Last Minute Thanksgiving

I found out on Monday that I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. Then I promptly flew to New Orleans for three days.

No, I was not running away; I was at a conference, one that was very busy and fun, but this year, seemed particularly ill-timed. Usually, we go up to Maine for Thanksgiving, to visit Tai’s relatives and join in their big, loud, happy day, with 15 of us crammed around one long table, 5 dogs under the table hoping for scraps, a handful of toddlers running around on a special-occasion high, and a 30-lb bird straining the table legs. This year Tai got booked to work at the last minute, so we won’t be able to make the trip to Maine.  I’ll miss it, as it is always a lot of fun, but, now that the initial panic has worn off, I’m actually looking forward to cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the two of us.  We are still newlyweds, after all, and this will be our first married Thanksgiving on our own.

Not, I must admit, that there wasn’t some panic. Eating locally, as much as I love it, does require extra planning. Local, pastured, organic turkeys tend to sell out early in the season, and the thought of heading to the nearest Stop & Shop for a Butterball was just too depressing. I’d rather do without a turkey. So imagine my delight when I called Hemlock Hill Farm on Friday to find that, sure, they still have turkeys. Sweet! Then Tai & I went out to Holbrook Farm to see what was available so I could do some advance planning, and I found out that they still have turkeys! (I didn’t even know that they raised turkeys at the farm – my bad.).

This weekend marks one of the biggest weekends of the year for farmers, and farmer’s markets, and for many in the Northeast, the last farmer’s market of the year until local crops are available again in June. I’m thankful every week that my local farm market stays open year round, but no matter where you live, I’ll bet you can find a market near you this weekend. If you’re local to the Hudson Valley, check out the Shop Local page for more shopping ideas. Many markets sell a variety of pies, baked goods and breads (including Holbrook Farm), and prepared Thanksgiving dishes, in addition to all sorts of seasonal produce, making your last-minute Thanksgiving preparations easy as, well, pie.

So – no need to panic (and no need to dress the baby with some greens and pretend that he is the holiday bird!) Your local farmer’s market has everything you need for a festive, delicious and stress-free Thanksgiving this year. Please get out this weekend and enhance your holiday table with local, seasonal food: your farmers, and your family, will thank you!

Need Thanksgiving recipe inspiration? Check out Local Thanksgiving, from last year, and Fall Favorites, a round-up of my favorite seasonal recipes.


  1. Wow! Congratulations! So sorry I missed that post.

    Holbrook’s turkeys are raised by Andy at Kandew in Roxbury, CT. I got one of these last year and it was outstanding. Of course, I’m getting another this year. There are several farms whose stands will be open during the week (like Maple Bank in Roxbury and Sport Hill Farm in Easton).

    Enjoy your first married Thanksgiving!

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