Seven Citrus Varieties You May Have Never Heard Of

Most of us grew up on naval oranges, clementines, and grapefruit. But Kishus and Satsumas? They sound more like dog breeds than types of citrus fruit (and one of them is both … read on to learn more)!

Right now at the Market, we’ve got 10 different varieties of citrus, fresh from California and Florida. And a few of them you may not be familiar with. Although they each have their own unique flavor profile, they’re all sweet and tangy and packed with Vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

If you’re not familiar with the various types, you should give them a try. Here’s a little primer to help guide your citrus tasting experience:

Kishu Tangerine (a.k.a. Kishu Mandarin)
This seedless, tiny (2-5 cm in size), and super sweet fruit has been a favorite in China and Japan for 2,000 years. Like a clementine, they’re easy to peel and divide into sections, making them a great lunchbox item. They’re known for their fragrance and sweet taste. Eat them like candy or chop them up and add to muffin batter, your favorite salsa, or a salad. And you were right if you guessed Kishu is also a Japanese dog breed!)

 

Satsuma Mandarin
If you’re a clementine fan, you’ll love Satsuma mandarins. They’re the gourmet version of your typical tangerine or clementine … sweeter, juicier, and more tender. Native to Japan, this seedless fruit came to the U.S. in the 18th century and is grown along Florida’s Gulf Coast and in California. You’ll recognize Satsumas in the Market by their stems and green leaves, which are left attached when the fruit is picked. Not only are they delicious, they’ll look beautiful in a bowl on your countertop.

 

Moro Blood Orange
Grown traditionally in Mediterranean countries (the fruit is believed to have originated in Sicily in the 1700s), the Moro Blood Orange is now grown in California. Blood oranges have a bluish-crimson flesh thanks to the presence of anthocyanins, a family of polyphenol pigments that gives blueberries and grapes their purple color. The fruit is seedless with a distinctive raspberry-citrus flavor, and is slightly more difficult to peel than your typical naval orange. It can be incorporated into a wide variety of sweet and savory recipes

 

Minneola Tangelo
A cross between a Dancy tangerine and a Duncan grapefruit, the Minneola Tangelo was named after a little town down the road from the USDA Horticultural Research Center in Orlando, Florida, where the fruit was first introduced in 1931. Seedless and easy to peel, the Minneola is a popular lunchbox item. They’re also great in salads, juiced, or eaten out of hand. When in doubt, you’ll recognize the Minneola by its distinctive little “bulb” (or bump) on one end.

 

Cara Cara Orange
Often referred to as the “pink naval,” these seedless, low-acid oranges are deep salmon in color with the texture of a naval orange and a flavor that is often described as a blend of tangerine and grapefruit. The Cara Cara is the result of a cross-pollination of a Washington Naval Orange and a Brazilian Bahia Naval Orange, first discovered in Venezuela in 1976 and brought to the U.S. in the 1980s. This is what we call an all-natural hybrid fruit.

 

Red Pomelo
If you’re not familiar with Pomelo, you’ll have no trouble picking one out at the Market. A Pomelo looks like a huge (at 15-25 cm) light green grapefruit. But when you cut it open, you’ll find that it has a much thicker rind and is less tart than a grapefruit. This natural (non-hybrid) citrus fruit has been grown in Southeast Asia for thousands of years. It is usually eaten fresh out of hand, but can be tossed in a salad or dipped in chocolate as a dessert.

 

Kumquat
Native to China, this tiny fruit is super versatile—you can use kumquats in sweet and savory dishes or eat them whole. Luke in our produce department recommends rolling the kumquat between your fingers, to mingle the flavors of the sweet skin and tart flesh, before popping it in your mouth—skin and all!  They’re often used in Asian cuisine, or can be baked into sweet breads or chopped up in a salad or salsa. Here are some recipe ideas.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Caviar

On New Year’s we indulge in the finer things. We eat decadent foods and sip fancy drinks. Hence the classic New Year’s Eve combo of Champagne and caviar.

But for those of us who don’t eat caviar on a regular basis, we can feel a little lost. How do we know what we’re buying? And what do we do with it when we get home?

A Little Caviar History

Caviar—the salt-cured roe of the sturgeon—has been an international delicacy for centuries, often served with great fanfare at royal banquets in Europe and Russia.

