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Feast Local This Thanksgiving

Posted on November 13th, 2023 by Daniel Zimmerli


Thanksgiving week is nearly here and we are excited! It's always been one of our favorite holidays as the theme of Thanksgiving is so central to the reason we farm in the first place: to share good food with the ones we love. This year is extra special for us at Cedar Crate Farm: we're hosting Thanksgiving for the first time! Read on to hear about what we're cooking and the recipes we're using!

Feast Local Farmer Style

We decided that we would cook a turkey, make a potato based side dish, provide a fresh veggie tray, and prepare a couple salads and that we’d ask our guests to bring deserts and/or a side dish to share. We’re providing some recipes below for some insight and inspiration for you as you head into the holiday festivities.

The Turkey

We like to spatchcock and dry brine our turkeys (and chickens for that matter). Spatchcocking a turkey is a little medieval as you both cut out the back bone of the turkey and break the breast bone with a goal of evening out the cooking of the turkey so that you have crisp skin and moist meat. We’re following Serious Eats guides for spatchcocking and dry brining linked below. We’re sourcing our turkey from Blue Dirt Farm and have a link to their website below as well.

Dry Brine Turkey - Serious Eats

Spatchcock (Butterfly) A Turkey - Serious Eats

Local, Pastured Raised Turkeys - Blue Dirt Farm Blue Earth, MN

The Potatoes

Potatoes have always been a staple at every holiday on the Zimmerli side of our family and for good reason. They’re a crowd pleaser, they can be dressed up or down, and they’re just SO tasty when accompanied by some dairy in the form of cheese, cream and/or butter.

We’re going back and forth on whether to make scalloped potatoes or mashed potatoes so we’ll just share both recipes here. You can’t go wrong. We’re using America’s Test Kitchen recipes here so you may run into a paywall.

p.s. - The mashed potato recipe calls for Yukon Golds but you can definitely use our white potatoes for this recipe with just as good results.

Scalloped Potatoes - America's Test Kitchen

Creamy Mashed Potatoes - America’s Test Kitchen

The Salads

I’ve wrote a lot about how lettuce is so good this time of year so it would be a shame to not share that with our guests. Spinach is really great too - with the cool weather it stays tender even when large and has a nice subtle sweetness.

We’ll use our head lettuces for our salad because we like the crunch and flavor of our head lettuces more but our salad mix would work very well here too. We’ll use one head each of green curly leaf, summer crisp, and red and green mini romaine for nice contrasting colors and textures. We’ll have our go-to Apple Cider Vinaigrette dressing as well as ranch. We’ll also have our favorite two salad toppings available: sunflower seeds & dried cranberries.

Finally, we’ll have a second salad option that incorporates our beautiful spinach and beets in the classic spinach salad with beets.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette - Detoxinista

Spinach Salad with Beets - Serious Eats

The Veggie Tray

This one is easy. Our veggie tray will have our carrots, kohlrabi, and the last of our fresh peppers with a ranch dip. Our family loves to “graze” while we converse and veggie trays are perfect for this!