Monday, December 14, 2009

Giving Thanks for Farmers Markets

Every November we gather around tables with family and friends to give thanks for the past year. This Thanksgiving, the girl and I decided to give thanks to local farms who have given their time week after week to participate in the various farmers markets in the Boston area. With that goal in mind, we looked through recipes and put together a local produce inspired Thanksgiving meal.

Our menu started out with a pumpkin soup seasoned with curry powder and topped with crumbled bacon and toasted pumpkin seeds. The pumpkin we used we actually grew in our community garden plot in the city (more on the community will come in future posts). This was a very tasty and easy blended soup that came out very creamy even without using any cream in the soup.

Our main course was a rolled stuffed turkey breast. We butterflied the turkey then stuffed it with tangy and slightly sweet cranberry/orange chutney. It was rolled then wrapped in cheesecloth. The cranberries were locally grown at Freitas Farm in Middleborough. They have their own bogs and I was able to stock up on these cranberries. They are so good!

To go with the turkey we made a couple of quick sides. The first was a broiled vinegar fingerling potato. We used a Martha Stewart recipe (found here on the UmamiGirl blog) as a base. However, we made a slight change to the recipe. Our variation was to boil the potatoes in white vinegar for 10 minutes, let cool in the vinegar for 10 minutes, then broil for 10 minutes. After they came out of the oven, they got some kosher salt. This really gave the potatoes a good vinegar bite but without it being too overpowering.

The second side was a simple shredded Brussels sprouts salad. The Brussels sprouts were shredded then quickly sautéed to ensure they kept their bright green color and some crispness. They were quickly tossed with a lemon vinaigrette and more crumbled bacon (isn’t everything better with crumbled crispy bacon?!). The Brussels sprouts and the fingerling potatoes were bought from Kimball Fruit Farm in Pepperell.

Finally, we get to dessert (although there wasn’t much room on our stomachs given what we had already made!). The first dessert was a baked Opalescent apple. It was cored (but kept whole) and the cavity was stuffed with oats, brown sugar and spices. If you aren’t familiar with the Opalescent apple, it is a wonderful baking apple and I really encourage you to try to find them at a local orchard near you!

The second dessert was an apple, quince, and sweet potato tart. This is a variation of an old Amish recipe of baked apples and sweet potatoes. We were able to get some quince from Noquochoke Orchards in Westport, so we decided to add this into the tart for our own variation. The sweet potatoes, apples, and quince were all roasted and then layered inside a graham cracker crust and topped with a basic crumble topping.

We are very spoiled in Boston that we are able to go to farmers markets every day. This Thanksgiving meal was our way of saying thank you to the farmers for bringing their wonderful fruits and vegetables to the markets all summer and fall for us to enjoy.


Below are some photos that the girl took and a link to the Boston Found Flickr set for our Thanksgiving meal.

Boston Found Flickr Thanksgiving Set

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