Article by: Suzanne Carreker-Voigt, Saratoga
Farmers’ Market Coordinator

puddings!, and TURKEYS!, Chicks, raisins, and nuts!!!!

forward and taste them; without if’s or buts;

Bring none of your slim, little appetites here-

Day comes only once a year!!!!

And so we would begin
every Thanksgiving Day in our house—the holiday, the dinner
most cherished by all in our clan. Sometime in the 1910s my
grandfather, Burgess Johnson, who had a rhyme for everything, wrote
these words on the large annual illustrated Thanksgiving menu that
was produced by my Aunt Mary and him. My
mother framed two of those menus, and they adorned the walls of her
house for every Thanksgiving of her married life. This year the menus
pass on to hang at my house.

I would like to say
that we keep to those menus, but our tastes and desires have changed
over the years to embrace spousal and
child preferences. We still have turkey, (except for the two
vegetarians amongst us), the potatoes, the sweet potatoes, squash,
pumpkin bread, cranberries, the fresh cut carrots and celery, apple
pie, pecan pie (in deference to my father’s southern roots) and
pumpkin pie. We’ve added creamed spinach and corn, and green
beans. Gone however are the creamed onions, turnips and mince pies of
yester-year. But no matter how you cook your feast, Thanksgiving Day
is a time for guilt-free indulgences in
culinary delights, for which we celebrate life, prosperity,
friendship and Family. Can there be a better day than Thanksgiving

November brings
with it the indoor Saratoga
Farmers’ Market and the lead-up to
Thanksgiving. The first week is the last chance to order a fresh
turkey. The next week clients start keeping a careful watch over the
supplies of their favorite root vegetables and squash, and begin to
order the sweet potato rolls from Effies, pumpkin
pies from the Village Market and apple pies from Bowman’s
Orchards. Rick Green, our bee-keeper, is sure to have extra bees’
wax candles and Barbara Jefts’
(Native Farm Flowers) table arrangements are gorgeous. By this
weekend Sheldon’s potatoes and maple syrup will be setting
record sales, as will be the cider from Saratoga Apple. Battenkill
Creamery and our cheese and yogurt vendors are smiling as folks get
those last minute, must-be-fresh items. Customers planning to make
pumpkin and pecan pies or rich turkey stuffing stock up on eggs.
Don’t forget the cranberry jams for the turkey! Even Saratoga
Suds has the perfect soap to softly remove the aroma of onions from
the cook’s hands before dinner. And if you’re speedy, you
can crochet a placemat or center piece with Foster Farm’s
hand-dyed yarns. All the talk is about Thanksgiving, family and
friends that are coming, what will be on the table…….and
who will cook what.

John Sconzo, president
of Slow Food Saratoga, speaks of the Thanksgiving meal, and its day
as the ultimate Slow Food experience, chock full of American culinary
and family traditions. Like so many, he gets together with family and
friends over a dinner of turkey with all the trimmings. For a number
of years John has been getting wonderful, local turkeys, and
tells me he is looking forward to a local 25-pounder this
year! The meal will be filled out with variations on typical fall
fare, most of which will come from area farms and the Farmers’
Markets, and everyone helps out with the cooking. Typically at the
Sconzo’s there are roasted or shaved Brussels sprouts, yams or
sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, squash, another
green vegetable depending upon what looks good at the market and
cranberry chutneys. apple pies from scratch. They complete the
celebration with home made pumpkin pie and everyone sleeps well that
night! Amen.

Originally published in the Nov. 21st edition of Saratoga Today. Republished with permission.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This entry was posted in Food Lit, Holidays, Upstate NY. Bookmark the permalink.

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