Homegrown Traditions

| 11/20/2016 12:00:00 AM

Tags: homegrown traditions, Williams Street Farmhouse, Saskia Esslinger,

At the Williams Street Farmhouse we had a tradition of serving a Thanksgiving meal made entirely of ingredients we grew, foraged, or made ourselves. Of course exceptions would be made for things like olive oil and spices, but the bulk of the food was our own.

For our urban homestead, this meant that we did not have turkey. One year we had chickens a dog had harvested for us, one of them missing a leg and part of a breast. Another year we had a caribou roast. And one time it was wild-caught salmon. It was always delicious and we didn’t miss the turkey.

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Appetizers might be smoked salmon spread, homemade goat cheese with herbs, or charcuterie my husband made from a local pig. Accompaniments most certainly included roasted root vegetables. Purple and white potatoes, bright orange carrots, and ruby red beets added to the festiveness of the table. I would forgo the green jello salad of my youth and instead have a green kale and barley gratin.

One year we even made cranberry sauce from our wild harvested low bush cranberries (and lots of our honey!) Another year we had crabapple sauce, a sweet, tart alternative. Home-made sourdough bread and a ferment like sauerkraut or dilly beans would round out the meal. Dessert was still fairly traditional with pumpkin pie and/or apple pie once our apple trees started producing.

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