Thursday, November 16, 2023

Planning for a Local Thanksgiving Meal

1.Plan ahead- You may need to place an order for pick-up or delivery or shop at a retail location up to a week in advance to make sure you have everything you need for your holiday table. Do a little research on what is available near you, make a plan and mark your calendar.

2. Utilize Nutrition Incentive Benefits- There are many local, state, and federal programs that provide money and discounts to help people experiencing food insecurity buy groceries. Many times, these benefits can also be used to buy local food at farmstores, and farmers’ markets. Check to see if you qualify for food assistance benefits, like SNAP or WIC. Find a full list of places to use your benefits by filtering for your specific benefits here.

3. Make it from scratch- Consider making some dishes like dinner rolls, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce from scratch this year using local ingredients.

4. Try to be willing to change plans– Plan for some wiggle room in your menu, not everything you’re looking for may be available. If it’s a bad year for sweet potatoes, try swapping in butternut squash. If your family always has a green bean casserole on the table, try your casserole with something else in season like locally grown spinach, collard greens, carrots, or cauliflower.

5. Make a couple of strategic splurges- You may consider paring your traditional menu down to celebrate what your family really enjoys. Have you always wanted to try a pasture-raised turkey? Go for a smaller, higher-quality bird this year. Do you love cheese? Splurge on a few high-quality locally-made aged cheeses for your charcuterie board and cheesy dishes. Do you have craft beer enthusiasts in your family? Buy a few growlers of locally-brewed beer and offer small glasses so folks can taste a little bit of everything.

These tips are brought to you by The Adirondack Harvest.
Find Local Food Here!
Photos both provided by Adirondack Harvest

Related Stories

Mary Godnick is the Digital Editor for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County. She lives in the Champlain Valley where she grows vegetables on a cooperative farm plot with her partner and two rescue dogs. You can read more of her work on and follow her on Twitter at @MaryGodnick.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox