Gearing Up for Thanksgiving!

Believe it or not Matt and I have been thinking about Thanksgiving for a year!  As Matt and I sat down and enjoyed this dinner with our family in the mountains last Thanksgiving, as we were enjoying our dinner, we spoke about  how nice it would be for our South of the James customers to serve the food our family grows at their Thanksgiving dinner!  Usually we are winding down our season by now, but this year, we are full on!  We are hoping to help you celebrate Thanksgiving with your family!  We are excited!

First off, we have sweet potatoes!  This is the first time Matt has grown them and man, they are beauties!  Below you see our fabulous farm intern Stephen working hard digging these potatoes and then we cured them.  We are thankful for Stephen!  He moved to the farm last April and has been helping us the entire season.  He signed on to learn about how to farm and has learned a lot!  He is now coming out to market us.  He is great company and has become a member of our farm family.

We have been curing our sweet potatoes for several weeks prior to bringing them to market.  These tropical tubers like it HOT to start. Ideal curing conditions are dim, hot (80°F-85°F), and humid so we have been curing them in our green house and have kept them covered.  Curing allows the tubers to callus over where the stem or roots were snapped off and heal any other damage. It also triggers the development of the sugar-creating enzymes that will allow the sweet potatoes to get sweeter in storage, and may help to prevent premature sprouting.  We have been bringing them to market for two weeks now and our customers are delighted with them!

Here is one of my favorite, clean and healthy weeknight dinners!  It is so easy and so tasty and of course from my favorite recipe blogger!

Now, for my Thanksgiving dinner!! We should start with a nice appetizer and Matt’s radishes are delightful and Norwood Cottage Bakery ‘s Cottage Bread is wonderful!  Mark is a great guy and works hard to hand craft his bread.  You can get his bread at the South of the James Farmer’s Market.

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Unfortunately, we can’t grow the avocados but you can get the kale and radishes from us!  Serve this up with a nice glass of chardonnay while the dinner is finishing up.  Here is the easy recipe!  It is light and hits the spot just right while keep the food clean and healthy.

Matt’s kale is fabulous so I will make this Kale Salad:

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It is so good, but I must say, I substitute sweet potatoes for the butternut squash (no seeds to deal with)!  Here is the recipe from Cooking Light. The chopped apples and farro along with the cranberries is real nice!

We can’t get enough sweet potatoes so I will make a nice honey roasted sweet potato.  It is so easy.  Chop the sweet potato in to cubes and put them in a bowl.  Toss in about 4 tablespoons of honey, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of cinnamon, put in a pinch of nutmeg for greatness and finish with salt and pepper to taste and make sure the sweet potatoes are covered.  Roast these little morsels at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until you can put a fork through them.

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They are delicious and easy and fancy!

Carrots are always a must for Thanksgiving dinner!  Matt is bringing some beautiful baby carrots the next two weeks of market!

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Since I already have the honey out, I am going to make these honey roasted carrots!  I am going to toss the carrots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of honey and roast at 400 for 25-30 minutes with the sweet potatoes!

Matt’s green beans are so fresh and bright, you can’t have Thanksgiving without these!

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I prepare them simply.  I put them in a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes and pull them out immediately and give them a ice water bath.  This gets them nice and bright green.  I then take an easy balsamic vinaigrette dressing in a mason jar.  I put in a 1/4 cup of nice balsamic vinegar and a 1/4 up of nice olive oil.  I then put in 3 tablespoons of honey and 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard.  I take a garlic clove smash it and mince it up and add salt and pepper to taste and give it a shake.  I then heat up a pan and toss the green beans in the pan and pour some of the dressing on top of the green beans and heat them up.  They are delicious!

For dessert, we are going to make a brown sugar sweet potato pie!  I totally cheat a little bit.  I use the Pillsbury Ready to Bake Pie Crust.  You can get it where the refrigerated biscuits are at the grocery store.

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I love to cook but I am not a baker!  I will also go over to Norwood Cottage at the South of the James Farmer’s Market to see what other delights he has and bring that along!  He has great hand crafted goodness that never disappoints!

Matt and I look forward to helping  you and your family enjoy Thanksgiving!  We will be at The South of the James Farmer’s Market Saturday, November 11th and Saturday, November 12th from 9-12!  Come see us and say “Hi” to Stephen!!!