H u m b l e R o o t s Fa r m
Just as important as the Thanksgiving dinner table is
the dessert table.
The quintessential Thanksgiving dessert, pump-kin
While coffee can’t be grown in the Carolinas, you can
fight off a food coma and support area businesses with
locally roasted coffee. Newly opened Maven Coffee
Company, launched by Nicolas and Diana Nino, offers
unique, direct trade Colombian coffees. Will Chacon
and Nina Hayhurst-Chacon of Luna Caffe in the Castle
Street Arts District started roasting coffee for the café
and its customers this year. Vigilant Hope Roasting
uses coffee to fight poverty through empowerment and
employment as part of the ministry of Vigilant Hope, a
Wi l d Me a d o w Fa rm
Tidal Creek Co-op
The Red Eye Bakery
pie, would be a challenge to make from a locally
sourced pumpkin. That’s because the canned pumpkin
pie filling we’re all used to is made from a patented
variety of vegetable that’s a close relative of the butternut
squash. Pumpkins grown here are far better for decorat-ing
than baking pies, so we can all keep with tradition
and buy cans of pumpkin pie filling — just like our
Apples don’t grow well near the coast, but they are in
season in the western part of the state. Look for North
Carolina apples to go in pies, cobblers and cakes.
If the turkey is going to take up all the oven space,
turn to professionals for dessert. Eagle Island takes
special orders for traditional treats, including a 14-layer
chocolate cake just like grandma used to make. Check
with The Red Eye Bakery in the Brooklyn Arts District
for a variety of sweets, including gluten-free options.
There’s some debate about whether the topping ought
to be marshmallow, corn flakes or brown sugar pecans,
but there’s no disagreement about the necessity of sweet
potato casserole on the Thanksgiving table. Though
the sugar content makes it practically a dessert, the
main ingredient is still a vegetable, so we can all go on
pretending it’s healthy, right? Look for locally grown
sweet potatoes from Red Beard Farms of Burgaw, run by
husband-wife team Morgan and Katrin Milne.
Some Thanksgiving staples aren’t in season locally
during the fall. Green bean casserole and mashed
potatoes rank among the most-requested Thanksgiving
dishes but, since green beans and potatoes are both
summer crops here in southeastern North Carolina,
you aren’t likely to spot them at the farmers market in
November. But you can still pick up these veggies at
Tidal Creek Co-op or Eagle Island Fruit and Seafood.
Cranberries are harvested in November, but they only
grow in cooler climates. If you’d like to make your cran-berry
sauce from scratch, Eagle Island will have fresh
cranberries brought down from New England.
Red Beard Farms and Delco-based Wild Meadow
Farm both will have locally grown mushrooms available
this month. Add them to stuffing or make your own
cream of mushroom soup to infuse a green bean casse-role
with local flavor.
In-season vegetables include cauliflower, beets, chard,
Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, and a variety of winter
squash. Whatever your favorites are, you can probably
find them at an area farmers market or roadside stand.
While shopping for all the traditional essentials, check
with local producers and see if they’re offering anything
you’ve never tried before. Kohlrabi, fennel or parsnips
could become a new specialty, something to dazzle the
family with when you’re all finally gathered together.
With thoughtful planning, Thanksgiving Dinner 2020 can be a meaningful celebration
filled with tangible reminders of life and community here in the Cape Fear region.