BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving

Best Fresh Cranberry Sauce (Raw, Local and Sugar-Free!)

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Local, organic Maine cranberries, from Sparrow Farm in Pittston. They are also veteran growers of fresh ginger, I just learned!

I have nothing against Ocean Spray. I’m even a fan of their canned, jellied sauce, mostly for its gelatinous texture and the way it lies flat on a turkey and stuffing sandwich. But if you have access to fresh berries, it’s worth making your own cranberry sauce. And you don’t even have to occupy a precious burner on your crowded Thanksgiving stove-top. My favorite cranberry sauce recipe, which I’ve made for years now, is raw, and better yet, sugar-free. This sauce is sweetened with only oranges, apples and dates and whipped up in a blender (preferably a high-powered one like a Vitamix). I often punch it up with orange zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. I never knew the source of the recipe (see below), but it appears to come from Rose Lee Calabro, an old-school raw foodie. I wish I could remember which dear friend or magazine turned me on to this effortless approach.

I’m excited to receive a pound of local Maine cranberries in our Small Wonder Organics CSA box next week. They’ll be from Sparrow Farm in Pittston, which I also hear has been growing fresh ginger for years. Maybe I’ll finally try Mama Stamberg’s infamous cranberry relish this year.

Cranberry Sauce

by Rose Lee Calabro

2 C fresh cranberries
1 orange
1 apple
1 C dates
water for consistency

Process cranberries, orange, apple and dates in a blender and serve.

Susan Stamberg Ivy Manning

Fermenting Cabbage: Kraut and David Chang’s Kimchi

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My kraut of red and mostly green cabbage.

Less than three weeks later: fermented kraut.

Shredded cabbage in pickle crock on day one.

Fermenting and pickling are my favorite of the food preservation arts. Fermenting especially, because there’s no cooking up a brine, stuffing jars, water-boiling them. I love raw fermentation, where all you do is salt and submerge the chopped vegetables in their own juices, and then the naturally-present lactobacillus bacteria transform the vegetable sugars into lactic acid, the vinegar-like natural brine that preserves your kraut.

I started fermenting my kraut about Nov. 7, so I could connect with the great Baltimore Thanksgiving tradition. Of course, I never made sauerkraut in Baltimore nor did I ever have Thanksgiving there, but I love Gertrude’s (site of our rehearsal dinner) and meant to attend their kraut festival. So I was thrilled to find Gertie’s recipe for Sauerkraut and Apples (tips on fermenting your own kraut here). The uptown version, with dry champagne and fresh ginger, graced our Thanksgiving table. The clean tang of the kraut helped undercut the grease and heaviness of the rest of the meal. Plus, those tangy probiotic bacteria (like the ones present in yogurt) really aid in digestion. Another secret to the kraut: we sauteed it with the maple-cured, applewood-smoked pork belly I just cured with Intaba at the restaurant.

Curing the pork belly with salt, brown sugar and maple syrup.

After a week of curing, plus an hour of smoking: bacon!











The same day I made kraut, I also made garlicky, gingerly, salty-sweet Napa cabbage kimchi, with the recipe from hip chef David Chang of Momofuku fame. I still need to make his Fuji Apple Salad with Kimchi, Smoke Jowl & Maple Labne before we eat all the kimchi in the fridge. If only we’d smoked some pork jowl with our bacon.

My Napa cabbage Kimchi, based on Momofuku's recipe. It does a number on your breath!

Written by baltimoregon

November 29, 2009 at 11:58 am

Thanksgiving Turkey in April

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Turkey Picadillo

Turkey Picadillo

When Sunday night dinner stumps you, it’s a treat to discover bags of still flavorful shredded Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer. We sure got a lot of life out of that bird. I had wanted to try Turkey Picadillo, this sweet-and-sour saucy Latin American stew, ever since spotting it among The Oregonian’s suggestions of what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers. But it’s a tangy and soothing dish to make anytime of year. Of course, this Spanish mincemeat is more traditionally made with shredded beef or pork. Try chicken, too. For a kick, this recipe recommends adding chipotle en adobo and capers. But I hands-down recommend The Oregonian one I tried:

Turkey Picadillo

Published November 25, 2008

Makes 4 servings

This slightly saucy Latin American stew can be served over rice or (for a real treat) right on top of fried potatoes. Picadillo makes a tasty taco or burrito filling as well.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3½ cups shredded leftover turkey
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (one 16-ounce can)
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup roughly chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar


In a large, deep frying pan heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cinnamon, cumin and chili powder and stir to coat the vegetables with the spices.

Add the turkey, tomato sauce, chicken broth, salt, pepper, raisins and olives to the pan. Stir to incorporate the ingredients and then bring to a simmer. Cook the picadillo over low heat, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar. Serve hot or refrigerate the picadillo, covered, for up to two days. Reheat before serving.

