Hello Farm Aid Folks!
We had a lovely homegrown Thanksgiving this year, and this is a direct result of your organization. I attended my first Farm Aid concert on 9/30/06, right next door to my “office”, the Battleship New Jersey museum. My husband and I already appreciated our local farmers in the Garden State, patronizing the many farm stands that still dot southern New Jersey roads. We also have a small garden behind our little 1921 dutch colonial, which itself was built on the site of an old pear orchard (we actually have one of the old pear trees in our backyard- it must be very old). Anyway, this past year we managed to grow many varieties of tomatoes and peppers, along with a wonderful herb garden, much of which went into our Thanksgiving dinner this year. Even our kitchen itself was a “homegrown” project. My husband and I, along with the help of friends spent the past 10 months renovating our kitchen. We went out of our way to restore and reuse what we could, including ripping up 5 or 6 layers of vinyl flooring to reveal the original wood, restoring the original woodwork and even building our own cabinets. This was the first big meal cooked in our new kitchen!
I’m attaching our Thanksgiving menu that was given to each guest. Our heritage turkey was a big hit, and it was great to drive up to the farm to personally pick it up from the people that raised it and see the environment in which it was raised. Even better was to see how easy it was to have a locally-sourced and hormone-free meal, because in the past year we’ve made these practices become a habit. When I shop now, I want to know who made my food. I look for sources that grow food I want to eat. I’ve become more aware of what is grown in my state and how. And I have Farm Aid to thank for that. So this Thanksgiving, you were on my list of what I and thankful for.
Pictures: Tom Corse- master turkey fryer, Thanksgiving table (l-r around the table: Shirley Malitz, Ed Malitz, George Corse III, George Corse, Jr., Tom Corse, and our cat, Koko).
We hope you think our entry deserves to win!
Thanksgiving 2007 Menu
After attending the Farm Aid concert on the Camden Waterfront in September of 2006 and learning more about family farms vs. factory farms, Tom and I decided to make an effort to buy more local products. Buying locally means not only supporting neighbors but it leaves a smaller impact on the environment. If I buy an apple at a farm stand across the road from the orchard, that apple doesn’t have to be packed up in a box and shipped elsewhere- meaning less gas burned on fuel to ship and less packaging needed to get the apple to the consumer. If we want to reduce our environmental impact on the world, we need to change the way we think about a lot of things, including food.
This Thanksgiving dinner was put together in that spirit. Nothing here is a departure from the classic Thanksgiving dinner. The difference is that for every dish we tried to find each ingredient as locally and as healthfully as possible. The meats are all free-range, grass-fed, hormone free and from small, local farms. The produce is mostly organic and all locally grown- much of it purchased at the Collingswood Farmer’s Market. The dairy and eggs are hormone-free and from the state’s “Jersey Fresh” program, which strives to support small family farms and dairies, many of which are disappearing rapidly.
This year we’re giving thanks that we live in an area where we can have access to food that is both good for you and good for the planet. You gotta love the Garden State!
Kennett Square Mushroom Caps
Stuffed with grass-fed ground lamb
(Hillacres Farms, Lancaster County, PA)
and fresh herbs from our kitchen garden
Autumnal Tortillas with Tom’s Red Pepper Hummus
Peppers from our garden
Aunt Arlene’s Root Veggie Soup
Turnips (Flaim Farm, Vineland, NJ), parsnips,
celery, carrots, garlic
Great Harvest Bread Company, Cherry Hill, NJ
Barbara’s Beans N’ Greens
Rainbow Chard (Flaim Farm in Vineland, NJ),
garlic and organic white northern beans
Nancy’s Cranberry Sauce
New Jersey cranberries with a touch of Hudson’s Sweeties (NJ) cinnamon flavored honey
Sage, Apple and Turkey Sausage Dressing
Turkey Apple sausage (grass-fed, hormone-free
from Griggstown Quail Farm), Empire Apples
(Larchmont Farms, Elmer NJ), Challah (organic,
Whole Foods, Marlton, NJ), chicken stock (free-range organic chicken from Griggstown Quail Farm), sage and herbs from our garden
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Red Bliss potatoes (Formisano Farms, Buena, NJ), milk (Jersey Fresh organic), garlic and fresh herbs from the garden
Red Bourbon “heritage” free-range organic antibiotic-free turkey from Griggstown Quail Farm in Princeton, NJ, aromatics from our garden
Mom’s Apple Caramel Cake
New Jersey Apples
Flying Fish Beer – Grand Cru Winter Reserve
Brewed in Cherry Hill, NJ