A Fresh Fork Market Thanksgiving

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving, but today feels a little bit like Christmas!  This afternoon I picked up my Fresh Fork Market Thanksgiving package, which I had pre-ordered earlier this fall.  I generally knew what was in the package, but opening each box opened up new excitement and cooking opportunities.  An entire feast now sits in my kitchen and I never stepped foot in a grocery store.  My money has gone directly to a farmer or baker in the local area, and my family will enjoy healthy farm-fresh food on our dinner table for Thanksgiving and a few meals after.

Just to give you a glimpse of what I received in today’s package, I am including a picture of each box, with a few comments of explanation.

??????????????????????????????? Box 1 contains 2 stalks brussel sprouts, several winter squash, a bag of fresh broccoli and fresh spinach, 2 bags of freshly ground whole wheat flour, a 1/2 gallon apple cider and a freshly baked crumb top apple pie.

I have a great recipe for brussel sprouts I will share on the blog soon.  The fresh spinach may end up in an Italian wedding soup recipe we love.  Some steamed broccoli and winter squash will make a great side dish with dinner.

 

???????????????????????????????Box 2 contains a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread and 1 dozen homemade whole wheat rolls.  A bag of beets and a crumb top sweet potato pie join them.

 

 

???????????????????????????????Box 3 is the heavy one!  It contains 2 lbs carrots, 1 Hubbard squash, 2 butternut squash, a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, a bag of onions, a bag of sweet potatoes, several fresh apples, shallots, garlic,fresh lettuce greens, and a dozen organic eggs.

 

 

???????????????????????????????Box 4 feels like the grand prize!  A 21 lb fresh turkey fills this box.  This turkey was roaming the farm fields until this past Monday, eating healthy greens and enjoying life.  Never frozen and minimally processed, this turkey will soon grace our table as a delicious centerpiece, with lots of leftovers to follow!

 

 

??????????????????????????????? I added a few items to this order that I needed for other meals.  2 lbs of fresh cut, nitrate-free bacon will be used for breakfast and for that brussel sprouts recipe I mentioned earlier.  The sunflower oil has become my new go-to cooking oil, replacing my olive oil and canola oil.  The heirloom tomato sauce will be served over linguine for a quick meal later this weekend.  And the fresh apple cider is so delicious I just had to get another 1/2 gallon!

 

 

I am grateful to those who have grown and prepared the food we will soon enjoy.  Their hard work and excellence allow my family to eat healthy and contribute to the local economy.  I am grateful for the abundance we enjoy, while also realizing there are many that go without such bountiful supply.  This is a reminder of how important it is to get involved with organizations that do help provide resources to families in need.  Our own church has a Family Resource Center which provides food and household items to those in need – we enjoy getting involved with this agency.  I am thankful for the fact that my table will be filled with family and friends over the next few days and I am reminded of those who are alone or who are experiencing distress or grief this year.  My heart goes out to you, especially at this time.  As my family gathers around our Thanksgiving table, we will pause and thank God for His goodness in our lives and remember to pray for others.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

The Flavors of Winter

???????????????????????????????We experienced our first snowfall of the season today here in Northeast Ohio.  Somehow the first fresh snow flurrying through the slate blue clouded sky always seems magical.  The roads were a bit treacherous and the plummeting air temps (from 65 degrees on Tuesday to 25 degrees today) made us catch our breath. Dreams of steaming soup and hot cocoa come to the forefront of our minds.  And Fresh Fork Market delivers the best when it comes to the flavors of winter.

This is my second pick-up in the winter program of Fresh Fork Market.  The program works a little differently than the summer program in that it is a once-every-other-week pick up rather than weekly, with the exception of these three weeks prior to Thanksgiving.  My bag is larger than the summer one and the fresh produce keeps coming, supplemented by frozen produce, meats and freshly harvested beans.

This week’s bag has ham-n-bean soup written all over it (not literally, of course!)  Freshly picked carrots, beans, and frozen ham hocks provide the basics to get me started.  Tomorrow I will use my crock pot to cook the ham hocks and beans, then add some veggies and let it simmer slowly all day.  I will have enough soup for dinner and some extra for the freezer, ready for another snowy day in need of a steaming bowl of homemade soup.

spaghetti squashIn addition to the soup ingredients, my bag held a spaghetti squash large enough to feed my family.  If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash yet, you are missing out on a treat.  Sliced in half and baked cut-side down in a shallow pan with a little bit of water causes this steamed squash to separate into small noodle-like strands perfect with a marinara sauce sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. What a great option for lowering our carbohydrate intake without a loss of flavor!   Fresh greens in my bag will become a delicious side salad for this nutritious meal.

So don’t let the freezing temperatures outside put a freeze on healthy cooking for this season. Fresh Fork Market is a great way to stay healthy and enjoy fresh foods even while the snow flies!