In 1873, a German immigrant to the U.S. named Henry Schach decided to take advantage of the abundant sturgeon in the Delaware River, and began exporting caviar to Europe. By the end of the 19th century, the U.S. was exporting 90% of the world’s caviar. Restaurants and bars in America sold servings of caviar for a nickel to encourage drinking.

This caviar-loving frenzy led to the overfishing of sturgeon both here and abroad. Today caviar is a luxury good that most of us enjoy on special occasions, which is a shame. Because caviar pairs well with all kinds of everyday foods, from scrambled eggs to pizza.

Choices, Choices, Choices

For the holidays, we’ve brought in a nice selection of caviar from Sasanian Caviar, a leading source of high-quality imported and American caviar. If you’re new to caviar, or aren’t familiar with this year’s varieties, stop by the Meat & Seafood counter. We love to talk caviar!

Here’s what we’ve got in the case:

Classic Osetra

Unique, clean, sweet, crisp, with a nutty flavor. Produced by fresh sustainable sturgeon, with small to medium-size dark pearls.

Royal Osetra

Raised in pristine settings. Freshest and highest-grade caviar. Its pearls are firm with a smooth nutty flavor.

American Black

Also called “Choupique” or “Cajun Caviar.” Harvested from wild Bowfin fish. Mild, tangy flavor, and firm texture. Good substitute for Beluga.

Premium Sturgeon

Pearls are medium and jet black in color. Taste is smooth and fresh. Processed under genuine Caspian techniques, without preservatives.

Imperial Osetra

Sasanian’s scarcest caviar. Golden pearls, smooth buttery taste, and fresh crisp aroma of the sea.

Ghost Pepper

Delicate and fresh wild American Bowfin Caviar infused with a secret Louisiana recipe of fine sea salt and ghost pepper, one the spiciest culinary peppers available.

Siberian Baerri

Medium-dark pearl and creamy in texture, with a crisp and nutty taste. An excellent garnish or introductory caviar.

How to Serve Your Caviar

Create a caviar board featuring homemade blinis and accoutrements. Blinis are Russian pancakes, and they’re perfect for serving caviar. Here’s how to make two different styles of blini.

For the board, all you need is caviar, chopped eggs, minced capers, minced red onion, and crème fraiche. Check out this terrific article that walks you through the process of making your own blinis and designing your DIY caviar board.

Oh, and don’t forget the Champagne!

Ten Gift Ideas for Under $30

Looking for a last-minute gift? Our shelves are overflowing with fantastic gifts—olive oils, craft beer, cheeses, spreads, and spices—for the foodie in your life. And we have tons of non-food items, too!

Here are 10 gift ideas for just about anyone on your list. (Not sure where to find it in the store? Just ask! We’re happy to point you in the right direction.)

Handmade Soaps

Fragrant artisan soaps are the perfect example of something we all love but rarely buy for ourselves. That’s why they’re the perfect gift. Farmers’ Body Soaps are made by hand at Cobb Hill Farm in Hartland, Vermont, using products grown in the woodlands and meadows of Vermont (fresh milk, herbs, flowers, eggs, fruit, and more).

Farmers' hand and body soap ($6.99)
Farmers' hand and body soap ($6.99)

Cookbooks

Why buy a cookbook when you can look up just about any recipe online? Because good cookbooks tell a story. We brought in a bunch of new cookbooks for the holidays.  Our favorites include “You Suck at Cooking,” filled with tips for the new cook; ”How Can It Be Gluten Free” for gluten-free home cooks; and “Local Flavors,” a celebration of the growing farm-to-table movement.

Cookbook for the gluten-free home cook ($29.99)
Cookbook for the gluten-free home cook ($29.99)

Beeswax Candles

Beeswax candles are a natural alternative to traditional petroleum-based candles. However Wild is a family owned apiary located in Shaftsbury, Vermont. They produce and sell raw honey, as well as these beautiful, sweet-smelling beeswax candles.

However Wild honey pot ($8.99) and pillar ($15.99)
However Wild honey pot ($8.99) and pillar ($15.99)

Bar Supplies

Wine charms, corkscrews, bottlecap openers, and more. Our bar gifts are scattered around the wine/beer and cheese departments. One of our favorite items this season are these corkscrews disguised as owls and foxes. Or look for the sloth wine charms; they’re super cute!

