This Week at the Smart Markets Lorton Farmers' Market

We've got everything you need at the farmers' market this week for a great Thanksgiving feast.

This Week at the Smart Markets Lorton Farmers' Market
Thursday 3–6 p.m.
Workhouse Arts Center
9601 Ox Rd.
Lorton, VA 22079

Steven Stoltzfus will stock the Country Store with the great organic vegetables of fall and will also have all the baked goods you need for an old-fashioned Thanksgiving, including seasonal pies and apple dumplings. Look for their local maple syrup and honey for your Thanksgiving recipes. And if you haven’t used Trickling Springs butter in your own baking yet, I promise you will never go back to store-bought when you see what butter with no water in it will do for your cakes, cookies, and pastry. Trickling Springs is also sending their voluptuous eggnog, Belgian chocolate milk (less sugar and the best chocolate), and their new drinkable yogurt.

Ignacio and Chester will also have a bountiful display of fruits and veggies. Try Chester’s potatoes in your mashed potatoes or the sweet potatoes with maple syrup, lemon juice, and melted Trickling Springs butter. Chester also has the apple mix you need for the best pie, your own homemade applesauce, or an applesauce cake made from it.

Ignacio is bringing gorgeous greens for winter salads, or you can steam or sauté them with flavorings of your choice. His beets and turnips are just gorgeous, and wait till you see the rainbow carrots. We have a new recipe for them that Annie created at the Oakton market last week. Remember that these vegetables you pick up this week have just been picked, so with proper care they will still be perfect for cooking next week.

Don’t forget to stop by the Smart Markets tent for recipes galore! And Uncle Fred's BBQ and Divine Wood-Fired Pizza will be with us this week.

From the Market Master

Do you have your list, and are you checking it twice? No, not your Christmas list, but your Thanksgiving grocery list. Whether you are preparing the entire meal yourself for one family or more, or whether, as I do every year, you are contributing to a potluck feast, I thought you might benefit from some sage advice.

If you are planning and preparing the entire meal yourself, buy a bigger turkey than you will need for the day and plan for great leftovers to get you through the next month, when you will be busier than ever with less time than usual to cook up comfort food on the fly. If you are concerned that the extra size will add significantly to the time your oven is devoted to the turkey, remember that the turkey can be completely roasted and carved early in the day. The turkey itself does not have to be hot from the oven; the gravy will warm it up sufficiently. And if you buy a fresh, local, free-range turkey from the farmers’ market, the bird will spend considerably less time in the oven anyway.

We will have handouts this week and next with delicious recipes for kinds of leftovers, so as long as you are dicing, slicing, chopping, mashing and carving, you might as well make enough for a few more meals. Any soup or casserole that you make can be frozen too, so you can bring out that turkey again and again through the holiday season.

Speaking of all that work that goes into the Thanksgiving meal, this month’s Eating Well magazine contains a chart demonstrating that the more cooking you do, the more calories you burn. Using their own Thanksgiving meal menu and Mayo Clinic research, the magazine calculated that you can burn 700 of the slightly more than 1,000 calories that their meal contains just by creating it in your own kitchen. No fair counting as your own workout what your helpers do for you, but it can only help your digestion knowing that the hard work contributed something more than just gluttonous enjoyment.

A family gathering is always a great opportunity to demonstrate how your commitment to eating seasonally and buying locally can result in a delicious meal from soup to nuts. Start with squash bisque, then select from the greens and cruciferous veggies, potatoes and other gorgeous root vegetables, and then for a main course, turkey or another meat from the market. And don’t forget a locally sourced dessert, which this year could include local pears and apples or some lovely black walnuts. You really can make a meal of all-local ingredients with maybe just cranberries and some citrus thrown in for color or acidity.

Whatever else you undertake this Thanksgiving, add something new to the mix and see where it takes you. The kitchen is a wonderful place to experiment, and hardly ever does anything blow up.

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