From Laura B. Russell

Written by baltimoregon

April 7, 2009 at 12:51 am

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Turkey Tortilla Soup: Thankful that I Froze Thanksgiving Leftovers

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No offense, Dad, but we’re tired of the same savory turkey-vegetable-rice soup we make every year with Thanksgiving leftovers. We wanted to make a soup we would actually make in its own right this year. And I had the stock and shredded turkey meat all ready to go in the freezer. If this bird had to die, at least we are using every inch of its meat.

Then I found the perfect tortilla soup recipe that has the wearied post-Thanksgiving cook in mind. It’s from the Baltimore-based food blog Coconut & Lime. Fire-roasted tomatoes and green chiles gave the soup a smokey tang. Grated cheddar, avocado and tortilla chip toppings cooled the heat of the mildy spicy soup. Man, is this recipe a keeper! I might add black beans next time to make more of a turkey chili.

Any other notable turkey soup recipes out there?

Written by baltimoregon

December 9, 2008 at 1:34 am

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The Everlasting Pumpkin

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Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce over Pastaworks Ravioli 










This huge Jarrahdale pumpkin I bought for Halloween decoration and finally roasted for Thanksgiving yielded many more cups of sugary sweet puree than I know what to do with. It’s abundance is to be appreciated in these dire economic times.

I used it make pumpkin tiramisu for Thanksgiving dessert. I froze two containers full of the orangey mush. And I still have a big bowlful of the stuff in the fridge that thankfully hasn’t gone bad yet.

So I used it to make vegan pumpkin black-bottom-like cupcakes for a holiday party for the ESL school where I’ve volunteer taught. Check out the yummy recipe (who knew tofu cream cheese would taste so real) here.

And on a whim tonight, I made a pumpkin sage cream sauce (see above). I first sauteed onions, garlic and leftover sliced leeks in olive oil, added a cup of chicken broth, freshly cut sage leaves, ample scoops of that old pumpkin puree and then stirred in some creme fraiche for creaminess just before serving. It was a perfect compliment to the fresh apple-potato-cremini mushroom ravioli I had picked up at Pastaworks in Portland.

So what should I do with the rest of the pumpkin puree? Any suggestions or recipes would be appreciated. Did I also mention the fridge full of turkey meat and stock? Not that I’m complaining. I’ll host Thanksgiving any year!

Those moist vegan pumpkin cupcakes.

Those moist vegan pumpkin cupcakes.


Written by baltimoregon

December 7, 2008 at 12:29 am

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Before & After Turkey: From Farm to Slaughter to Oven to Table

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I was especially thankful for turkey this year, because I hand-selected our bird at a local farm and participated in its slaughter and butchering in a visceral, almost spiritual way. Why would I subject myself to the blood and gore? And how could that not make you go vegetarian and swear off poultry forever?

But I am increasingly convinced the more we know about our food — where it was cultivated, who tended it and under what conditions — the more it fully nourishes us as we humbly accept our place in the web of life. Our massive tom turkey came from Afton Field Farm on the rural outskirts of Corvallis. Little did I know I could take part in the butchering when we ordered it at the farmers’ market in October.

But the farm’s young proprietor Tyler Jones invited us out and so I went.dsc01202 The Corvallis native and OSU grad learned how to run a small-scale sustainable livestock operation while interning with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in Virginia, which featured in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Afton Field Farm raised about 55 turkeys this year, slaughtering, cleaning and packaging them on the Friday before Thanksgiving on the grounds of Jones’ wooded childhood home near Bald Hill Park.

The first bird I pointed out seemed too wimpy, but little did I know the next one I selected was a whopping 26.8 pounds, the second biggest the farm sold. We’ll be eating turkey tacos, soups and casseroles for the next year!


Then its neck is slit in a pain-minimizing kosher-style way that people have used to slaughter their meat for thousands of years. It just felt right. These turkeys had a good life at Afton Farm and are hopefully meeting a relatively painless end.

Thank goodness we didn’t have to pluck the feathers by hand. Instead, the birds were scalded in hot water and choppily spun around in an open washing machine.DSC01224

Feeling and learning about the turkey’s internal organs were another treat (and the warm cavity felt good to the hands on the briskly cold day). I helped them rip the head off, cut the feet, remove the esophagus and wind pipe and gut the bird. I also cut open the giblet gizzard (what’s the difference between the two, again?) to remove the sack of grass and rocks and other debris turkey and chickens ingest when they peck at their food.


Though trying, the experience didn’t gross me out. I came to the Thanksgiving table with a renewed sense of reverence. And the turkey, which we gave a salt rub the night before, tasted better than ever this year.


Written by baltimoregon

November 28, 2008 at 2:38 am

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