Animal-inspired waiter's corkscrew ($12.99)
Animal-inspired waiter's corkscrew ($12.99)

Tea & Tea Accessories

‘Tis the season for tea! We’ve got a wide selection of gourmet teas, including one of our favorites: Ajiri Tea (pictured here), handpicked in Kenya. 100% of the net profits go to help pay school fees for orphans in Kenya. We’re also loving these animal-inspired tea infusers that came in right before the holidays. A perfect combination for the tea lover in your life!

Ajiri tea $9.99) and tea strainers ($10.99-$14.99)
Ajiri tea $9.99) and tea strainers ($10.99-$14.99)

Pottery

Laura White works out of her home-based pottery studio just down the road from our Woodstock location. We love the simplicity and functionality of her designs. Pictured here are a salt cellar (to keep right next to your cooking space) and a garlic grater that also works for cheese

Laura White Pottery salt cellar ($21.99) and garlic grater ($15.99)
Laura White Pottery salt cellar ($21.99) and garlic grater ($15.99)

Travel Mugs

Who doesn’t need an extra travel mug? Especially this time of year, when hot drinks are a daily necessity. New this season are our WFM camp mugs by MiiR, a sustainably-minded company that specializes in high-quality portable drinkware. We also have our regular-size MiiR travel mugs that fit snugly in your car drink holder.

MiiR 16 oz ($26.99) and 12 oz ($24.99) travel mugs
MiiR 16 oz ($26.99) and 12 oz ($24.99) travel mugs

Oyster Knife and Tasting Booklet

The perfect gift for your oyster-loving family member: an Opinel folding oyster knife and oyster-tasting booklet. Professional cooks say these are their go-to knives for oyster shucking. The knives are made in France and are small enough to double as a pocket knife.

Opinel oyster knife ($17.99) and tasting booklet ($4.99)
Opinel oyster knife ($17.99) and tasting booklet ($4.99)

Cheeseboard Accessories

We’ve got cheeseboards, cheese knives, dip bowls and spreaders, and these cool little tapas plates by Twine. Perfect for entertaining. Guests can pile them high with cheeses and accoutrements from your DIY holiday cheeseboard. Each plate (6.5″ x 4.5″) will comfortably hold several hors d’oeuvres.

Slate tapas plate set ($14.99)
Slate tapas plate set ($14.99)

WFM Gift Card

One of our regular customers uses her Farmers’ gift certificate every Friday to treat herself to a specialty coffee drink.  Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. Think of the things your loved one could get: fresh baked goods; produce; breakfast, lunch, and dinner to-go; wine and beer; groceries; and more!

Our Farmer's gift certificate. Available in the store or online.
Our Farmer's gift certificate. Available in the store or online.

Create Your Own Holiday Cheeseboard

The ultimate edible centerpiece, a well-planned cheeseboard provides a festive and warm welcome for guests. And what we love most about cheeseboards is that they don’t require a lot of time and effort. You just need to know what to include.

What makes a great cheeseboard? A variety of flavors, textures, and colors. Build your board around a mix of cheeses: hard, soft, and blue. Then add in a few sweet and savory pairings, and voila! It’s a party!

Here’s our simple guide to your DIY holiday cheeseboard:

Step 1

Choose one or two cheeses from each category (a total of 3-5 cheeses). Some of our favorites:

HARD

  • Grafton Clothbound Cheddar (Grafton, VT)
  • Spring Brook Farm – “Reading” (Reading, VT)
  • Vermont Shepard – “ Verano” (Westminster, VT)
  • Boston Post Dairy – “Trés Bonne Reserve” (Enosburg Falls, VT)

SOFT

  • Jasper Hill Farm – “Harbison” (Greensboro, VT)
  • Blue Ledge Farm – “Lake’s Edge” (Salisbury, VT)
  • Lazy Lady Farm – “La Petite Tamme” (Westfield, VT)
  • Nettle Meadow Farm – “Simply Sheep” (Thurman, NY)

BLUE

  • Jasper Hill Farm – “Bayley Hazen” (Greensboro, VT)
  • Colston Bassette Dairy – “Stilton” (Nottinghamshire, England)
  • Green Mountain Blue Cheese – “Boucher Blue” (Highgate Center, VT)

 

Step 2

Time to choose your accompaniments! Select a variety of sweet and savory accoutrements to place in and around the cheeses. This is your opportunity to add visual interest to your creation, as well as fun and unexpected flavors. Here are a few ideas:

PAIRINGS

Sweet

  • Fresh figs
  • Fruit & berries
  • Dried apricots
  • Jams & jellies
  • Quince paste
  • Dried cranberries

Savory

  • Marcona almonds
  • Paté
  • Salami
  • Olives
  • Peppadews

Step 3

Slice up some fresh bread, in 1/4-inch rounds, and place them in handfuls around the board, along with some of your favorite crackers (our made-in-Vermont favorites are Jan’s Farmhouse Crisps and Castleton Crackers).

