Since the weather is getting cool and the holiday season is upon us, we asked Anne Fitzgerald, the Public Information Officer at the Department of Agriculture, to share her plans for feeding her family with Delaware’s incredible offering of local food. WARNING: if you’re hungry, you might not want to read this… If you’re not hungry, you probably will be by the time you finish it.
Buying local doesn’t end with the close of Farmers’ Market Season
Guest Post from Anne Fitzgerald, Dept of Agriculture: It’s November and I am making plans to shop, shop, shop for local food and other items. First on my list is what Greatmamma called Thanksgiving’s “groaning board” feast – turkey time for my family. I have reserved a yummy, all natural, tender turkey from TA Farms in Wyoming that will feed about 20 hungry people and provide leftovers for the week after – love that turkey salad and turkey soup.
It will be picked up on Tuesday and roasted on Thursday (Thanksgiving morning) – nothing better than a freshly roasted turkey with homemade stuffing and giblet gravy. I use my grandmother Mommoo’s recipe for stuffing that is rich with sage, pork sausage and sometimes apples, which means shopping for local sausage, such as Kirby & Holloway or Milton or Haass sausage, and local apples from Fifer’s, T. S. Smith’s, and others.
For the appetizers and sides, I have checked the Delaware availability chart and perused this year’s Farm Market Directory for on-farm markets that carry in-season vegetables and fruits into November, e.g., greens (turnip / collard / kale / spinach), Brussel sprouts, chestnuts, sweet potatoes, turnips, leaf lettuce, mushrooms, parsley, and pumpkin – all prepared in loving fashion from tried and true family recipes.
I can also use the Delaware Fresh App to find these products while I am out and about. If time catches up with me, as alas, it often does, I will choose frozen and canned items in our grocery stores from local processors that contract with Delaware farmers and provide jobs in Delaware, i.e., Hanover, PictSweet, and Vlasic.
Remember, I said feast, not diet, and so on to the desserts! I am torn between pumpkin pudding and Sap’s pumpkin rice pudding – one is mine and the other is made by our local entrepreneur, John Sapienza. I think I will have both.
Of course, no feast is complete without ice cream, especially that made in Delaware. Ice cream fanciers can buy local by looking for Woodside Creamery, Hopkins Creamery, University of Delaware Creamery, and Hypoint Dairy brands at markets or in ice cream shops across the state. I have tried them all and they are the best. I am sure family and friends will bring pies, but just in case they don’t, shop your local on-farm markets for that wonderful home made taste.
Most importantly, Thanksgiving is not just about food, it is about family, friends, and sharing. Hope you enjoy.