Local Thanksgiving 2014

Another year and whew—that sure went by fast! Once again, I am grateful to my farmers who coax up life from the soil and provide me with food and nourishment all year long. I am grateful for my family—and yes, three generations of us can work together in the same kitchen at the same time. And I am super grateful that the power stayed on through the early snow.

I apologize in advance for the dearth of pictures. I completely forgot about the camera and the blog between the appetizers and dessert. We really did have soup and a main course.





Chicken Soup (recipe) with bowtie pasta and/or brown rice made from chickens from Camp Roads Farm, Kent, CT and Ox Hollow Farm, Roxbury,  Carrots, parsnips, celeriac, and onions from Fort Hill Farm, New Milford, CT. My own parsley. Brown rice and pasta: not local.

Main Course


See last year for a photo—almost, but not exactly the same.


Now here I am with my annual Pie For Breakfast Day ritual behind me and my turkey bone broth happily simmering on the stove. Hope everyone had as great a Thanksgiving as I did.

Foraging for Thanksgiving – 2014

Because we are both hunters and gatherers…

Yes, I already have lots of things I’d preserved and stored from the summer. And I had a number of things I’d gotten last Saturday at the Westport Farmers Market. But one still needs MORE.

The Saturday before…

This year, I changed it up a bit and instead of the usual tradition of the New Haven market, I went up to Litchfield.

First stop, Arethusa Farm Dairy in Bantam, CT for cheese, butter, sour cream, egg nog, and as long as I was there, a dish of ice cream to keep me going.


Since I was in Litchfield and so close, off to the Litchfield Hills Farmers Market. I scored spinach and arugula from Maple View Farm, some veggies from Wild Carrrot Farm, and some Cato Corner cheese for Thanksgiving and lots of other things for post-Thanksgiving real life.


Then down to New Morning in Woodbury, CT for other things…like my milk…and an assortment of non-local, but essential, Thanksgiving items (olives, bell peppers, pistachios, rice, lemons and limes, and more things like that).


Then to Maple Bank Farm in Roxbury, CT for yet more apples, Brussels sprouts, Lyman’s Cider. I already got my choice, hand-selected by Howie Bronson sugar pumpkin last week.


Then on to Ferris Acres Creamery in Newtown, CT to pick up my ice cream order.


This picture was taken at 4:30. The last of the crowd had just left. They were only supposed to be open until 3 PM!

The Tuesday before…

First stop, Quattro Farm Store in Pleasant Valley NY for the turkey, heavy cream, some more veggies from the Migliorelli’s, flour and corn meal from Wild Hive, and some NY beer (and some other stuff not for the holiday).


There’s Carmella (who I was delighted to finally meet) and her granddaughters.

Then on to Sport Hill Farm in Easton, CT, for cauliflower and whatever else one might find!


I think I have enough now.

Red Fife bread

I’ve been playing around with Red Fife wheat lately, trying to come up with an everyday bread where I can get reliable results that I also like. I like Red Fife because it has a great flavor and it’s a heritage wheat. I’ve heard the ancient and heritage grains are more digestible by humans. I don’t have any prevailing gluten issues myself, but know a number of people who do. I’ve also heard that it’s possible that the digestion issues people have with wheat could be because very few bread makers take the time to let the dough proof slowly. This recipe has that covered as well.

Loaf made with 100% Red Fife wheat flour
Loaf made with 100% Red Fife wheat flour

I think I finally have a decent everyday bread using Red Fife. Since I don’t have any wheat or gluten problems, the important things for me are the taste, that the grain source is not anonymous, and that I could make it reliably. Through trials and tribulations, I came up with the following recipe, based on an overnight-proof, no-knead recipe, but due to the nature of local flours, whole wheats in particular, it now includes kneading.

Loaf made with 50% Red Fife wheat flour and 50% white wheat flour
Loaf made with 50% Red Fife wheat flour and 50% white wheat flour


  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups water, 100° F
  • 1/2 tsp honey


  1. Pour 1/2 cup of the 100° water into a small cup. Add the honey and the yeast and let the yeast get started making their bubbles.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour into a bowl.
    I’ve used half white flour and half Red Fife and I’ve used 100% Red Fife. Note that if you make it entirely from Red Fife, it will be a fairly dense whole wheat bread.
  3. Add the bubbly yeast water and most of the remaining up of water to the flour and mix. You want the dough to be rubbery and stiff but a little on the wet side. You may need all of the remaining water or you may need a little more flour.
  4. Add the salt.
  5. Knead the dough. I let it knead for 10 minutes in the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook. Continue to monitor the texture and add water or flour as needed.
  6. Make it into a ball and put it in a bowl, covered with plastic for 12-18 hours.
  7. After 12 to 17 hours have elapsed, preheat the oven to 450°.
  8. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, roll it into a ball, and cover it with the plastic.
  9. Put a dutch oven with a lid into the oven and let it heat up for 30 minutes. You could also use a pizza stone with a cloche.
  10. Put the ball into the heated dutch oven, cover it, and bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Take off the lid and allow it to bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  12. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

The Red Fife/white flour mix has an excellent flavor. I’ve had good results using Wild Hive white bread flour (a hard red spring wheat) as I have with Nitty Gritty, VT‘s white (a hard red winter wheat). I’m currently sourcing the Red Fife flour from Minnesota (Good Earth Grain and Mill) and South Carolina (Anson Mills) but am actively seeking a northeast grower. (So, if you know someone…)

Eat from the Larder

Erica at Northwest Edible Life threw down an Eat From the Larder Challenge for the month of April. I think this is a perfect activity for this time of the year, to clear out the old and make room for the new. Erica’s going for 100% of her meals out of her own pantry stores, but she said we could set our own rules. So I’m setting exceptions for fresh milk and eggs and Easter. Easter is a family day and we have a fabulous menu planned and it’s not from my pantry (except for maybe a few items I feel like sharing).

A very cool thing indeed!