Need help? Stop by the cheese department. We’d love to help you create a delicious assortment of cheeses and accoutrements for your next event.

Too much to think about? We’re happy to make one for you. Just stop by or contact our catering department. Click here to see our holiday catering menu.

Every Penny Counts: Helping Our Neighbors in Need

Vermont is the ninth hungriest state in the country, according to Hunger Free Vermont. We find this statistic deeply troubling. So, with the support of our amazing customers, we’re doing what we can to help our neighbors in need. And we’re glad to report that, together, we’re making a real impact.

We recently kicked off our 14th annual Harvest for Hunger campaign. The fundraiser helps buy fresh produce for the community food shelves in Woodstock and Reading/West Windsor. This year we launched a similar program at our new location in Waterbury, Vermont, with proceeds going to the Waterbury Area Food Shelf.

Thank you to everyone who has opted to round up at the register (sometimes multiple times per day) or have left donations in the collection boxes. Last year we collected $6,500 during the campaign, and we’re on track to exceed that amount this year.

“WFM sees a real need to have fresh produce available for those who come to the food shelf,” said WFM Partner Steve Moyer, who heads up the program. He takes time when placing his orders to ensure a nice selection of fresh, seasonal items. Every two weeks, from November to May, food shelf volunteers pick up their delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables at the Market.

How It All Began

The campaign has been a holiday tradition at the Market for over a decade. It all started in 2006, when we put out collection boxes at the cash registers with the pledge to match whatever funds were donated to buy fresh produce for the community food shelf. The program was called “Penny Power.”

Long-time food shelf volunteer Diana Brown helped spearhead the program in 2006 and has been involved ever since. “For many neighbors in need, adding fresh produce to their shopping lists in winter in Vermont is a luxury they can seldom afford,” she said. “Even though active food pantries keep nonperishable staples on the shelves, fresh vegetables and fruits are preferred by most visitors and provide the best nutrition.”

How You Can Help

During Harvest for Hunger, every time you choose to round up at the registers or place a donation in the collection boxes, you’re helping put fresh produce on your neighbors’ tables. We are so grateful for your kindness and generosity. This year, just three weeks into the Woodstock campaign, we’ve already collected nearly $4,000 in round-up and cash donations. WFM will contribute another $1,000 on top of the total donation amount.

When you purchase a paper bag at the register (5 cents for small bags and 10 cents for large bags), you’re also helping support your local food shelfs. In 2016, we introduced our Bring Your Own Bag “BYOB” initiative, with the goal of keeping thousands of discarded paper bags out of our waste stream and environment. All proceeds from the program are donated to the community food shelfs. We started the same program in Waterbury this fall.

We feel so fortunate to live in a place where neighbors care for neighbors. Thank you for embracing the spirit of giving this holiday season, and for being the wonderful community that you are.

Apple-Cranberry Jam: DIY Holiday Gift Idea

Looking for a festive DIY gift idea? Here’s a fun way to make use of any leftover cranberries and get a head-start on your holiday gift making.

Courtney in our grocery department made a batch last week, and shared her photos and the recipe with us (from the book “Food in Jars” by Marissa McLellan).

Makes 5 (1-pint jars)

What You Need

8 cups apples (peeled, cored, and diced)
4 cups fresh cranberries
6 cups granulated sugar
Zest and juice of 2 lemons

Instructions

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath and 5 regular-mouth 1-pint jars using this process. In a small saucepan, cover the lids with water and simmer over very low heat.
  2. While lids are simmering, peel, core, and dice your apples.

3. In a large pot, combine the apples, cranberries, sugar, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Foam will develop on the top of the fruit. Skim it off as this happens, while continuing to boil for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. When the cranberries pop and the apples soften, add the lemon zest and juice and reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid in the pot  thickens.  No extra pectin is needed because both apples and cranberries are high in pectin.

