by Lori Hinton
Ready to celebrate Thanksgiving the way nature intended? Make this year all about giving thanks for the Earth’s bounty—grown and raised right in your own backyard! Did you know you can plan an entire Thanksgiving feast with ingredients from the Farmers Market?
With harvest at its peak and an extended growing season due to a warmer, dryer fall, the market’s bounty is busting at the seams with over 40 farmers and vendors. So head over to 44th and Alaska and prepare to be inspired with an abundance of choices for your feast whether you go traditional or create new traditions with exotic additions.
Start your meal with savory appetizers such as wild caught smoked salmon from West Seattle’s own Loki Fish Co. and fresh goat cheese from Mountain Lodge Farm in Enumclaw, or Gouda and cheddar from Samish Bay Cheese. Pickled veggies make a great app tray. For a non-traditional twist, try a local favorite with Flight to Lebanon’s humus and baba ghanoush homemade here in West Seattle.
For the main course, you need turkey, of course. As the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table, pasture-raised turkey from Green Bow Farms in Ellensburg can’t be beat. These early bird farmers wake up at the crack of dawn to drive over the pass selling poultry exclusively to the West Seattle market. Their beautiful whole roaster chickens are a great option as well. Beyond poultry, you can also try salmon, lamb, ham, pork or beef—all readily available at the market.
Then there are sides. With so many options, it’s hard to decide. Start with stuffing and rolls from Ballard’s Tall Grass Bakery. They toast their buttery bread to perfection and cut it into cubes for you. Add fresh onions, celery, parsley and tart apples and you’ll have nothing short of seriously delicious stuffing.
And what’s Thanksgiving without potatoes? Mashed, baked, sweet, scalloped—whatever you can dream you can do with over 16 potato varieties available from yellow fleshed Yukon Golds to red- and blue-skinned beauties. Lyall Farms sweet potatoes grown in the Yakima Valley are a crowd favorite. Heirloom squash is also in abundance, and as the weather gets colder, squash get sweeter and sweeter! Yum.
Add color and a tart taste to your table with cranberries from Bloom Creek out of Little Rock. These farmers set aside a portion of their incredible harvest just for West Seattle (thanks)! They offer both deep red cranberries and white cranberries, which are said to be the sweetest of all because the sun has yet to kiss them.
For more vibrant color, carrots and beets can’t be beat. Red and golden beets are plentiful this time of year and they make a beautiful display when roasted and peeled. Want to win points for creativity? Try the rare and unusual Chioggia beet. When cut open, the beat reveals beautiful spirals of red and white inside—a pretty spectacular presentation on a platter.
The extended growing season has also kept a few fall faves on the farm table longer than usual. Get your Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, arugula, and spicy mizuna now! A spinach salad with sliced pears, goat cheese and Holmquist Hazelnuts will not disappoint.
And don’t forget dessert! With the peak harvest of apples and pears at hand, plus small sugar pie pumpkins, you can make pies from scratch. But leave the baking to Sod House Bakery and you won’t regret it. Special order pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies are made with love right here in West Seattle.
Thirsty? Pick your potion. Rockridge Orchards’ apple growers craft their own apple and hard ciders. Bainbridge Vineyards offers a great Pinot Noir and German-style white wines. And local craft breweries Propolis and Lowercase both use local Washington grain and hops to make limited production pilsners, IPAs and a seasonal Golden Pumpkin and Squash Ale too. Cheers to that!
For décor, make your own cornucopia or grab a gorgeous floral arrangement from one of many growers and you’re good to go!
This Thanksgiving when you consider shopping the West Seattle Farmers Market, it’s not a question of what you can get for your feast, it’s more a question of what can’t you get? So let’s give thanks for Mother Nature and the farmers who harvest her bounty!
Coming up at the Farmers Market:
Sundays in December mean mule drawn carriage rides and fresh hot apple cider.
On December 14th come for handmade holiday cards using potato stamps.
On Dec 21st stop by to make snowflakes!
For more information, contact:
Chris Curtis, Executive Director
Neighborhood Farmers Markets
3919 Latona Ave. NE, Suite C-1, Seattle, WA 98105