Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Cinderella pumpkin from Lee's One Fortune Farm

In the age-old fairy tale, turning into a pumpkin at midnight is frowned upon. This year at Thanksgiving, however, when you turn the centerpiece of your meal into a magically stuffed Cinderella pumpkin, you can be sure that your holiday guests will wonder which fairy godmother swooped in to prepare it.

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

roasted quail with herbs and cranberry sauce

There were a limited number of local turkeys available from Appalachian Grown farms this year, and those sold out by the end of October. So what if you didn’t reserve your bird early, but still want a local meat centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner? If you’re willing to get a little creative, you can find alternatives at farmers tailgate markets. (Planning a vegan or vegetarian feast? Stay tuned for next week’s column for ideas.)

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

winter squash and potatoes

Thanksgiving dinner is often a meal centered around abundance—many dishes, crowded tables, perhaps some long-distance travel, and (hopefully) plenty to be grateful for. This year, of course, will be different for lots of folks. Maybe a turkey and all the fixins is overkill for your small family. Maybe you’re only cooking for yourself while Zooming into a larger gathering elsewhere. Maybe you simply need to say no to any added stress, particularly the kind that makes a mess of your kitchen. 

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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

An all-local Thanksgiving dinner is a lofty goal, but probably impractical (and could add some additional stress to the holiday for sure). Some traditional ingredients, like green beans or corn, have passed their peak harvest season here in Western North Carolina, so if you didn’t freeze some back in September, you might be out of luck now. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find local cranberries or pecans. But there are ways to feature something local in each dish, if you’re up for the challenge!

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