5. When the jam reaches the desired consistency, remove from heat and ladle into your prepared jars. Wipe the rims clean, screw on tightly, and lower into the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Here’s a simple explanation of the canning process.

Happy creative gift-giving!

Adapted from “Food in Jars” by Marissa McLellan.

Lisa’s Bacon-Wrapped Turkey and Gravy

Lisa, who was an integral part of our Farmers’ family for many years,  shared this recipe with us many Thanksgivings ago. She adopted it from her Nova Scotian mother-in-law. We thought it was time to bring this time-tested recipe out of the WFM archives to share with you.

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1-2 pounds of great bacon, depending on the size of your turkey
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 turkey

What to Do

If you don’t own a turkey rack, you can create one out of vegetables—the bonus is better tasting drippings! Remove the bag with giblets and liver and the neck from the bird, use these to make stock, preferably the day before. If you don’t want to mess with that, come in and buy our WFM turkey stock from the freezer; if you don’t want to make gravy, stop reading and come on in and buy our house-made gravy.

Rest the turkey on rough-chopped carrots; an onion with the top and end cut off, quartered, not peeled; and two stalks of celery. Drape bacon strips over the entire turkey, wrap the bacon around the legs and place in the oven. The bacon will cook and some pieces will fall off and some will stick to the skin. When the turkey is done, remove all the remaining bacon and set aside. By now the kitchen will be full of hungry folks waiting for a glimpse of the cooked bird. Place the bacon strips on a plate and shoo everyone out with the plate. It’s time to make gravy!

Great Gravy

Relax, great gravy starts with a little technique and great drippings and great stock.

  • Place turkey stock in a two quart saucepan and keep warm.
  • Remove turkey from the roasting pan and place on your serving platter, tent with foil, roast turkey needs to rest for 20 – 30 minutes after it comes out of the oven.
  • Pour and scrape all the schmoo from the roasting pan into a strainer placed over a clean bowl, preferably glass so you see the drippings on the bottom and the fat which will float on top.
  • Into the roasting pan, add two cups of hot water and scrape up all the browned bits in the pan. Pour this mix into the stock.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces of drippings
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups of turkey stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to Do

Put a 8 to 10 inch wide-inch deep saucepan over medium low heat; add 3 ounces of turkey drippings. When drippings are warm, add flour and mix to a thick paste with a wisk. Allow this to cook for approximately 4 minutes. It should smell a little like piecrust cooking. The goal here is to the raw flour taste out of the paste. Gradually, 1 cup at a time, add your warm stock to the flour mixture. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Increase the heat to medium and whisk gravy until it is thickened.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Your 5-Day Thanksgiving Planning Checklist

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Planning ahead—and doing one thing at a time—can take the stress out of your holiday hosting duties. We’ve put together this 5-day checklist to help you get a head start on the planning process, so you can relax and enjoy the festivities. 

5 Days Ahead 

Plan your menu and create your shopping list. (And check the defrosting instructions on your turkey if it’s frozen.)
If you haven’t finalized your menu, today is the day. By now you should know who’s coming and what they’re bringing (unless you’re preparing the entire meal yourself). Decide on the dishes you’ll be making (need some ideas?), as well as the other essentials to round out the feast, like bread, cranberry sauce, butter, drinks, and coffee/tea. Here’s a list of essentials for your Thanksgiving shopping list. And depending upon the size of your frozen turkey, you may need to start the defrosting process today. The best way to thaw a bird is to place it in the coldest part of your fridge with a pan underneath.

4 Days Ahead

Clean and organize. 
Frantically cleaning the house the night before your guests arrive is a super stressful way to kick off the holidays. Get all of your deep cleaning, i.e. bathrooms and floors, out of the way a few days in advance. While you’re at it, this is a good time to clean out the fridge to make way for all of those delicious dishes (and leftovers). You also will want to create space in the mudroom for your guests’ coats and shoes.

3 Days Ahead 

Shop.
You could pick up your non-perishables today and wait another day or two for fresh items, or go ahead and get it all at once. Want to avoid the crowds? Mornings and right before closing tend to bit quieter here at the Market. Allow yourself a little extra time to enjoy the shopping experience, as opposed to thinking of it as something to just “get through.” It’s fun to peruse the seasonal items on the shelf, and you might even remember a few things you forgot to include on your list!

