Support local food producers with your Thanksgiving meal

It is so hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a little over a month away. It seems as if we were just in the spring of the year planting crops, and now they are mostly all harvested and we are preparing for winter. With Thanksgiving approaching, the highlight for most families is enjoying a large meal and spending time together.

Nowadays it seems as if most families are busier than ever. With that, it can be so convenient to just grab premade and prepackaged food items for a holiday meal. At some point or another, we all may need to resort to this, but it is also key to support local businesses and food producers during this time. There are so many options for supporting local and, more often than not, they may offer unique products that you won’t find in a grocery store.

A great way to support local and to include fresh items in your holiday meals includes going to local farmers markets / stores that still are open for the season to get items such as potatoes, parsley, onions and yams. Also, see if any local farmers, or 4-H kids, raised extra turkeys. This is another great way to get fresh meat while directly supporting the individual who raised the animals. Many independently owned stores tend to carry milk, meat, eggs, butter and cheese from local producers. Local bakeries and independent restaurants often use those products in items they offer for pickup. So if you do find yourself short on time this holiday season, ordering from a local location not only is supporting that business directly, but they most likely support many other small producers, so it’s a win for everyone.

Looking to incorporate something new into your holiday dinner this year, while including fresh, local ingredients? Look no further. As a dairy farmer, including multiple forms of dairy into holiday meals is something we try to do whenever possible. Holiday Mashed Potatoes is a delicious dish that is dairy packed for your family to try this holiday season. Not only can many of the dairy ingredients be found at local shops, but when out and about gathering items or the holiday season, you are bound to come across an individual with “eggs for sale,” or late-season freshly dug potatoes.

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

3-5 pounds potatoes

1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup sour cream

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2/3 cup of milk

1 tsp. salt

Pepper to taste

After potatoes have cooked, mash until all lumps are gone. Add cream cheese and butter in small pieces and blend well. Add sour cream. Mix milk with eggs, then with the potato mixture. Add salt and pepper.

Place potatoes in 9-inch round casserole dish (greased) and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 8 to 12 servings.

Holler is a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau Board of Trustees.


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