and your farming neighbors! The Seattle area is an excellent place to eat local for Thanksgiving! No need to obsess over making everything local to make a difference…even just one local dish adds a dose of adventure and local connection to your meal. To find local produce, you can go to a farmers market (some in Seattle are open all year), or look for local labels at your favorite grocery store. Produce markets are another great option (again, many are open all year or at least for a good portion of it). Here are a few ideas for local dishes that aren’t too complicated, time consuming or expensive.
Cranberries are native to the Pacific Coast (not in the Puget Sound area but not too far and still in Washington), there is even a cranberry museum in Long Beach, WA. Nothing says the holidays quite like the brightly colored cranberry. To make homemade cranberry sauce, cook the cranberries with sugar. You can even make it in the slow cooker and if you like add things like lemon or orange zest or juice.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Roasted brussel sprouts are a staple for us all winter long, as they are local and in season for the cold and dark months. We keep it simple by cutting them in half, tossing with some olive oil, salt and pepper (and maybe an herb or two, like rosemary), then put in a roasting pan and roast at 350-400 for 30-45 minutes (depending on how cooked you like them).
Mashed Sweet Potatoes (or regular potatoes, or both!)
Either sweet potatoes or regular potatoes are great mashed and easy to find grown locally. To make, boil the potatoes till they are soft and easy to mash, then mash them and add in anything you like. For sweet potatoes, I love to top them with marshmellows (not local!)…top tip for the marshmellows…don’t bake them long! 5 minutes or so and then they won’t cover your oven in goo. For regular potatoes, we like to load them up with milk and butter and garlic. Mmmmm!
Once you’ve had pumpkin pie with real pumpkin, I must say it’s very hard to go back. All you need to do is get a sugar pie pumpkin, cut it in half and roast it in the over for an hour or so at 350. Then you scoop out the pumpkin, and make your pie!