2 Days Ahead

Gather (and clean) your dinnerware, glassware, and table decorations.
These details are often the last things we think about. But nothing creates stress like waiting until the last minute to clean china that’s have been sitting in the cupboard since last holiday season, or scavenging the house for napkin rings while your guests are walking in the door. Things to think about
: tablecloths and table runners; placemats; napkins and napkin rings; china;  stemware (plus those cute little wine glass charms); and table decorations. Here are some fun and easy DIY centerpiece ideas.

1 Day Ahead

Prepare sides and desserts and pre-season your turkey.
Hopefully you can set aside a few hours to settle into the kitchen and enjoy the cooking and baking process. Turkeys should be pre-seasoned at least a day in advance, whether you brine your turkey or prefer a rub. Read our handy online guide, “How to Cook Your Turkey.” If you use a rub, we suggest seasoning both inside the cavity and under the skin. For everything you need to know about how to prepare your turkey, grab a Turkey Guide at the deli counter. 

Thanksgiving Day

Roast the turkey and cook (or reheat) the rest of your meal.
There’s nothing like the smell of turkey wafting through the house on Thanksgiving Day.
After you’ve put the bird in the oven, you can focus on the finishing touches—preparing any remaining dishes and setting the table. Then pour yourself a drink. You deserve it!

Click here for more info about Thanksgiving at Farmers’.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

How to Cook Your Turkey and Make a Killer Gravy

There are countless ways to prepare your turkey. But we like to keep it simple. This guide explains the three basic methods, so you can choose the right approach for you (and your bird):

Roast Turkey—All Methods 

Unwrap the turkey in the sink and give it a good rinse. The giblet bag is in the neck cavity, not the body cavity. Take it out before you cook your bird. Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper.

If you are stuffing your turkey, do not do so ahead of time! Stuff it right before it goes into the oven, to minimize the risk of bacterial growth in the stuffing. You can put herbs, spices, chunks of onion, celery, cut up lemons or oranges in the cavity if you don’t want to stuff the bird with edible stuffing. These “aromatics” flavor the bird as it cooks, and the gravy afterward.

Truss the turkey with kitchen string (tie it up in a neat package), and put it in a pan that’s big enough to accommodate it (you don’t want its feet and wings hanging over the side). If you are using a disposable foil pan, put it on a rigid cookie sheet and lift it by holding that, not the pan—the pan can’t be trusted with the weight of the turkey.

Method 1Plain and Simple

Pre-heat oven to 425, and put the rack in the lowest position. Prepare turkey for roasting, above. Pat the breast dry, then rub with softened butter, salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 20 minutes, then lower the oven heat to 350 and roast according to the size of your turkey, basting with pan juices every half hour until done. If the skin gets too brown, cover with a double layer of foil.

Method 2Herbed, Self-Basting

Pre-heat oven to 425, and put the rack in the lowest position. Chop a combination of rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley, for a total of about a quarter cup, and add to a cup of softened butter, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper.

With your hand, carefully separate the skin of the breast from the meat, being careful not to tear the skin. Wiggle your hand around under there, working the skin loose over the legs as well if you can. Scoop the herb butter up in your hand and smear it around under the skin. Then smear the rest on outside of the bird. Follow roasting directions above, basting only if you feel like it.

Method 3 – Dry-Rubbed

Pre-heat oven to 425, and put the rack in the lowest position. Brush turkey with oil, then sprinkle on generous amounts of your rub of choice, patting it onto the oiled skin with your hand. Sprinkle in the cavity for good measure. Follow roasting directions above.

Or want to get a little exotic? Try Lisa’s Bacon-Wrapped Turkey & Gravy or Kyle’s Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing.

Gravy 

Put the giblets and neck in a pot, cover with 6 cups of water, some chopped carrots, onion, celery and a bay leaf, and simmer for 1-2 hours to make stock. When turkey is done, remove it from the roasting pan onto a platter or cutting board to rest (rubber dishwashing gloves work very well for this purpose! You get a good grip on the bird, and they’re insulated enough that your hands won’t burn).

Pour all the pan juices into a glass measuring cup and skim off and discard most of the fat. Put a couple of spoonfuls of fat back into the roasting pan and add an equal amount of white flour. Whisk into a paste. If using a disposable pan, transfer paste and as much of the crusty stuff as you can into a medium size pot. If using a roasting pan, set directly over a low flame on the stovetop. Whisk in your hot giblet stock and stir until thickened. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

How to Create a Local Thanksgiving in Vermont

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We’re such a small state. But everything you need for your Thanksgiving feast can be found right here in Vermont.

That isn’t the case everywhere. During this season of gratitude, we’re thankful that we know exactly where our Thanksgiving meal comes from … and for the farmers and producers who make that possible.

Want to create a Local Thanksgiving? You needn’t look far for these essential components of your holiday spread.

Local Turkeys

There’s a big difference between your standard commercial bird and all-natural turkeys raised on Vermont family farms. No antibiotics and large, open barns = healthier, tastier turkeys. We’ve partnered with three farms in Vermont so that you can feel good about the turkey you put on your table this Thanksgiving. Place your turkey order today! Visit our Thanksgiving page for details.

Here’s what’s available:

  • Misty Knoll Farms (New Haven, VT) – $3.99/lb
    Antibiotic-free. Raised in large, open “turkey houses.”
  • Stonewood Farm (Orwell, VT)* – $3.99/lb
    Antibiotic-free. Raised in large, open barns.
    *Woodstock location only
  • Maple Wind Farm (Richmond, VT)* – $4.99/lb
    Non-GMO, pasture-raised.
    *Waterbury location only

Vermont Cranberries and Apples

It’s hard to imagine a Thanksgiving meal without cranberries and apples. They show up in sauces, pies, chutneys, and even stuffing recipes. And both are well-suited for our northern clime.

Throughout the holiday season we’ll have freshly harvested cranberries from the Vermont Cranberry Company in Fletcher, Vermont. The cranberries were dry harvested in late October by owner Bob Lesnikoski, who built the bog and planted the cranberry vines himself. Moore’s Orchard (Pomfret, Vt) and Scott Farm (Dummerston, Vt)  keep us stocked with several varieties of Vermont-grown apples for your baking pleasure.

Locally Grown Veggies

Potatoes, winter squash, and beets. We all have family recipes that feature these classic Thanksgiving veggies. And for good reason; they’re part of the late-season harvest in New England, where the first Thanksgiving took place.

Laughing Child Farm (Pawlet, Vt)  keeps us rolling in sweet potatoes all season long. And we have fingerlings, German butterballs, russets, and red potatoes from Fresh Roots (Sharon, Vt), Hurricane Flats (South Royalton, Vt), and Edgewater (Plainfield, NH) farms. Our beets and several varieties of winter squash come from a collection of local growers, including Four Corners Farm (Newbury, Vt) and Pierson Farm (Bradford, Vt).

Vermont Cider, Wine, and Mead

Hard cider was likely the beverage of choice at holiday gatherings in Vermont during the 18th and 19th centuries. Before the days of refrigeration, cider was easy to make using local apples, kept longer than milk (and was safer to drink than water), and was preferred to ale.

In this century, our love of cider is more about taste and presentation than practicality. You can find a wide assortment of locally produced hard ciders in elegant bottles and beautifully decorated cans. For your Thanksgiving table, consider Farnum Hill‘s Extra Dry Cider (Lebanon, NH), one of Fable Farm‘s (Barnard, VT) tempting varieties (Emanation is the crowd favorite around here), and Eden’s Ice Cider for dessert. We’ve also got a few cranberry-apple cider blends in cans, including Champlain Orchard Cidery’s Foxboro Rose and Citizen Cider‘s Americran. And keeping with the cranberry theme: Boyden’s Valley Winery‘s Cranberry Wine and Artesano’s Cranberry Mead with Bubbles.

Bread

Nothing completes the Thanksgiving meal like a melt-in-your-mouth roll or slice of good bread. But making your own takes time and preparation—both of which are in short supply around the holidays. Thankfully we live in a state chock-full of fantastic bakeries, and a few of them even deliver!

Red Hen Baking and Klinger’s Bread Company are available in both of our store locations, along with La Panciata and Great Harvest Bread Company  in Woodstock and Elmore Mountain Bread in Waterbury.  For special orders (Red Hen or Klingers), please call no later than Nov. 21. La Panciata orders should be placed even earlier (by Nov. 17).

And this just covers the staples. We haven’t even mentioned all of the amazing Vermont artisan products to compliment your feast. Made-in-Vermont butter, chutneys, cheeses, smoked meats, sweets, and more. Come peruse our shelves (and look for the “Local” sticker) for more ideas.

Happy Thanksgiving planning!